Janis Sanders – New Work, Same Voice

02/01/2018 0 Comments

Summer Sail I by Janis Sanders Summer Sail II by Janis Sanders

“Man’s integration with and interdependence with nature was clear to me at an early age with the immersion in the agricultural environment a stone’s throw from home. This gave me an early foundation and appreciation for the bounties that surround us in the natural environment.”

Janis Sanders has always found his inspiration from the outside world and how it interacts with man and the objects we build. His stunning use of sky and light combined with structures and vessels has become his signature.

He explains it best when he said, “My self-assigned task for each work, is to convey the ethereal ‘thing’ of light in the paint, as the sun casts its breath on the world, a definite sky and subsequent horizon line define space. Each painting for me begins with the sky, it is like a curtain that is the backdrop for a vast stage.”

Side Street by Janis Sanders

For Sanders, each series of paintings develop a personality of their own, which really cannot be directed, he sees it happen in front of his eyes as he paints through the body of work. “There are a path and direction that develop—it can be a new gesture or color or both, in combination or separately, or a new way of describing familiar territory.”

With this said, Sanders’ new body of work represents what we know and love about his style as we know it, while taking it in a different, unexpectedly delightful direction.

“When I was at Mass College of Art, I was already developing my own voice. I definitely wanted to and put a conscious emphasis on developing my own way of expression,” says Sanders. “ I never want to re-iterate a style that someone else had developed and expressed exquisitely.”

Light From a Cottage by Janis Sanders

Sanders has kept this voice but has added to it, still keeping it very much his own. “One of the Impressionists is said to have said that in order to become a good painter, paint miles and miles of canvas,” shares Sanders. “I believe every painter and artist of any nature ultimately is self-taught. The best educations give the artist the tools, the fundamentals, and vocabulary to best express their intention. But the path, the personal volitional development, and evolution of their own voice comes from within, all driven by the mystery of an invisible force far beyond.”

Winter River by Janis Sanders

We welcome you to stop by and visit Janis Sanders’s entire collection. Our February hours are Thursday – Monday 10 am to 5 pm. As always you can see his works by clicking here, Janis Sanders – Artist Page or read more from Janis himself by clicking here Janis Sanders – Artists Insights and Stories.

6th Annual Choice Art Show – Cliff House and Roses by Janis Sanders

06/19/2017 0 Comments

**Come meet Janis at Toroso on Tuesday, June 20th from 5-7. Click here for details.

Cliff House and Roses by Janis Sanders

“This spot at the end of land at Bailey Island, Maine is continually overflowing with beauty and drama. The surf somehow dips and pounds the shore even on, what appear to be, calm ocean water days,” says Janis Sanders. “The thud and thunder resonate through you.”

Sanders stumbled upon this location a few years ago when en route to home from mid-coast Maine in late in June. “The sun was getting low, casting gold like chiffon over every surface,” he remembers. “It was seemingly palpable in the crisp, cool, soft breeze. I wanted to savor it, absorb it.”

Like all artists, Sanders takes liberties in this painting to portray the contrast and juxtaposition of this scene the first moment he took it in. “I have these ‘Aaah!’ moments. They are filled with glee and delight,” says Janis about the inspirations for Cliff House and Roses. “The movement of something so grand, while we are so small. It happens in seconds. Then I have to figure out how to take those few fleeting moments of emotion, observation and interaction and put them to paint.”

Sanders emphasis is on the movement of the wind and tenaciousness of the grasses. He has bold, broad gestures to indicate the sway and the strong stance of the flora. “This place is not timid, nor is my application of paint. The paint can pile up, and does, adding an element of three dimension and power, “ says Sanders. “Theory says I could smooth it out, instinct says to leave it alone, let it speak.”

Janis Sanders

To see more of our Janis Sanders collection visit Maine Art Shows from June 10 to June 29 to see the 6th Annual Choice Art Show in person. We are located at 10 Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk. The gallery is open every day from 11AM – 5PM. FMI, please call at 207-967-0049 or email at info@maine-art.com.

