I strive to view the world through a child-like lens — full of color, whimsy and honesty. For my entire career I have often juxtaposed kid-like drawings with “realistic” images, while occasionally adding a few written lines of “kid thought”. Other paintings have a more storybook feel. They still borrow from a whimsical, even child-like view, but are more inform in approach. In all of the above I try to paint loosely and full of energy. 


My work can be found in children’s hospitals, schools, churches, businesses and many private collections. Here is a sampling.


I often paint for families, churches and children’s hospitals. Sometimes I work directly with a child to create a piece of art. Commissions start at $1500. 

The process of working with me on a commission piece looks like this:

  1. I will ask you a series of questions that include, medium, size, style (“kid-like” or “serious”) and theme. This can happen on the phone, in person or through email.
  2. I will write out a description of the piece, and when applicable provide at least two phrases when text is being incorporated in the painting (the whimsical kid-like bits).
  3. I will edit when needed, and then after final approval of the concept will paint! It’s as easy as that.

Plas Fes Festivals

Acrylic on Canvas celebrating a couple's engagement

Mad Hatter

For New Holland Brewing's Knickerbocker Restaurant.

We Value People

For New Holland Brewing Value Statement


Acrylic on canvas for a private family commission

Own Your Poops

Acrylic on masonite for Worksighted Corporation


Watercolor and ink for a home

This was a commission for a kid’s room named — can you guess? There are many fun ways to customize a painting for a specific person.

Wilderness Guide

Acrylic on canvas for a financial planner

This was a commission for a financial management firm. They loaded me up with tools they use (like charts and diagrams) and we threw ideas around until I landed on this idea that their job is to guide their clients through the financial wilderness past the bears and to the bulls.

Octopus Harts

Acrylic on wood for the Detroit Children’s Hospital

This is one in a series for the new cardiac wing at DCH. It’s great to get to brighten the lives of kids. Here’s a very flattering (borderline embarrassing!) description by Grace Serra, the Art Advisor for Children’s Hospital of Michigan, about my work for them.

Collective Idea

Acrylic on canvas for Collective Idea Corporation

Focus on Today, Dream of Tomorrow

Acrylic on masonite for Worksighted Corporation

Zig Zag

Acrylic on canvas for a private family commission

Figure 1

For a Yarn Store

Gallery Representation

Armstrong DeGraaf International Fine Art
403 Water St, Saugatuck, MI 49453

Armstrong DeGraaf has an impressive collection of artists from all around the world (hence the “International” bit).  If you want to find challenging but accessible and beautiful work, head over there.  They will be happy to sell you a Joel Schoon Tanis original too!

Uptown Gallery & Frame Shop
56 E Lakewood Blvd #60, Holland, MI 49424

Prints are available at Uptown Gallery & Frame Shop in Holland, Michigan.