University of Tulsa alumnus Gailard Sartain is probably best known for his acting in more than 60 movies, but painting has been his lifelong passion and provides him with a different sort of creative outlet.
“Painting is much more insular than acting,” he said. “I don’t do it (paint) for someone else to pass judgment on it.”
He was influenced by University of Tulsa art faculty members Alexandre Hogue and Brad Place. Sartain said his years at TU provided him with “a wealth of influences” and exposed him to people, places, and ideas beyond what he knew in Oklahoma.
After graduation, he worked as an illustrator with another Tulsan, Paul Davis, in New York City. Sartain’s art went on to grace everything from magazine and album covers to greeting cards, but the vast majority of his works have been for family members.
Most of his paintings are acrylic. “It’s immediate,” he said. “Sometimes an idea dictates a different approach or medium, such as oil.”
His art does not have a particular theme, but he says he finds something he likes in one painting and then carries that idea onto another piece. In 2001 and 2007, his work was featured on the Tulsa International Mayfest posters. In 2010, he donated a painting to the Center for Individuals with Physical Challenges, which was auctioned off during a charity benefit.