Courses & Workshops: Five Questions with Artist Caitlyn Chisamore

Caitlyn Chisamore is a Toronto-based figurative oil painter and curator from Gananoque, Ont. She graduated from Ontario College of Art and Design University in 2011 with a bachelor of fine arts degree in drawing and painting. Using oil paint as her primary medium, Caitlyn creates paintings based on the human figure and psychology. Here at Harbourfront Centre, Caitlyn teaches both drawing and painting in our Courses & Workshops programme.

So, Caitlyn, why painting?

I paint because it allows me to express myself through images. Through painting I can engage in a contemplative process using colour, gesture and form in ways that other mediums do not allow. I find the adaptable and versatile nature of paint exciting. I feel that I am always learning something new every time I paint.

What do you like most about teaching?

I enjoy sharing my knowledge with other people and witnessing the positive effects of creation, discovery and expression. It is exciting to see how the students’ abilities and comfort grow through practise and experimentation. I also like meeting new people who have a passion to create.

What do you hope participants walk away from your courses understanding?

My goal is for the students to develop an understanding of the medium and how to construct a strong composition. I want my students to have fun and be enthusiastic about creating work.

Your work deals a lot with the human form and psychology; what is it about this that inspires or interests you?

I have always been fascinated by the human form, attachment, interaction and communication. I like how portraiture can be interpreted from a subjective and universal perspective. My work reflects my interpretation and an expression of my ideas.

What advice would you give to people who are trying painting for the first time?

My advice to someone who is painting for the first time would be to draw and paint from life and from photographs and to do it as often as possible. Experiment with many mediums and look at as much artwork as possible. You will learn a lot from looking at artwork in person. Take classes, get feedback and ask questions. Don’t worry about creating a masterpiece, just create. Don’t forget to have fun with it.

Want to join one of Caitlyn’s classes?  Caitlyn will be teaching Abstract Painting beginning November 6 and Portrait Drawing beginning November 7 (both 4 weeks, $120 each).  For more information or to register, visit or call 416.973.4093.