Arts and Entertainment

Area artist shares passion for teaching fine art

April 6, 2023   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

Kayla Jackson loves how, in just a few hours, a person can produce a painting that will surprise them.

When she started teaching privately, she came up with stringent ideas about how teaching is done, but when “people came and had never picked up a pencil before and they just wanted a little guidance, I had to grow in my approach,” she told the Citizen. 

A native of Caledon and Alton as her home village, Ms. Jackson attended Mayfield Secondary School Regional Arts Program for an intensive four years. She followed this by completing a Batchelor of Illustration at Sheridan College, where she experienced an intensely structured arts education.

In 2021, she staged a one-woman show in the Falls Gallery of the Alton Mill Arts Centre with more than 60 of her acrylic paintings of ‘en plein air’ images of the historic buildings in her hometown. 

“The show at the Alton Mill was a great opportunity for people to come together after Covid,” she remarked, adding, “I do actually like teaching. Being in formal art education for so long and then university art instruction and when people came into my school, I thought there would be a fairly tight structure. I soon learned how to use a different method. I realized people might be confident in representing something on a painting.”

The year 2021 saw her working with E. Connie Munson at the White Church in Caledon, where they ran an art gallery and held a series of shows and activities that kept people coming from Thanksgiving weekend to 11 weeks after that. Many types of visual arts were part of the whole; authors brought their books for readings, and a festive air for the love of the arts, the rural aspect of Caledon and landscape paintings brought a very special time to the antique and precious heritage building.

For people whose lives do not include a creative outlet, Kayla Jackson is a fan of teaching people to paint as something new to try. She offers her lessons as mobile art lessons, for which she arrives at a home or office – with a small group of people, more or less, bringing the materials with her.

Knowing her interest and talent for casual learning, as it were, a friend of hers told her about the Cork and Canvas idea at the Adamo Winery and suggested she might like to be involved, as she knew they were looking for artists. 

“I met the manager and we chatted about how we could bring a one-of-a-kind experience,” she told us.

Of her own experience with her mobile classes, she noted that people come together, maybe after a long time of not getting together, people who might not get to be creative in their lives, and she said of them, “I’m proud of them wanting to do something new. A lot of people come a bit tentative. They see the painting [her ‘impressionistic destination landscapes’]” and say, “There’s no way I can do that.”

So, she shows them how to mix their colours, and suddenly, they have a background. They start to lighten up with the beginning. It “kind-of looks good” and they brought their friend, and by the end of the night, they walk out with a masterpiece they never thought they could do.

It really brings people out of their daily life and gives them a new idea of who they are. With art, you start to see things differently, she feels.

Artists love to see and be in different places to feed the needs of their creativity. Kayla Jackson has been an international art dealer on cruise ships around the Mediterranean and Caribbean Seas. She also successfully embarked on a 30-day solo trip in her Volkswagen Beetle from Toronto to St. John’s, Newfoundland.

“I’ve done paint parties,” she commented. “In the morning or the evenings – wherever – I travel with the materials. A lot of my classes have been by request. I did one with a finance department; another group that just wanted to get together.” She chuckled as she recalled, “A hockey team.”

She holds some of her lessons at the Gather Cafe at Main and Queen in Alton and loves seeing the impact on people introducing them to participating in art makes. She shows at people’s homes and can be booked privately after she has completed her stint with the Adamo Cork and Canvas.

She said, “I’ve been a professional artist for some time and I have enjoyed getting people into it. I’m painting scenes from around the country side around Caledon, working a series of pictures.”

It is a beautiful part of the country, she clearly feels.

Potter Wendy Mitchell, a resident of Belfountain has been a mentor in the matter of teaching art to Ms. Jackson, who gives her credit.

“She gives pottery classes,” said Kayla Jackson, “She showed me how to connect with people.”

An important lesson to be sure.

To learn more about Kayla Jackson visit her website:, Instagram: @kaylajackson_art or Facebook: @kaylajacksonart

She can also be reached via email

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