By Janice Elizabeth Berte, Contributing Writer
Marlborough – Artist Derrick Maurice Sanderson’s love for painting started many years ago as a child. He was always creative, he said, and when he reached the sixth grade, his enthusiasm for comic books consumed most of his time.
“My teachers would notice my drawings, and would give me special attention since they said I had a natural talent for drawing,” he recalled. “Painting and drawing just felt intuitive for me. As I got a little older, I would go to the town library in Mount Healthy, Ohio, and would look up certain artists and study what they were doing. I wanted to paint like some of the greats, but realized that you have to follow what comes naturally to you.”
Once he entered secondary school, an art class at Mount Healthy High School fostered his talent and laid the foundation for attending Diamond Oaks Vocational School for commercial and fine arts. He then attended the Art Advertising Academy of Cincinnati where he learned more of the commercial side of art, such as paste-up and technical drawing.
However, at 27, he became more involved in painting.
“I enjoy creating pieces because it relaxes me, and by nature, I am a happy-go-lucky man,” Sanderson said. “I get affected by the bright colors versus the darker shades because it is emotional for me. Painting dark drawings puts me in a dark mental space that doesn’t feel natural to me. I would describe my art as eclectic since there is a wide range of things to paint. I have a lot going on in my mind which results in a multitude of art pieces. I don’t have a favorite thing to paint or one genre or style of painting, although I do enjoy using bold colors in my works. Painting animals is something I relish and choose to paint them with vivid colors since it gives them strength.”
Sanderson considers himself a slow painter, and said he enjoys painting large pieces. If he does an abstract, he can usually paint two or three in an evening, but could also take a few weeks if there is a lot of detail. He is very particular in getting his point across, he noted and added that it must work for him as well as his audience. Much of his inspiration comes from his mother who always displayed his work in their home.
When his mother passed away from cancer in 2006, the pain was unbearable for Sanderson, he took a brief break from painting. But, after a bit, he remembered her advice that he has a special gift and should use it.
Most artists are inspired by other artists; for Sanderson, it is fellow African-American artist Paul Goodnight. He noted that he was immediately drawn in by Goodnight’s talent and the detail and the strength of the colors he chose. Later, he was fortunate enough to take a class with Goodnight as well.
Sanderson’s art is featured at open studios throughout New England.
To see more of his paintings, visit art-4-the-soul.wixsite.com/maurice