Sarah Sartain: A Very Talented Former Student

Something in the watercolor

Sarah Sartain’s paintings exude the joy she finds in everyday things.

Something in the watercolor

Evan Taylor

Sarah Sartain’s creative gene comes naturally: she is the daughter of famed comedian, actor and artist Gailard Sartain and his artist wife, Mary Jo Regier. The younger Sartain describes her work as joyful, emphasizing what makes her happy, including flowers “and things that are juicy and shiny.” 

At what age do you remember picking up your first paintbrush? My father is an artist, and I began painting alongside him when he thought I was old enough to not eat the paint. He always encouraged me to color, draw and paint.

Did your parents influence you to pursue an art career? Honestly, my parents did not think that pursuing an art career would be very lucrative, so I focused on getting my degree in early childhood education (which is also not very lucrative). I did, however, continue to take as many art classes as I could, because the need to create was always there. 

A watercolor class taught by Harriet Derrevere was the class that first sparked my interest in watercolor. I also studied under
Kelley Vandiver, and his classes made me realize that I might be able to turn my art into a career.

Which type of watercolor artistry defines your work? I enjoy painting still lifes. I paint the things that make me happy, like candy, birds, dogs, flowers or items from the past that have good memories. I like to paint reflections and things that are juicy and shiny. I really enjoy the challenge of detail and tone on tone.

Where can your work be seen locally? My work is exclusively represented in Tulsa by Joseph Gierek Fine Art (1342 E. 11th St.) and is on continuous display. I am also in the process of approaching other galleries throughout the region for representation.

Any specific characteristics that define your watercolor work? I am mainly a watercolor artist but am branching out into acrylics. I would describe my art as joyful.

What is on your career “bucket list”? If I were to have an artist’s bucket list, the first thing would be to continue to grow as an artist and learn how to paint with different media and different surfaces. The second would be to travel and explore places that I haven’t visited for ideas and to have more experiences to draw from for my future paintings. The third is to just simply do more of the first two on my list.

What’s your advice to upcoming artists? My advice is to never give up on a piece. There’s always a way to fix a problem, but should that not work out, try not to get too frustrated. As in life, every mistake is a learning experience. Make friends with other artists that can help you grow and hone your craft. Challenge yourself.

To view Sartain’s work on display at Joseph Gierek Fine Art, visit