Alumni Arts: Painter Colby A. Sanford
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The Momentous in a Moment

A painting by Colby A. Stanford of a man wearing glasses behind a tree.
Green Like Sunshine, acrylic on panel, 20″x16″.

“Like sweeping the floor or doing the dishes, painting is a daily meditative act that allows me to better live and appreciate my everyday life,” notes artist Colby A. Sanford (BFA ’18) on his website.

Growing up in Provo, Sanford loved to use his hands like his father. He drew and sketched as a child but leaned toward ceramics as he got older. Later, when he moved to China with his wife, Alicia Sheffield Sanford (’15), to work in a ceramics factory, Sanford turned to painting.

One summer while visiting Provo he had a successful backyard show of his art and realized he could make painting a career.

Sometimes paired with short poems, Sanford’s paintings are figurative and focus on his own experiences and relationships—chiefly with his wife and daughters. He seeks out the momentous inside of a moment and the not-so-ordinary in the ordinary: “It is between the strands of my wife’s hair when electrified in late afternoon light or nestled deep in the knit stitch of my daughter’s faded periwinkle blanket that I find my brightest moments of inspiration.” Find more of Sanford’s work at

A painting by Colby A. Stanford of a woman twisting her hair into an updo.
Done and Undone, acrylic on panel, 50″x48″.

Done and Undone 

Who is to say
the difference 
between being 
done and undone, 

full to the brim or 
finishing up or 
just beginning to run?