What Special Experiences Influenced My Art

The Path painting

Living and Working in New York City

Working as an artist, I was in search of my home base. Having left Ireland and tried France first, I felt that France wasn’t the right place for me. Then I decided to move to New York City.

I flew to New York City with minimum belongings and my life as a full-time artist had begun. I think it was one of the happiest and most fulfilling times of my life. Also, I think that living and working in New York City was one of the special experiences that influenced both my painting and my perspective on the world. New York City was a very stimulating place.

In New York, a lot of things were new experiences for me in both the personal and artistic sides of life. It was as if my store of knowledge that I had acquired in Ireland made rapid fresh strides in my head and it all got refined.

In this bustling exciting city, I found people to be very sophisticated and smart. That made it possible for me to be just who I was. They understood all kinds of jokes right away. They understood everything I meant. I noticed this element in particular with people in New York City because, in other cities, I used to feel there was a limit to people’s understanding, so I usually had to adjust myself to their capacity.

I think that being able to feel comfortable in my own skin helped me express myself fully in my paintings. As a result, I was very productive throughout the time I was living in New York. I believe New York is one of the places, or perhaps the best place, for artists to work, live and get inspired.

Also, what I really liked was that people in the United States have a lot of respect and understanding for artists. And that made my life in New York a lot easier and more fun.

 

Painting in New York City and Long Island Influenced My Art

As my mind was stimulated by the experiences and by other artists in New York City, my work also greatly evolved while I was living in New York City.

Abstract watercolour painting

Abstract watercolour painting by Chiho Yoshikawa, 2001

I used to paint mostly in a realistic style while I was living in Japan and Ireland. The evolution in my painting style started happening while I was visiting France several months prior to moving to NYC. First, my work was becoming more like geometric or cubist abstract styles. And it stayed that way at the beginning of my first few months in New York.

The Plastic Pleasure painting

Painting of Plastic Pleasure by Chiho Yoshikawa, 2002

After several months of living in New York City, I moved to Long Island. And from then on, I always worked and lived in that area.

My paintings evolved further while I was there. They became brighter, more colourful and looked cheerful. It has been said that the bright sunlight in Long Island attracts many artists to move there. It might have been the peaceful countryside with beautiful bright sunlight, nature and beaches that helped me focus and create better paintings.

Featured image: Painting of Path by Chiho Yoshikawa, 2002