To see the complete the complete show on-line


To view our complete collection of Janis Sanders’s Work – Janis Sanders – Artist Page

To read more about Janis Sanders, his process, and his work – Janis Sanders – Artist Insights

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Creating a Moment – Janis H. Sanders

10/02/2016 0 Comments


A new show often brings fresh inspiration and untried ideas for an artist. It allows them to open doors and produce work that differs, even just slightly, from previous work. It is an opportunity to showcase their growth as an artist. This is definitely the case for Janis H. Sanders.

“This solo show has broadened my spectrum of theme and palette both, from the focused spotlight sunrise to a 360 degree view. I am thankful for it.  Sometimes we think of ourselves as ‘here’ and daylight and sunlight somewhere ‘out there,’ when in actuality, we all are enveloped in it,” says Sanders. “It’s not separate from us, we are a part of it. We are in it.”


The richness and light found in the collective work of Sanders’ solo show at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture is spectacular. His classic blue sky has taken on a fresh glow, his structures and landscapes contain fine details in vibrant colors, and the body of work itself contains a great deal of Maine imagery. This show has found a perfect home in our Kennebunk gallery.

“As I paint, I know in my gut and with each moving second, there is more evolving in front of me and within me. The outcome of the work is not clear, but I instinctively know there is more to be,” says Sanders. “For me there is no goal but the simple evolving and participation in the being and creation of the moment.”

Janis often compares his work to that of a musician or writer. He understands every detail enhances the feeling of exchange and communication. Images are catalysts for other images, and like words in a song or story, he allows the paint to guide him through this harmonic process.


We encourage everyone to take time this fall and view this incredible work in person. Sanders’ show will run until October 22, and the gallery is open every day from 10am to 6pm. If you can’t make it to Kennebunk, please view the work online at www.maine-art.com

To read more about Janis Sanders and his work at Maine Art in Kennebunk follow this link. Janis Sanders – Stories and Insights.

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A Question of Why and When – Insights into Janis Sanders

09/29/2016 0 Comments


“Fancy words like visceral. The same and different at once. I paint because I feel the beauty so deeply, I must do my best to convey the moments I have seen.”  ~ Janis H. Sanders

Janis Sanders has been painting since he was young. With time and effort he found success and was able to name “artist” as his vocation. Now, he makes it look easy, but it wasn’t always this way.

“In the beginning, I applied to a prestigious art organization. One of the questions posed was, ‘Why do you paint?.’ This was followed by a full page of blank space awaiting my reply.  I just didn’t have that much to say,” says Sanders.  “After careful consideration I simply wrote, ‘I must..’  The application was rejected. Now, years later, I am proudly a member of that organization. I will tell you though, I never changed my original answer to the fateful question of why I paint. Still and simply, I must.”

Growing up in upstate NY opened Sanders’ experiences and imagination to the wonders of the great outdoors. The big skies with billowy clouds in the summers pervaded the skyscape. Sanders always held a sense of wonder for the beauty and magnificence of Nature herself and never intends to improve her work, just share it.

“Near the end, the small finishing touches on a painting become the most important. It may be just a tweak, a tiny bit of color, a pastel shade or a deep rich shadow. My instinct tells me the right place,” says Sanders. “These tiny changes harmonize with the previous hours of work, and the piece begins to hum. Without them something indefinable, but nevertheless crucial, is simply lacking; wanting and incomplete.”

The choice to walk away from a piece of work is one of the hardest decisions to make. If there is always a bit to add or a hue to alter, when is a painting ever complete? When does an artist know he has done all he can to share his vision? Janis Sanders answers this with no hesitation.


“I am done when I have poured all my emotions of that first glance that stopped me and swept me away in the first place.  Recreating a particular scene into paint, without second-guessing myself, is difficult as it is. I won’t deny that. Yet, when I am sure of myself and my vision and my emotions, I can stop. There is a knowing catharsis, a deep feeling that I’ve done everything I possibly can. It is my best.”


