Hiromi Tanaka was born and raised in Tokushima, Japan. Her paintings are impacted by the nature of her childhood memories, a wildflower field, cherry blossom, Japanese garden and more. She has been painting since she was a little girl, but her interest in fashion made her open a fashion boutique in her early 20's. Despite her business success, she wanted new challenges so she moved to New York in 1990 and started painting again. She stayed in the city for a few years, moved to San Francisco and then moved to Chicago to study at SAIC (1994 to 1997) where she received her BFA. Since graduating, she has been living and working in Chicago.
on nature and painting - I have always enjoyed observing nature and the world around me. Painting provides me the ideal medium for recording my impressions. My work focuses on the combination of colors and forms that I encounter every day. I begin each painting with simple iconography that I build upon layer by layer. It is this layering that allows my impressions to be presented with balance and subtlety. Each piece has a distinct relationship with the real world surroundings that has inspired it. Whenever I walk outside, I am inspired by small things that I have never appreciated before. It might be a pattern on tree bark or a stone resting in an interesting position next to a flower. I am continually seeking to express such nuances of nature in my work. Through this process my paintings develop their own voice and message. I am always amazed that when I have completed a painting, its voice continues to show me new things each time I view it. From this reciprocal relationship with my previously completed works, my perceptions of the world continue to grow.