Archive for the ‘Commissions’ Category

Jake & Trike

When I started this portrait, it was a straightforward shot of this little boy.  I knew I wanted to add some interest to the background.  I asked the mom, “What’s his favorite toy?”  And the Red Flyer Tricycle was her quick reply.  “Great!  It would be perfect!  Send a picture!”

Remember your first tricycle?  I wish I could!  The tricycle is typically our first venture on wheels independently.  So,  it’s a very important step in the mind of a child.

The portrait’s style of painting is a modern pointillism of circular dabs mixed with some dark identifying lines surrounding the figures.  The size is 22 x 30 x .75 inches.

I used musical rhythms to keep the dabbing process going without thought.  I found that James Brown Music is the best for dabbing!  So I rocked out in the studio for this one!  I was making some moves I didn’t know I had and singing at the top of my lungs!  My husband would stop by the studio door every now and then and say, “Are you listening to that again?”, shaking his head.  I must have listened to that CD at least a hundred times!

I feel nice!  Da da da da da da da!  Like sugar & spice!  Da da da da da da da!  So nice!  So Nice!  I got you!              James Brown

And today, it feel’s good to get the portrait shipped to it’s new home.  Hope the kid likes it when he’s a teenager…..         Da da da da da da da!


Superstition Moon 48w x 24h x 1.5"d

I finished my latest painting titled Superstition Moon.  For those of you unfamiliar with my neck of the woods in Arizona;  The Superstition Mountains is a huge desert mountain range located east of Apache Junction off HWY 60.   Most people move here because of the beauty of these historic Superstitions, named after Native American beliefs of spirits remaining there.  It’s also where the tales of the “Lost Dutchman” and his missing gold originated.  Serious gold miners and novices still search for his gold everyday.

Today, I get to deliver Superstition Moon to the new owner who lives with this view as her home’s natural backdrop.   For information about commissioning a painting of your area, please email Denise Landis at

Portrait of a Boy

Occasionally, it will take me quite a while to complete a portrait.  Therefore, the photograph used for reference is “old” before the painting is started.  And the portrait captures the age of of the subject at the time of the photograph.  My new portrait of a little boy already shows it’s age.  He doesn’t use a “sippy cup” any more.  I’ve captured his toddler years; now, long gone.  He’s four years old going on “young man”.  I’m hoping this young man won’t mind looking at his “Sippy Cup Portrait” for the rest of his life.  It’s a time capsule.


Visit an artist studio!

Fall is the season of artists’ Studio Tours. It gives each artist an opportunity to show his/her artistic productivity for the first three quarters of the year.  (Yes, some artists do have quarterly action plans!)  This is your opportunity to see them in their own creative environment where “the action” happens.    Studio Tours are a special event for both the artists and their visitors!

There are a few things you, as a potential customer, need to know before starting out.  Here’s my twenty tips for approaching (and enjoying) an Artist Studio Tour:

1)  Ask a friend or partner (if they like art) to join you.  NEVER ask someone to go with you that doesn’t enjoy or appreciate art.  You’ll end up back home before you know it and you won’t enjoy yourself.  Make it a special event with a kindred spirit.

2) Usually Studio Tours have maps printed so that you can pick and choose the studios that peak your curiosity.  Review the list and choose those that reflect your interest. Try to visit as many of these as possible.

3) Don’t limit yourself from the full experience.  If it’s a two day affair, try to go both days.  If a studio has an art medium you are not familiar with, check it out!  You will learn something!

4) Start in the morning, break for lunch at a local restaurant to get a feel of the “local color”.  Try to imagine being an artist in this area.  What would be the artist’s local inspiration?  After lunch, keep going.  Visit more studios.

5) Most studio stops will have some sort of beverage to keep you hydrated but it’s a good idea to bring water and a snack item.

6)  Some private art studios have bathrooms but don’t count on them being available to the public.  When in need, it’s best to ask the artist where the nearest “public” restroom is and they will either offer you their private bathroom or direct you to a nearby public location.

7) Wear layered clothes so you can be comfortable if the weather changes quickly.  However, do not lay down purses or clothing in the studios.  The artists will not be responsible for the theft of your personal belongings.

8) Studio Tours are designed for adults. Responsible teens are welcome but parents “beware”!  Teens like to buy! Bring extra  funds.

9) Toddlers are an artist’ worst nightmare when they want to “touch everything”!  Art and creative products take many hours to make and are typically not designed for children.  So, if you plan to bring a child, keep “the little ones” in a stroller or under your strict control.  The artists will thank you.

10) Stay in the central area of the studio.  Don’t wander around looking inside other rooms or walking around the artist’s property.  If they are comfortable with you, they may ask to take you on a tour of other areas.  Be aware that some art studios are a part of the artist’s actual home.  It’s their private space or sanctuary.  Don’t invade their privacy.

