Colour and Form: A Delicate Balance of Elements, Experience and Personal Heritage

By: Andy Ingram

Figure 1 Feathers by Eva Horthy Turkewitsch; $450

Hey Queen West: there’s a brand-new exhibit for you to come check out for free at Twist Gallery. Our World with Colour and Forms is open now till June 28th. Many featured artists are members of the Hungarian Visual Artists of Canada (HuVAC) and several select invited painters. The exhibition explores the interaction between colour and form; coupled with the personal and unique heritage of each artist.

When viewing and analysing visual art, often times experts consider the various elements of art. According to the J. Paul Getty Museum, these elements, “are the building blocks used to create a work of art.” The main elements are:

·     Line     

·     Shape & Form  

·     Space  

·     Color   

·     Texture

For the purposes of today’s discussion, we can focus on just colour and shape & form.


Colour is essentially the reflection of light off of a surface of an object, in this case a canvas. However, colour is so much more than that. Colour can be broken down into three distinct characteristics:

·     Hue (where does it fall on the colour spectrum)

·     Value (how light or how dark it is)

·     Intensity (how bright or how dull it is).

Artists showing at Twist Gallery, exhibit an elegant dance of these characteristics, all working in synchronicity.

For example, look how Kati Siklos interweaves the dark and light values of colour in her piece “Burst of Sunshine”, featured below.

Figure 2 Burst of Sunshine by Kati Siklos; $1,150

She captures the notion of fading sunshine on the trees and roofs of the quiet Toronto neighbourhood by fluctuating the intensity of the colours. The skyline of the city is seen less intense in the background, evoking a feeling of familiarity, home and distance. Yet, the interplay of reds, oranges, browns and yellows remind of a distinctly European heritage.

“Kati Siklos was born in Budapest, Hungary and completed her studies at the Budapest Art School. She left during the 1956 Revolution and immigrated to Canada. Her career started in Montreal as a lithographer while participating in art studies and exhibitions. In 1973, she moved to Toronto with her family. Some of her work has been featured in government buildings, Etobicoke’s City Hall, several coffee houses and galleries in the GTA.”


Shape and form are used to define an object in space. Shape mainly refers to height and width in a two-dimensional space. However, “form has depth as well as width and height,” says the Getty Museum.

Below, consider “Sunset Landing” by Rita Vindedzis.

Figure 3 Sunset Landing by Rita Vindedzis; $500

See how Vindedzis creates depth with the altering values on the horizon? The dramatic sky is made more mysterious in the contrast between dark and light. She also uses lines to create the shape of the horizon to signify the landscape beneath the sunset. She employs key geometric shapes with lighter colour values to signify the grid pattern of a city when observed from a distance. Viewers begin to share a common experience with Vindedzis, seeing and feeling what she was when she first saw this gorgeous sunset. Maybe she saw this from an airplane when landing at Pearson Airport? It’s for the viewer to decide.

“Rita’s work is often included in lifestyle and decor magazines such as Canadian House and Home, Chatelaine, and Style at Home. Her work has appeared on various television programs and noted interior designers regularly select her work. Surrounded by the city and living in the heart of Toronto’s Entertainment District, Rita is inspired by tall glass and steel, concrete structures, and the way the light plays through the buildings. Streetlights and reflections provide the backdrop for the moodiness of her work. Every painting tells a story.”

Lastly, study Katalin F. Lowy’s “Margit Chapel” seen below.

Figure 4 Margit Chapel by Katalin F. Lowy; $1,500

The eye is naturally drawn along the smooth curves of the path toward the more rigid structure of the chapel. The viewer regards the altering colours of the natural and man-made landscape and objects and feels a sense of place and memory. Moreover, the darks signify the cool shade whereas the lights arouse a feeling of bright, warm sunshine and good weather and optimism. The delicate relationship between colour and form is fully realized by the artists’ gentle touch.

“Katalin Lowy has been painting for over 35 years and studied under the famous Canadian painter, Doris McCarthy. Over the years, she has won many juried art competition awards for her exceptional work. The paintings reflect a wide range of different European and Canadian East Coast selections.”

We’ve only begun to scratch the surface to Our World with Colours and Forms. There is so much beautiful work to come and see. Why not take a stroll and come and visit us? Entry is free to all, and we really love when folks from the neighbourhood stop by for a visit. Bring a friend and enjoy our quiet and calming space. Or you can relax with some of our colouring books. Maybe it’s time for you to explore colour and form yourself and make something beautiful? Our doors are open Tuesday – Saturday, 11a.m. to 6p.m.

To see more beautiful works in our Artist Showcase CLICK HERE.

To see what’s Upcoming at Twist Gallery CLICK HERE.

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