Vance Sanderson

South Slave
Fort Smith
Primary Art Type: 
Box 1423
Fort Smith, NT X0E 0P0

Artist Story

I’m a self-taught painter. I make acrylic paintings on canvas, as well as logo designs, and design clothes with D’Arcy Moses. I have been pulled towards arts since I can remember  – I’ve always drawn comics and have always been fascinated by other artists. I have now been painting for 18 years. I grew up hunting and trapping, which is why I like to paint scenic landscapes from the land in the Thebacha region.

My creative process usually starts from spending time in nature. I’ll go on walks or I will spend time on the river, looking at what grows in the area. I’m in awe of the Shield, the trees, the flowers and mushrooms.  My biggest inspiration is to see how they all interweave and connect with each other. I especially love to paint trees. They are ever-changing and there is such a fascinating diversity to choose from: poplars, birch, jack pines and spruce, or even rotting trees with mushrooms growing in and out of them. The land gives me all the inspiration I need. If I go out and see a dragonfly, a flower, a beautiful night sky, or a bumblebee full of pollen, it never fails to inspire me.

I paint in my home, either in the morning or at night. I prefer to paint at those times because there are fewer distractions: just my art, music, coffee and me. Sometimes I paint from my mind and sometimes from photographs.  In those instances, it won’t look exactly the same, as I love to add some flare to my paintings. I put the acrylic down on canvas in a specific way, for a coarser, slightly imperfect finish. I developed the technique because I had a limited amount of brushes when I started painting, and even though I now have as many brushes as I can possibly use, I’ll still paint with two brushes. I will even do the small details with a bigger brush to create blotches. I like to work a bit backwards!

My favorite part is seeing what a painting becomes: to see how it looks like in the end, to feel that it is done. I will start in one way and then it will become something entirely different as I progress. I am my biggest critic, and I feel like I have to be, but I also love to ask others for ways to improve. When I paint, sometimes I feel lost, sometimes energized and at the same time, like I am in a new world of creativity.

Artist Bio: 

Vance Sanderson was born and raised in Fort Smith (Thebacha). He is a self-taught painter, who also works with language programming in the community. Over the years, Vance has donated many of his paintings to charities and fundraisers. He sells his artwork through Facebook and Instagram, as well as in person at local art shows and booths. He also accepts commissioned work upon request.

Last Updated: March 9, 2022

Artist Gallery