905 .827. 5711

Instructors Bios

Meet the OAS Instructors

Click on instructors image to be taken to their websites


Laurel Best

I have a passion for nature and wildlife and creating art. I have been drawing as long as I can remember and spent many hours as a teenager capturing my favourite pictures in 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 remember painting with her in her cottage in Atikokan.


Karlene Bland

Karlene has a genuine love of helping her students find the joy of expressing themselves through play and paint in a warm, inspiring environment. Her bubbly, friendly personality has made a lasting impression on all those she meets. An award winning plein air painter, her murals adorn hospitals and her abstract paintings have been purchased by interior decorating companies to hang in condominium projects.


Tritan Braho

Tritan’s work captures and examines overlooked everyday objects and moments and the light around them. He uses photography to freeze change, light and movement and transfers his chosen image into canvas using a high level of technical skill during the painting process. It is during this process that he gives his subject an intriguing presence while building a relationship between figuration and abstraction.


Barbara Chapman

Born in Newfoundland, Barbara is heavily influenced by the natural world, rocky coasts, sky and ever changing atmosphere. She has studied privately, as well as pursuing Art and Art History at both Sheridan College and the University of Toronto. With a long background in adult education, she now teaches and demonstrates in Mississauga and Oakville.


Susan Del Bianco

Raised in Ingersoll, Susan attended Fanshawe College for Advertising and Fine Art. She exhibited at Art in the Park, Kaleidoscope, a juried show at the AGB, a guest show at the Richmond Hill Artist Coop, and solo exhibits at the Sovereign House. "I never over plan my paintings, preferring my creative muses to guide and surprise me hoping the viewer to be drawn into the work and find their own connection."


Maria Iva

Maria is a landscape artist who enjoys painting nature scenes from Southern Ontario. She uses a colorist approach and paints in a loose impressionistic manner with a palette knife in oil or soft pastels. She has a Master Pastelist designation from the Pastel Artist Canada and she is an Elected Member of the Society for Canadian Artists. Maria has been teaching for several years and is known as a caring and passionate instructor.


Samia Kawas

Samia is a visual artist known for working with bright, vivid colours. Her paintings have been exhibited since 1986 in her natal country, Honduras, and abroad. She formed part of various art expositions. Her most significant contributions were the XI Annual Exhibit art group of the organization of America States (OAS) in Washington D.C and “Art for Everyone” hosted by United Nations and the first lady of Honduras


Diana Lee

Oil, Acrylic, Drawing and Watercolour Artist -This award winning artist is passionate about painting and drawing. She enjoys the challenge of different mediums. Diana’s work can be found in public and private art collections both in Canada and abroad.


Cathy Lorraway

Plein Air Landscape, Pastel and Drawing artist, Cathy is passionate about teaching and learning to draw and to paint the natural environment as well as the figure. She is a former high school art teacher who now teaches students of all ages, both locally and internationally, as an artist in the classroom and as a former artist in residence at Crawford Lake. She holds a BFA and is an Associate of Ontario College of Art and Design in Drawing and Painting. Cathy’s colourful artwork can be found in many local art shows and tours as well as in collections in Canada and abroad.


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.


Bruce Outridge

Bruce Outridge is an artist, author, media consultant, and speaker. He has been a professional cartoonist for over a decade, author of five books on business and leadership, media consultant, and inspirational speaker to groups helping inspire their audience. Bruce is the host and producer of two podcasts, the Inspiring Youth television show and has been a columnist and social media expert for the transportation industry since 2007. Bruce is a member of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers, the Hamilton Niagara Fleet Safety Council, Oakville Arts Council, The Barbados Arts Council, the International Society of Caricature Artists, the Association of Canadian Cartoonists, and the Burlington Chamber of Commerce.


Meru Parmar

My art is inspired by my relationships and my connection to the world around me. The range of my expression includes portraits, still life and landscape abstracts. I started my art education with continuing education programs at NewYork Academy of Art, NYC, NY and continued my art education at Lasalle College of Arts, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts Singapore, and Sheridan College. My paintings have found home in private collections in Singapore, India, Australia, UK and Canada..


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.


Ron Van Zutphen

Ron is an Oakville based professional photographer. He is an Ontario certified teacher with over 30 years of experience in the classroom and a passion for sharing his knowledge. His goals are simple: to nurture the artist in everyone and to make it fun!


George Wastle

George works in oil, acrylic, watercolour and pencil crayon, and his Canadian and European landscapes and personal portraits are a visual journal sharing his life journey. A graduate of Redeemer University majoring in Art and French, he also studied art in Florence. He was a member of Semaphore Flagship Gallery in Hamilton, and is currently a member of the AGB. Some of his works are in private collections in Canada, US and Europe.



Community Outreach Art Program Instructors


Laurel Best

I have a passion for nature and wildlife and creating art. I have been drawing as long as I can remember and spent many hours as a teenager capturing my favourite pictures in 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 remember painting with her in her cottage in Atikokan


Karlene Bland

Karlene is dedicated to providing a warm, caring and inspiring environment for seniors and those with struggling with disabilities. Her genuine love of teaching and her bubbly, friendly personality has made a lasting impression on all those she meets.



Subscribe to the OAS E-Bulletin