We at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture are proud to showcase Sanders’ best. We encourage everyone to take time this fall to wander into Kennebunk and view this incredible work in person. Sanders’ show will run until October 22, and the gallery is open every day from 10am to 6pm. If you can’t make it in, please view the work online at www.maine-art.com

To read more about Janis Sanders and his work at Maine Art in Kennebunk follow this link.  Janis Sanders – Stories and Insights.

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Janis Sanders – New Works at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture

09/21/2016 0 Comments

Coast and Pines

As summer comes to a close, artist Janis H. Sanders remembers the sun and salt air through brilliant color and brushstrokes in his new show at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture in Kennebunk.

Sanders is an accomplished oil painter who has won awards for his distinctive painting style. He melds elements of American Realism with Modernism/Impressionism for a dramatically contemporary visual result. Many of Sanders’ paintings are done outside, “en plein air,” a method meaning “open air,” that was first introduced by French artists in the mid-19th century.

Sanders says, “Each of my works is done as spontaneously as possible, with only minimal blocking in of forms. I paint vigorously, expressively and physically, applying paint with a palette knife in areas of color, then smoothing and blending minimally to keep the paint fresh.”

A landlocked kid raised in upstate New York, Sanders grew into a true New Englander and continually celebrates its beauty through his work. His strong linear shapes of buildings and rooflines stand solid in contrast to the natural curves of land and sea. All are illuminated by sunlight casting gently across the varied surfaces.

“I feel the day, the sky, the atmosphere and the sun on things, just as I did as a kid, with the same amazement and awe and wonder,” he says. “I try to convey that moment of joy and presence through the scenes of my paintings without intention for nostalgia or sentimentality. Whether it is a farm in a pasture with a working barn or a lobster shack along a wharf, the sense of place is real.”

Known for his vibrant blue, the dominant color in much of his work, a Sanders sky catches the eye and holds it. The other elements, be it the rocky coast of Maine or an old house at the water’s edge, are always added later. “I begin each painting with the sky; to me the most important element,” says Sanders. “The sky is light, we are immersed in it. It’s the key to determining the entire atmosphere of the painting. Visually and practically, it provides the backdrop for the other objects in view,” says Sanders. “I paint those blue skies, each one new, each one fresh from the gut.”

Sanders has been represented by Maine Art for six years. This is his first solo show at the gallery on Western Avenue in Kennebunk, and we are excited to end the summer show season with his work. Amy Lewia, Gallery Director at Maine Art, says, “Janis is colorful. From his paintings to his attire to his demeanor, he is remarkable. His artwork exudes the same sentiment. It is difficult not to feel a great happiness when admiring his work.”


The Janis H. Sanders Show opens at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture, 14 Western Avenue, on Saturday, September 24, at 10 am. There will be an Artist Reception that evening from 5-7 pm with the artist in attendance. The show runs through Saturday, October 22, and is open daily from 10 am to 6 pm. FMI call 207-967-2803. The show can be viewed online beginning Wednesday, September 21, at www.maine-art.com/shows.

To read more about Janis Sanders and his work at Maine Art check out our blog. Janis Sanders, Stories and Insights.

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Janis H. Sanders on Headlight and Shadows – An Artist’s Choice

06/17/2016 0 Comments

Sanders_Headlight and Shadows

Monhegan Light is an inspiration as a symbol, as well as a physical structure from many views and perspectives.  As visitors, we often come by day to view the lighthouse and the stunning coast surrounding it.  Rarely does the iconic place have guests in the evening. Except maybe for one of our artists, Janis H. Sanders.  Head Light and Shadows is the result of one of these visits.

“The very bright, nearly blinding, light casting across the facade of the buildings and boat contrasted with unequivocal shadows immediately caught my attention and imagination. I then had to translate the scene into paint,” says Sanders. “The vision is to portray a particular, singular moment of light on a surface.”

This is an experience for Sanders that is never to be repeated. The continually changing atmospheric conditions, light, humidity, cloud cover and myriads of other factors will not allow it.  “Of course, my own perception, mood and interpretive state of mind comes into play,” he says, “as well as, my color palette selections.”

