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Instructors Bios

Meet the OAS Instructors

Click on instructors image to be taken to their websites


Laurel Best 
Laurel Best loves to capture nature in her paintings and photography. She shares her love of art by teaching art to kids and adults through watercolour classes, paint parties, and individual lessons. Her work has sold in England, Ireland, the US and Canada. Watercolour, acrylic and oil painting is a passion for Laurel who has studied under Wilma Stammler and at various art institutions in Ontario.

Laurel Best

Jayne Cangemi 
I have always been drawn to Watercolours, the transparency; the delicate colour shifts - all intrigue me. My main interest is with negative painting, painting the spaces around objects to make them visible. I start by putting a loose, multi valued underpainting on the paper and then see what this structure tells me. From here, it is always a surprise. I participate in many art shows at many venues in Ontario throughout the year.

Jayne Cangemi

Francine Freeman 
Francine was born and raised in Mississauga, Ontario focusing her artistic career on painting and drawing. She graduated from Sheridan College in Oakville Ontario with a Bachelor in Fine Art, and then completed her Masters in Fine Art at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia. Francine focused her time on Plein Air painting and drawing while in Australia taking in the outback and ocean landscapes. This developed her passion for new material and traveling. She wishes to take her experiences abroad to teach and inspire others creatively.

Francine Freeman

Jenn Jevons
Jennifer started making jewellery in 2002. Beginning with stringing and wire wrapping beads and pearls, she moved into working with metal clay after participating in a demonstration during a metalsmithing course. A certified instructor, she has taken classes at George Brown and Mohawk College, and participated in many metal clay workshops.

Jenn Jevons

Inga Gircyte
Born and raised in Lithuania and after obtaining a Bachelor's degree in Theatre Direction, Inga moved to Canada in 2011. Since then she has been studying the visual arts at a variety of art schools developing her drawing, painting, printmaking and ceramic techniques. Inga is currently enrolled at OCAD studying Fine Arts. Her strengths include painting, pottery and sculpture.

Inga Gircyte

Jenn Jevons
Jennifer started making jewellery in 2002. Beginning with stringing and wire wrapping beads and pearls, she moved into working with metal clay after participating in a demonstration during a metalsmithing course. A certified instructor, she has taken classes at George Brown and Mohawk College, and participated in many metal clay workshops.

Jenn Jevons

Diana Lee
Diana is an artist with strong drawing skills who works in oil, acrylic and watercolour. . She is member of the Color and Form Society and Figurative Expressions. In 2015 and 2016 her works were included in Strokes of Genius 6 and Acrylic Works 4. A gifted and popular instructor she invites artists to paint in different mediums and subject matter.

Diana Lee

Diane Marcotte 
Diane’s preferred painting mediums are watercolour, alcohol-based inks, coloured pencil and Pan Pastel - watercolour and alcohol-based inks for their unpredictable nature that make them exciting and expressive mediums; coloured pencils and Pan Pastels for their versatility and ease of application.  Painting is Diane’s attempt to express the joy she finds in Nature.  Be it a landscape that she finds particularly moving or animals that capture her heart… it is all intrinsically beautiful.  Her goal is to reveal the spirit of Nature so that all may enjoy. 

Diane Marcotte

Judy Mayer-Grieve
Judy is an Honours Graduate of The Ontario College of Art and Design University. Judy has worked as an Illustrator and Award Winning Graphic Designer before teaching Digital Art and Fine Art. Her work is represented by the Art Gallery of Ontario, Hamilton Art Gallery and Burlington. Judy is the 2015 Winner of The Burlington Public Art Competition - King Road Mural.

Judy Mayer Greive

Robin J Mitchell
Robin paints daily life, things that inspire and excite. All the paintings are small, making it easier for people to buy and collect them. “Creating these small treasures brings great joy to my life.” Robin has won a Gemini Award for his work on the movie Nuremberg and has served on a Program Advisory Board at Sheridan College with the Dean of the Arts Program as well as the Dean of the College. His daily paintings on his blog have been viewed by almost fifty thousand visitors.

