Artist Reviews

“Nobody can teach me how to draw!”

“Nobody can teach me how to draw!” I blustered twelve years ago.

Since then, my skills have flourished because in Mirja, I discovered an excellent (and patient!) teacher. She knows when to commend what is being done well, gently suggest improvements, and when to introduce the next level of learning.

Mirja is also a joy to be around; genuine, warm-spirited and amusing. Her studio is spacious, well-equipped and welcoming, as are the groups of us who are mentored there.
Virginia Clover

I have been attending Mirja’s art mentoring program for over 12 years now. For me, it’s a form of therapy. I started with absolutely no painting background at all. It’s been an incredible experience and I have met so many wonderful people; a few of whom I now consider to be good friends. 
— Ingrid H. Brown

I have been so fortunate to be part of Mirja Vahala’s art mentoring classes and was one of her very first art students. She has inspired and challenged me to stretch my imagination and develop confidence. I have enjoyed sharing the space and time with others. It has helped me to develop a love and appreciation for different tastes, ideas, and techniques.
Phyllis Bleier

The studio is one of my favourite places to spend time, and attending art mentoring is one of my favourite activities. My fellow artists are unassuming, encouraging, and inspiring along with a warm camaraderie. At my first drawing lesson, in the spring of 2019, Mirja told me that drawing is a skill. Anyone, she said, can learn to draw. I was skeptical. I am no longer a skeptic; with Mirja’s help, anyone can learn to draw, even me! The proof is in the pudding.
— Louise McEwan

In 2014, I had the yearning to explore art. I did not know how to get started. I heard about Mirja Vahala’s art studio. I signed up and have been attending art mentoring and art workshops since. The atmosphere is peaceful, away from distractions, and the studio is spacious. Mirja is supportive and provides knowledge and guidance in developing deliberate practice and skills.
— Zdena Price

Mirja’s art mentoring has taught me the basics of art since 2013 and helped me to improve my painting skills and techniques over the years. I had never done any art before her classes. During this time, I have learnt about perspective, thumbnail sketches, brushwork, mixing colours and most of all perseverance! I highly recommend these classes for challenging those with creative minds.
Jill Austin

I have participated in Mirja’s art classes for 14 years. Her mastery of art, knowledge of art theory, colour and techniques are vast…from drawing, watercolour and now acrylics, my skills have been encouraged and nurtured by her ever-encouraging positive nature! I have gained confidence…and personal awareness through my creative experiences!
Pat Gawryletz

I’ve attended art mentoring with Mirja since 2017, starting from square one! When I retired, it was always a goal of mine to learn to draw and paint. Although I have so much more to learn, I feel I am now able to better express some of the ideas jumping around inside my head because of the feedback, motivation and encouraging assistance I receive from Mirja! The group setting is perfect for sharing ideas and celebrating each other’s efforts.
Fiona Mackay

I have attended Mirja’s art-mentoring classes since 2017. I began for two reasons: one being that of friends and relatives sharing their accomplishments, and two, I was curious to test for any hidden creativity, even though I felt non-artistic. She has helped me along my path, giving me new perspectives as I seem ready to receive them.

Mirja has created an atmosphere that validates each of us and helps remove any inhibitions a new artist may have. I highly recommend her classes for anyone who wants to learn, or up their game with painting and/or sketching.
Sherri Gawryletz