“With any endeavor, my aim is emotional; I want, and the mechanics determine, the shifting process to an outcome,” says Sanders. It is not always necessarily to a conclusion. The completion and achievement of a target finishes one phase, and simultaneously sets the groundwork and stage for the next. “To relish the surprises that happen along the way, in both color and compositional interactions, is a pure delight. If I let it be, if I let the painting paint itself, I become merely a guide, the conduit.”

In the beginning of his excursion into paint years ago, Sanders tried to steer the paint throughout the experience. “I had in mind a destination at the outset,” he says. Yet, the more he painted the more he realized the objective in paint is only a vague ephemeral outline. Sanders finds connection with Edward Hopper, a prominent American realist painter. “It is more about the interaction,” says Sanders. “If I allow myself to go for the ride, I always find satisfaction in the journey itself.”

Head Light and Shadow is the Artist’s Choice piece for Janis H. Sanders in the Choice Art Show, and will be on display at Maine Art Shows at 10 Chase Hill in Kennebunk until June 30th. Please stop in any day from 11am – 5pm.  The Choice Art Show is also available to view online by clicking here; Choice Art Show.


If you are interested in reading more about Janis Sanders and his work at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture on our blog, click here. You can also visit his Artist Page at www.maine-art.com to view our entire collection of Sanders work.

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Barn Talk with Janis H. Sanders

11/20/2015 0 Comments


“Barns and old houses are wonderful and wondrous places; places where people have worked and played and lived and created. They have their own simple functional beauty. They are artifacts left in their own footsteps… footprints walked away from,” says Janis H. Sanders during a recent discussion about one of his favorite inspirations. “The echoes are still in the air if you listen just right.”

Maine is full of these old places, and they seem to find their way into this artist’s path frequently. Yet, it is not just the physical that inspires Sanders. It is the history, the story of what was. “The late day light casts a melancholy and mysterious greeting across time that has long gone by, leaving us to wonder what and who and why. These mysteries will never be answered,” says Sanders. However, he can and does archive these everyday events, people and places in paint, knowing they were once important to someone.

“I saw a place just a couple of months ago near the edge of a woods outside Bar Harbor, Maine. It was a house left. The small front porch was falling off. I hesitated, reconsidered, and decided better not to tread. The posts and floorboards were rotted and loose. I merely peeked through the dusty windows instead.” Even without going in, the image stayed with Janis.  Maybe not appearing as a whole in one of his works, but just part.

Then there are times when a small piece or photograph of a place is needed as a physical reminder, a memento. Sanders tells of one where this was especially necessary. “It was an abandoned residence. The barn had collapsed onto itself, but it felt like a place where a person could settle and live and find a hospitable corner for themselves in this world. The place felt good, without strife. I wrenched one beautiful, silvered barn board with lots of lines and character, from the heap of boards and timber. I was careful to avoid the rusted ancient square-head nails. I wanted to have a connection to the place and its past, so I took it home.”

It is always amazing what is left behind. Things that are important to us as we look now, perhaps were not to the generation that left them behind. “Years ago, near Jamesville, New York, I came across a place,” tells Sanders. “Pushing down on the tongue of the ornate, old door latch, I opened the creaking door and entered carefully and cautiously. I was nearly tip-toeing in. It was late afternoon and sunlight streamed across a fully set, yet abandoned, simple, aged, dusty, dark stained wood kitchen table. The simple white plates and silverware shone in the light. The scene gave me the feeling that the inhabitants could return and startle me into an apologetic stammer at any moment. I was intruding into what still was their abandoned world.”  When this feeling comes, Janis honors it. “I work fast and take some reference pictures and mental notes and move on. I wonder about them and what was, and why, and about myself.” This respect he shows to the people and history of these old structures says much about Janis’s own character. It is what creates his moral obligation to pass on this beauty to others through his work.

1903_JHS1091 1903_JHS1089

We welcome you to come and see this love first-hand with our collection from Janis H. Sanders.  We are open all winter at our 14 Western Ave. location in Kennebunk. However, if you are not in the area, please visit his Artist’s Page on our website.

