Eliane Saheurs creates enchanted spaces


Courtesy of Eliane Saheurs

By STUDY28|Violette Stepaniuk with Eliane Saheurs

Enchanted Space VI

Eliane Saheurs
Acrylic on canvas
48″ x 48″ (122cm x 122cm)

What can we learn about this work?


“Abstract art by definition has no perspective, is not figurative or representational,” says Eliane Saheurs. “At first sight, you could think my work is abstract, but when you look closer, you will find an unusual landscape or ‘shapescape’. Therefore the works have a semi-abstract feel for me.

“I am always inspired by the geometrical shapes of crystals, minerals and the organic forms in nature, and use them to create new, intricate and mysterious spaces.”.

Where can you find this mysterious space or landscape in Enchanted Space VI? Start with the grey rock in the bottom left corner, just on the edge of the painting. To the right, at the foot of the grey rock, is a pool of white water and two small blue rocks sticking out. Behind the small blue rocks, white water is cascading over a large blue rock. An orange sky fills the centre top of the canvas. Can you see the space now? Do you sense the depth?

This work, like most of Saheurs’ paintings, includes strong colours, well defined shapes, and the use of diagonal direction as active force.


“I like the contrast of colours and shapes – warm oranges and browns, cool whites and blues – in this painting,” says Saheurs.

The artist uses contrast to create a sense of the geological forces inside the earth, of tumbling rocks, of new layers emerging.

“If I wanted to create a quiet landscape, I would use more subtle colours and soft shapes,” says the artist.


Brush strokes are used to create a sense of movement. In this work, the artist uses brushstrokes to create the sense of crashing water and cracking rocks.

“Sometimes my work calls for very forceful brushstrokes,” says Saheurs, “like the vivid green stroke on the left which adds excitement and leads your eyes to the lower left and back up to the right over the whole canvas.”


The artist uses layering to create a sense of subtle, mysterious depths, and to show rocks under water. She starts with a strong colour and adds translucent layers.

Eliane Saheurs: Inside Out II
October 23 to November 25
Trinity Gallery: Salon B

Eliane Saheurs uses shapes found in nature, geological forms and forces, to create her own enchanted spaces. The furors of geological forces inside the earth’s crust create new organic and geometric forms and intricate spaces. Geometrical relics of crystal symmetry emerge; volcanic eruption, weathering and fragmenting transform the rocks and minerals into new structures and mysterious landscapes; vivid colours arise from layers of oxidations and erosion.

Eliane Saheurs was born in Thun, Switzerland. Lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Her semi-abstract paintings on canvas or paper are inspired by vast geological structures and forces as well as microscopic form and textures within rocks and minerals.

Learn more about Eliane and see more examples of her work on:

Saatchi Art, Artengine, Facebook

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