Robin J Mitchell

Wendy Pride 
Wendy has studied impressionist painting with numerous notable artists and authors including Joyce Pike, Tom Browning, Eric Slayton, the late Charles Sovek, Pierre Bittar, and others. Wendy began her painting journey as an adult learner and seeks to inspire others to approach painting with confidence and with creativity. She has extensive experience as an educator in health science and now brings together her classroom and artistic abilities to guide others in her most passionate subject.

Wendy Pride

Shelley Prior
Shelley's passion for nature is evident in much of her work, but she also enjoys painting portraits, landscapes and still life. A graduate of Sheridan College in Oakville and Dundas Valley School of Art, Shelley has taught watercolour and acrylic painting throughout Ontario for more than 20 years. Her work has been seen in several local juried shows and has won local and international awards.

Shelley Prior

David Rayfield
Drawing is physical and the act of drawing is characteristic of our humanity. At its core it transcends the borders and barriers created by attitudes of exclusion and difference. Ideally it’s a freeing thing. I encourage my students to move beyond internalizing judgments that would delimit and hinder their drawing ability; to recognize that drawing is a tool, it’s a means of notation. Facility can be gained through time and effort, and certainly while we all have differing degrees of talent to begin with, an individual can grow their facility. My classes are designed to provide the forum for this kind of growth.

David rayfield

Heidi Rohde 
Heidi Rohde, a fine artist and instructor, paints expressive and vivid landscapes that evoke a mood or a feeling. She works in Acrylic, Watercolour and Pastel. She was an educator for many years teaching Visual Arts at the Secondary School level. She received her BA at McMaster and her B Ed from the University of Toronto. She continues to enjoy teaching and encouraging students to fulfill their potential.

Heidi Rohde

Monika Schaefer
Monika has been potting since 1998 and creating felted art since 2010, making a wide range of whimsical items for home and garden. She has been a regular instructor at the OAS for many years, gives workshops on pottery and felting in her studio and enjoys sharing her ideas and techniques with others. Monika’s pottery and fibre art are collected widely have won many awards. See her work on her website.

Monika Schaefer

Julie Wurtele
A certified art instructor for Art Innovators, Julie also holds a City and Guilds Adult Teaching Certificate as well as various Vocational Teaching Certificates from the UK. She has a particular interest in art therapy for children and adults with learning difficulties and has found art can be an invaluable tool to overcome barriers in communication and improve confidence.

Julie Wurtele

OAS COAP & CAP Instructors

Click on instructors image to be taken to their websites


Laurel Best 
Passionate about nature, wildlife and creating art, I have been drawing since I first picked up a pencil. Art has always been a part of my family. My grandmother, Jean Monkhouse was an oil painter and art teacher. She was my first art teacher, and I will always fondly remember painting with her in her cottage in Atikokan.

Laurel Best

Karlene Bland 
Karlene Bland aims to transport viewers of her paintings to a place of beauty and peace and to awaken the dreams secretly harbored in the corners of their hearts. She tries to share this same joy of painting through her classes. Karlene has shown her work in solo shows and juried exhibitions in oils or acrylics.

Karlene Bland

Inga Gircyte
Born and raised in Lithuania and after obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre Direction, Inga moved to Canada in 2011. Since then she has been studying the visual arts at a variety of art schools developing her drawing, painting, printmaking and ceramic techniques. Inga is currently enrolled at OCAD studying Fine Arts. Her strengths include painting, pottery and sculpture.

Inga Gircyte

Samia Kawas 
Born and educated in Honduras, Samia founded and ran the "Artemania" Art Academy until settling in Canada in 2014. A children’s art instructor since 1998 Samia takes great pleasure in art and in sparking her students' creativity. Her colourful works of art have been exhibited nationally and internationally.

Samia Kawas