About Denyse

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Early Days...

Denyse Klette's earliest memory of creating was when she was four and she spent hours copying the drawings out of her sister's 'How To Draw' book, which serendipitously was written by a Disney artist. When she was 8, Denyse announced to her parents that she should quit school and become an artist since that is what she knew she would be. Her parents made her stay in school but she was selling her line drawings by grade five so she could have "donut and butter tart" money and by 16 she had her first cartoon strip published in two local newspapers. 

Although she smiles at her childhood memories, Denyse was serious about her art at that early of an age and has never wavered from this career choice going on 45 years. She also never did return the book to her sister and it sits proudly amongst her vast collection of Disney art books.

Beginning of Career...

After moving to Toronto with her husband and young family she started working with her first mentor. Together they started a mural company and for five years they painted side-by-side. To this day, Denyse claims that she received the best education from working every day, one-on-one with a master of colour theory. It helped to lay down the foundation that she has continued to build over many decades.

When Denyse and her family moved back to the prairies, the City of Saskatoon commissioned her to complete a 12' tall, 30' long mural. For 25 years this colourful piece of art, featuring smiling children at the top of the Broadway Bridge, had welcomed visitors into the artsy shopping area.

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Always Creating...

Denyse soon gained the reputation of being able to capture the joy of children when doing portraits. Though she did formal portraits of corporate and political subjects she always cherished the opportunity to paint the innocence of being a child.

Awards and Television...

This is one of the reasons why she helped create the whimsical Belly Button Buddies series, showcasing children at play. Just before her first solo show she met writer/performer Nicole Haddock, and together they co-created the Belly Button Buddies. The series ended up encompassing two award-winning books, a musical CD, and a live theatrical show. The theatrical show was then turned into TV episodes that aired in Canada and the UK! 

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Changes Always Happening...

A once in a lifetime opportunity was presented to Denyse when a hotel developer commissioned her to do all the artwork for their 40 million dollar hotel and casino. The hotel features 39 of her originals and 450 Giclée prints throughout the guest rooms. This is one of her largest collections of work in one location.

Denyse had always believed that you should never stop learning and with that comes change. After a discussion with her daughter's and close girlfriends about self-esteem in woman, her creative mind began designing her next series of art. The Girls was debuted at a launch party filled with laughter and energy from women and men alike. The message at the show was to celebrate all the shapes and sizes that we come in and not to take ourselves quite so seriously. It was hard not to laugh as all of the art was based on the titles that women affectionately give their breasts.

Denyse decided that it should also be an event that raises awareness and funds for the research of breast cancer. At the time, her mother was going through breast cancer treatment and battling the terrible disease. This series and the message involved remains close to her heart.

Never Take for Granted...

During the treatment of her mom's cancer and the building of her new home, Denyse was involved in an accident that resulted in the severance of her left thumb. She paints with her right hand but the trauma of this event changed her view on life forever. She realized accidents and disease can steal suddenly what we take for granted everyday.

She stopped painting for a time and when she came back into her studio it was with the intention to use her time creating what made her heart happy. Two new series were born from this resolve. First was the Hanging Loose series; the whimsical characters that are captured in some of life's simple moments. At the beach with friends, sitting looking at the stars...

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Fairy Tale with a Twist...

One idea that had been simmering in her brain for a long time was that of the Princess and the Pea... but with a twist. She envisioned her Princesses, from all different countries, asleep on piles of bedding not bothered at all by the 'pea' hiding under the mattresses. This series takes the collector to so many different exotic locations.

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Shows and Licensing...

The Saskatchewan grants from CreativeSask made it possible for Denyse to exhibit her art at the Fine Art Expo in New York, Miami, and other international shows. She signed for six years with Surge licensing to take her art around the world. Owner Mark Freedman, was the marketing and llicensing genius for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. They were able to license her different series to be featured on several items such as quilting fabrics, puzzles, ornaments, purses. Her licensing continues to present.

During the soaring popularity of adult colouring books, Denyse signed a three book contract with Macmillan publishing. Each one featuring the whimsical world of fairies, then mermaids and concluded the series with gnomes. Though she had illustrated the BBB books she stated, '"the thrill of seeing your art in print form just never gets old." Her fans were thrilled.

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A New Sculpted World...

Though Denyse is absolutely devoted to painting, her creative heart is always wanting to learn more. She was fortunate to meet artist and sculptor Jacinthe Dugal-Lacrioux in Maimi. Together they made plans that when Jacinthe was passing through Saskatchewan she would stop and teach Denyse some of the technical elements of sculpting a bronze. After two weeks Denyse shipped her first bronze to the foundry. A whole new world was opened up to her. She quickly started working on this new dimension of art that would be featured at the different galleries and for her collectors to acquire.

Her first bronze was noticed by Octavio Gomez, who owns and operates the Wyland Galleries of Florida, he decided to debut her beloved Blue Bear bronze at the Fine Art expo at Disney World Epcot. This lead to the opportunity that would become the pinnacle in her art career.

Enter Disney...

Shortly after her visit to the gallery in Disney World, Denyse created her first Disney piece to submit to the Disney Fine Art. It was a small sparkly Tinkbell painting. A few months later, they told her that they were interested and would like her to design a couple more.

On Dec 5, 2019, Denyse signed the contract and became the first Canadian Disney Fine Artists. 'It is still a surreal feeling that I get to wake up each morning and get to create Disney artwork.'

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