After leaving Art School with a Fine Art Degree, Michael Sanders moved to North Norfolk. At this time he painted landscapes mainly in watercolour and became a well-known local artist. As Michael began to travel more in Europe his painting style evolved and he worked a lot more in oils, He painted in Sienna, Florence and Paris and became more interested in texture and strongly contrasting light and shadow. He then spent a year living in Bangkok, working in watercolour and charcoal as well as oils. The work was vibrant, with bold strokes of charcoal, usually on paper. Michael Sanders won a prize in the Laing competition and his work was chosen for the Royal Institute of Oil Painters annual exhibition in the Mall Galleries. Michael then moved to the South of France, drawn by the light and atmosphere and set up a studio in Valbonne.
After six years of living abroad, Michael had a strong desire to return to England and put down his roots, in his words: "I felt a real urge to return to the UK where I now have two studios: one in Norfolk, and one in Cornwall. Both counties inspire me for different reasons and I enjoy the challenges both landscapes offer me. It is from my Cornish studio that new techniques have emerged, which have filtered through into my Norfolk landscapes. From the moment I could walk I held a paint brush, painting has always been a kind of spiritual crutch for me - always there to rely on. I paint almost every day - of course I take holidays but am always desperate to get back to my paints."