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Instructors Bios

Meet the OAS Instructors

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Zan Barrage 
I was seven when I was given my first watercolour box. It was magical. A tin box with tons of chalky colours and a horrible brush to go with it. I would sit for hours blending colours, attempting to paint the world around me. Today my box is filled with artist quality paints and my brushes are sable and squirrel. My tools have changed, but the journey is still the same: A love for colours and light, and epic struggles to put these on paper. When I teach, I focus on method and tools. I don’t want you to paint like me, I want to give you the skills you need so you can discover your own voice. I am proud to say that my artwork has seeped into private collections from Australia through Europe to North America. A classically trained artist, Zan is the recipient of several award for plein air painting in Ontario. He is the founder and past president of Ontario Plein Air Society.

Zan Barrage

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.

Laurel Best

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

Cathy Lorraway
Cathy loves to share her love of nature and art as a fine artist and instructor with students of all ages. She works in watercolour, acrylic and oil and loves painting landscapes in plein air. A graduate of the Ontario College of Art in Drawing and Painting and B Ed from the University of Toronto, she was a Secondary School Visual Art and Photography instructor for many years and has participated in the Artist in the Classroom program and as an Artist in Residence at Crawford Lake Conservation Area.

Cathy Lorraway

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

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

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

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!

Ron Van Zutphen

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

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