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Late Light – Janis H. Sanders

08/02/2015 0 Comments


Janis H. Sanders | Late Light | Oil on Panel | 40″ X 40”  $6800

“This house, this place, this moment are from another time, “ says Janis Sanders about “Late Light.” “Back when there was time…time to look, time to stop, time to absorb, time to imagine.” Anyone can see Maine. It is a true gift to see it through an artist’s eyes, such as Sanders.  The show, Maine. As they see it., was created for pieces like this; for artists like this. “’Late Light‘ is a place and a moment and a fragment in an overly hectic world,” Janis explains. “Here there is still a slice of present, of being here, in the here.”

Standing in front of this work, we, as guests, are allowed to create our own backstory. We are allowed to create our own ‘here.’  We wonder about the little home nestled between pine and sea, and we question what went through the artist’s mind as he sat down and began to paint. Ironically, the questions that went through his mind are not that unlike our own. “I was awestruck with this house, the late afternoon light, the furrowed coast rocks at half tide,” remembers Sanders. “When I first saw this scene there was a elegant thin woman in a straw hat standing on her front porch. She was looking across the glimmering water toward the west, her gaze intent on some unknown spot or object. I fell in love!”  Part of the wonder of “Late Light” is the fact that it is a reality, not a creation in an artist’s imagination. It is truly a charming scene Janis had the luck of stumbling upon on Five Islands in Georgetown, Maine. Even though he witnessed it, even though he experienced this place himself, still he had questions; questions about the house and questions about the woman.

“Who is she? Was it built for her? Did she build it with her own hands? What does she paint?  Does she rise with the sun each day?  What is the first thing she sees?  What is the last thing she sees?  What are the colors and textures of the day? Is there fog? Early day soft salmon colored skies?  There is no boat at her dock, how much privacy does she seek?  Has she grayed along with the weathered shingles of her home?  Have they stood together and built character together through storms and joys on this rugged shore through the many years?  Would she speak and reply if addressed answering my inquisitiveness, or would she stand silent, stoic with her porch overflowing with late day sunlight,  looking into the distance, following the sun across time?”

In art, there is always room for interpretation from the artist and the viewer. It is important to wonder, to reflect, to speculate. So… the big question… why does Sanders choose not to paint the figure of the woman he fell in love with? We don’t know, but it is a really good question.

If you too have fallen in love with the work of Janis H. Sanders and would like to see more, please visit the gallery at 14 Western Avenue or view it online on his Artist Page. Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture is very proud to have such a wonderful collection of his work. We also welcome you to see the rest of the Maine. As they see it. show at Maine Art Shows, 10 Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk or online at Maine. As they see it.


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Evening Light – Janis H. Sanders

06/16/2015 8 Comments


Set at the top of the island, the Monhegan Lifesaving Station overlooks Monhegan Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Now dormant, Janis found inspiration not only by what is, but by what was. “Turning and looking toward the Lifesaving Station, one cannot help but be moved by its intrepid stance against the elements, white and pure and resolute. History and future meet here on top of this hill, full and rich with contrasting emotions and physicalities, joy and sorrow, storms and respite, dark and light, as we walk by in a moment on a given warm summer evening, smell the salt air and continue our journey.”

What seems at first sight to be an uncomplicated display of boat and land, iconic of the coastal life, becomes more with time spent. “The strong linear shapes of the buildings and rooflines stand solid in contrast to the curves of the lifeboat itself, all illuminated by sunlight casting gently across the varied surfaces of manmade objects and rugged landscape,” says Sanders. “The shadows emphasize the simple contrast of light and dark as a physical entity itself, and as a symbol of our being in a deeper sense, of those lost at sea and of those who have survived.” Capable and experienced, but now empty, only stories still live in the Monhegan Lifesaving Station.  The tales of the keeper himself, of those rescued or in need, and of course painters like Janis H. Sanders, fill the spaces time left behind.  We are lucky to be able to experience one of those stories first hand here at the Choice Art Show in Kennebunk.

Monhegan is an inspiration in many of Janis’s pieces.  We welcome you to come visit both Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture and Maine Art Shows to experience more of his work. You can also view his full collection on his Artist Page on our website.

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