Janis Sanders – New Works at Maine Art Paintings and Sculpture

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.

Please click the links below to share on your own social media.