It isn’t all that often that you get a chance to learn from a world-renowned artist, but for a group of mixed-media enthusiasts in Moose Jaw, they had exactly that opportunity this past weekend.
Participants were able to take part in a three-day workshop with Antonis Tzanidakis, a professional mixed-media artist originally from Greece who has worked and taught all over the world over the last seven years.
It was during his recent travels in Canada that Denise Helland came across one of his workshops in Winnipeg, and after taking part, invited Tzanidakis to Moose Jaw to offer the same kind of elite instruction.
“I saw an advertisement for him doing a workshop in Winnipeg and I’d always wanted to do a mixed media workshop, and it was really, really interesting,” Helland explained. “He said Saskatchewan was the only province he hadn’t taught in other than Newfoundland, so he was really happy to come out and teach a course here.”
Tzanidakis currently works for the artistic website Stamperia, with his intricate multi-layer designs featured prominently on their website. That level of impressive work was the subject of the five-hour workshops, each of which dealt with a different style a medium -- ranging from painting and staining to claywork and moulding and everything in between.
Local scrapbooking business Scrappin’ with T provided supplies for the workshops, and it wasn’t long before participants were putting what Tzanidakis taught them to good use with those work elements.
“There were lots of new techniques, stuff they had never experienced when it came that kind of artwork,” Helland said. “People would worry about painting, they’d put a coat of paint on and want to make it look perfect, but they didn’t realize there would be three or four more layers going on top of that colour.
“It was all about understanding the concept that everything doesn’t have to be perfect because chances are something is going to be covered. It’s okay if you didn’t stamp it properly or didn’t line it up, it’s not going to show when we put the stain on, that kind of thing.”
In fact, the little ‘mistakes’ often just led to each piece of artwork becoming that much more unique and special to each individual.
“It was a really different art concept for people to grasp, but once you understood, it was a lot of fun,” Helland said. “We had 20 people in the room doing the same project and they all looked different and all looked great.”
One thing that’s for certain is the techniques and skills learned over the three days will come in handy for the dozens of burgeoning artists who took part.
“We learned so much, it was definitely inspiring,” Helland said. “He was just an amazing teacher.”
The hope is to have Tzanidakis make a return to Moose Jaw at some point, but that will rely on his travel schedule and when he’s back in this part of the world.
“It was just amazing that we could work it out for him to come to Moose Jaw this time, but he enjoyed the time he was here and he’d like to come back and we’d love to have him again,” Helland said.
To check out some of Tzanidakis work and even pick up a few tips and tricks on mixed-media artwork, be sure to visit www.stamperiab2b.com.