11)  Bring cash for impulse shopping but be aware that most artists accept credit cards as well for more expensive items.  However, they may ask for your name, address, telephone number, etc. to complete the transaction.  Don’t expect debit card sales.  Do ask, “Do you accept credit cards?”

12)  Don’t rush in and out.  Ask each artist to describe their art-making process.  Don’t feel like you will be offending them by questioning their process.  Ask how they got started making art and their motivations.  Most artists love to demonstrate and talk about their art.

13) If you like the artist’s work, get his/her business card and any literature for potential later commission work.  Artists make most of their money from commissions of private works.  Don’t be afraid to ask.

14)  If you love a piece of art but think it’s a bit too pricey, ask if the artist will reduce the asking price by 10%.  Requesting more of a discount typically is an awkward situation.  Most artists have already reduced their prices since there is no overhead when they are selling the item themselves and in their own studio.  Further reductions could be interpreted as an insult.  It’s not cool.  Just don’t do it.

15)  Ask if the artist has a “lay-a-way plan”.  Some artists will allow a buyer to make monthly payments with a limited term and contract.  However, should the buyer not be able to meet the deadline, all prior payments are lost.  Remember, artists make their money by having their works available for sale.  Lay-a-ways take the art off the market and interfere with potential sales and gallery or exhibit events.

16)  Expect to pay taxes on all sales (cash, personal checks, and credit cards).  Sales taxes vary by city, county and state.   Some artists will forgo charging customer’s taxes.  This is your discount! But the professional artist still has to pay taxes.

17) The artist may have a visitor/customer sign-in sheet.  If you feel comfortable with the artist and their environment, don’t hesitate to share your address and email.  Most artists use this information strictly for the future marketing of their own art and private sales/gallery events.  If you like their art, sign up!  By doing this, you may also get significant future discounts. (On the other hand, if you do not feel comfortable with the artist, don’t hesitate to say “I don’t share my personal information” and walk away.)

18)  Think holiday-shopping!!!  Buy now for Christmas and Hannukah!  Art makes great presents. It allows the receiving person to reflect on the piece and see it through their own eyes.  It’s a gift that keeps on giving too.  Compliments are forever.

19)  If you get home after visiting several studios and you can’t stop thinking about a specific artist or item that you bypassed because you wanted to “hit” other studios before buying, give the artist a call to request a private sale or “re-look”.  Typically, the artist will be happy to invite you back.  However, it’s usually not cool to “drop in” at an artist’s private studio unless they have regular business hours.

20) Most importantly, have fun!  Take your time.  And tell your friends about the sale if it’s a two-day event!  Encourage them to visit the tour too.

FYI: This weekend, November 7 & 8th from 9am-4pm each day,  the Artists of the Superstitions (a mountain range located near Apache Junction and Gold Canyon, Arizona) is hosting their Annual Studio Tour.  I’d love to see you at my Landisworks Studio.  My studio is typically a disaster with art & jewelry supplies everywhere!  I’m a messy  abstract painter & jeweler.  However, I do clean it at least twice a year for open studio sales!!!!  Come for a visit.  For a detailed map of our Studio Tour go to

Studio Tour

Denise Landis/Studio Tour 2008

This weekend will be filled with excitement as the Artists of the Superstitions, a group  of artists inspired daily by the beauty of a huge mountain range in central Arizona, USA.  We will gather together at twenty-one artist studios in the small communities of Apache Junction and Gold Canyon located east of the Phoenix metro areas.  There are forty+ artists displaying items in multiple mediums ranging from the fine arts, functional arts, to creative crafts, and jewelry.    Studio doors open at 9am and remain so till 4pm both Saturday and Sunday.

Each studio is different, as are the artists’ personalities and individual art pieces.   I will be selling my handmade beaded jewelry and large Pointillism paintings as well as demonstrating my unique style of painting with “dots”.   Also at my studio is Cheryl Fecht, an oil painter, specializing in intricate interpretations of the Grand Canyon, Lake Powell, and more Arizona & New Mexico locations;  Lori Berry will have beautiful fused glass jewelry and art for sale; and Sandra Wilderman will have even more attractive paintings for customers to choose from as they shop for their holiday gifts.

Yes, the holidays will soon be here.  Why not buy original art and jewelry this year?  They make “the best” gifts.  For more information about this year’s Artists of the Superstitions Studio Tour and to obtain a map of each studio location, go to

Dunes    10 x 10" Benefit Painting

Dunes 10 x 10" Benefit Painting

Being sick, parched, and feverish reminded me of the Arizona desert dunes so I created “Dunes” a painting on canvas for the Mesa Art Center 10 x 10 Benefit Show which takes place this Saturday Evening (10/10/09).   The show will have  110 10 x 10″ works for show and sale by Arizona artists.  Each piece will be for sale for $100.00.  First come, first choice!  Doors open at 6pm.  All proceeds will benefit the Mesa Contemporary Arts Exhibitions and educational programs.
-$10 entrance fee at the door
-cash bar
I hope they raise lots of moolah!

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