Charles H. Sanderson
1925 – 1993
I first met Charles Sanderson my junior year of high school in Wichita Kansas. He was one of 3 art teachers at the school. My plan was to take classes from all of them and he was second on the list. As it turned out I didn’t take a class from teacher #3 but re-enrolled in Mr. Sanderson’s class my senior year for 2 hours a day. Mr. Sanderson was an artist first and I admired that. It didn’t take away from his teaching abilities or his dedication to his students. It enhanced the experience.
He worked in watercolor and acrylic, painting rural Kansas scenes, many incorporating geometric elements. He painted city scenes and abstracts too. Sanderson was very active in the arts community locally with shows nationally and internationally also.
Mr. Sanderson created from within, he didn’t just re-create what he saw. At the same time he was very observant. To this day I can’t drive down the highway without noticing the distant trees and how they look just like some of Mr. Sanderson’s paintings with the tops appearing cut evenly across.
His influence went far beyond technique. He talked to his class about art shows and the public's questions about the artists work. Descriptions of an artists life both good and challenging were often included in the hour and often with a dash of his humor. He told us not to paint or draw what we didn't know. If we didn't know the sea, don't paint the sea. Paint what you know.
Years after graduation I would run into him in a mall or at an art show and he would always want to know what I was doing artistically. When others were dismissing the idea of art as a serious endeavor, Mr. Sanderson approached his students with expectation and optimism.
In Charles Sandersons art class you learned the whole of what it is to live an artists life.
Coutts Memorial Museum of Art in El Dorado Kansas posted this article about Charles Sanderson on their website.
Charles Sanderson in Retrospect
November 10 - December 17, 1999
In the middle of the Kansas Flint Hills, Charles H. Sanderson was born at Hamilton on March 6, 1925. He studied architecture at Kansas State University, transferring to Emporia State University where he earned a BA in art education. He completed his studies at Fort Hays State where he obtained his master of fine arts degree.
Choosing a career as an art instructor in the public schools, he taught at Altoona, Lyons (three years), EI Dorado (five years), and Wichita (twenty-six years). During these years he also taught classes for Butler County Community College, Kansas State University, Friends University, Wichita State University, Wichita Art Association and the Wichita Art Museum.
A gallery of Charles H. Sanderson paintings and videos are available to view on this website:
Images courtesy of Joel Sanderson.
We can view, study, appreciate artists works like no other time in history. The Internet is brimming with blogs and websites teeming with every style and subject of art. Daily Painters International Art Gallery and Artists International Gallery as examples. A day surfing the web or taking a stroll through a local gallery is a day of refreshment and uplift for the soul.