Elsha Leventis

Elsha Leventis


“In art, as in life, there is only so much we can control – at some point we must let go; willingly jumping into chaos and waiting for unknown outcomes can be scary but also exhilarating. More often than not, letting go leads to exciting new discoveries.”

A Dutch-born artist living in Toronto, since graduating from the Ontario College of Art and Design's Drawing and Painting program in 2002, I have been inspired by the intricate landscape of the eye. My work has been inspired by Ken Noland, Jasper Johns, and Ross Bleckner, among others.

Using a technique adopted from watercolour, I try to capture impressions of both the landscape of the iris and the effects of light as seen through the eye. Working playfully wet into wet, I lay down circular thin washes of oil mixed with mediums on sheets of double-frosted Mylar and then drop in or subtract paint. Initially imposing control, as process takes over and the paint takes on a life of its own, I must come to terms with letting go. As the work unfolds, there are interesting and unexpected results, and “mistakes” often lead to exciting new discoveries in technique or process.

Recently I have adapted the same process in abstract landscapes that capture the reflective mood experienced when we see mist rolling in to valleys or lingering over water.

My work has been exhibited at the Artist Project Toronto and New York, Toronto Art Expo, the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, and the Interior Design Show. My paintings have also appeared in Princess Margaret Hospital’s lottery homes, in design magazines Style at Home and Canadian House and Home, and on design shows on HGTV, including Income Property and the Marilyn Dennis Show, and even, very briefly, in a movie, The Sentinel. My work is represented by Canvas Gallery and PI Fine Art in Toronto, In2Art in Oakville, the Art Gallery of Hamilton (Sales and Rental), and Deljou Art Group in Atlanta and is in collections around the world. A piece, Black Eye, will appear in The Eye in Art, which will be published in September 2015.

My work can be shipped unframed and rolled up in tubes, making shipping fast, inexpensive, and safe, and leaving the new owner free to select framing of their choice.