Sari Gaby's Teaching Methods

Sari Gaby, artist and painting instructor in Rochester, NY talks about her process. To take classes with Sari or commission a portrait, email her at: artheart54@hotmail.com


At Thomas H.S. yesterday, doing a portrait drawing workshop.  Was so inspiring for ME!  Love working with these kids, and their teacher Todd Stahl.  I was using some of the technique I learned last week from Susan Lyon, and it was very successful.  Feel so lucky to have had the expience of working with Sue.  I think that no matter how long one has been teaching, it is so important to try new ways of thinking, and to not get in a rut!

I am beginning a new portrait class on Saturdays next week, If interested, contact me NOW at: artheart54@hotmail.com.    Thank you!


Last chance to sign up for my new class!!!

Starting Saturday, April 28th, at Lucky Lotus Studio!  Portrait from the model, 6 weeks, 10-12pm, 160.00.  Check out the ad on Lucky Lotus' webpage, or e-mail me at:  artheart54@hotmail.com.  DO IT !


Been a busy lady!  Finished and framed 4 new pieces for the Rochester Art Club show,  been invited to put work in a show at RPO, am being interviewed this week for Subculture magazine, and am continuing to work on pieces for the show at RIT in July.  Whew. I felt guilty when I just wanted to cook and watch a movie last night.  I continued to feel guilty today (Sunday) when I shopped, did laundry, had an art friend over to eat the food I made, packed up the artwork to deliver tomorrow, and even took time to play on FB.  I even did a special conditioning treatment for my hair.
So, is it not part of our art to take care of ourselves, to take a time-out, to let our minds REST between the work?  Wish I had thought of this yesterday...next time I'll remember!


Well, life goes on, and some times the art does not. lots of family crisis, friends in need, and just hard times over the past month. So what has kept me from folding under all the stress? Drawing. Just drawing. Anything, and everything. Just pick up a pencil wherever I am, Dr. office, hospital, while on "hold", and I am transported...to that calm, quiet place where everything makes sense.  Shapes, form and line all come together like ocean waves, each one working with the next to make the whole. 

Drawing is my first friend.  When I was little, my crayons were my playmates, each color had a unique personality, and I knew them well.  Then at 8, I discovered pastels, and the world was never the same again.  My Mom got me my first REAL set of pastels when I was 12, and I would just look at the range of colors, and feel the texture, swooning like a lover.  It hasn't changed.  

Throughout this past month I have taken time to organize all the hundreds of pastels I have collected over the past 40 years. Throwing out old broken boxes and little, unusable bits, has been cathartic for me. I've been doing this in the wee hours when I can't sleep, worrying about a loved one, and like my old crayons, it has comforted me.

Sometimes we need that time away from producing to go back to the play that got us here... and isn't that what it's about?



WELL, been a little while... the stomach flu, family struggles, and a  friend in hospital. HOWEVER, I've been looking for a new venue, wrote up a long bio on my art career from high school to now, to be considered for a new local magazine, and just got the E-mail with congrats that I WILL be in the June issue of  SubCulture magazine!!! I will be the Artist Profile for that issue!  What is SubCulture? Well, it is a magazine for Rochester's creative small business owners, tattoo enthusiasts, artists, musicians, athletes, and just cool people! The premier issue was spread all over Rochester a month ago, and I was very impressed with the concept, writing, and feel of the magazine. Dawn Kelly, artist and friend put me in touch with Victor Gomez,(1/2 of the mags' creators), who asked me to submit an in depth bio,I did, and I'm in. After a horrendously stressful few weeks, this is just so great!  So now to think about what art to have published...I wish for all my problems to be like this for a bit!


I was really touched yesterday when I had a gathering with my portrait students.  I had come to the conclusion that the "drawing from life" class I've been teaching for 20 years was no longer viable for financial and other reasons, and to end it until I came up with another venue.  I was surprised at the response! One of the high school students teared up, lip quivering, and another just put her head down.  One of the adults in the class, who is a dynamic business owner, said she NEEDED my classes, that my teaching skills, and the class dynamic needed to continue. She even offered space at her design studio to keep things going in the meantime!
With the economy over the past few years, even with my tutoring five days a week, I have been just scraping by.  Sometimes I want to give up, then I get a letter, or a phone call from a parent, or a past student reminding me of how my influence on them had changed them for the better.  That's what keeps me going.  I'm not sure yet how things will morph this year, but I know it's time for a change, and I'm ready.   One thing is NOT going to change.  I will always teach...and my students are my rewards.


OK! Thanks for the great response on FB!  I would also like to let you know that I teach portrait classes, tutor in all mediums and subjects, and have an upcoming workshop coming up in Feb! The workshop is on "Expression in Portraiture". If you are interested in any of the above, please contact me at   artheart54@hotmail.com.  You will not be disappointed!  Thank you again for all the kind encouragement!


Well! Got some images up finally! Took them this morning with an old camera, no adjustments, no photoshop, the actual pieces are much richer, and all are for sale...enjoy!

The Necklace               colored pencil   8x12  

Lila Draped       colored pencil      8x10  

A Mermaid               colored pencil          11x14    

Study for "Waiting"    c. pencil      8x12  

Graphite sketch of Emily          8x10
"Waiting"         oil          18x24 


I'm so exited to have new members on my blog!!! Thank you for your interest. Now I'm even more motivated to photo graph and get my recent work up.  Most of the work on this site is quite dated.  As I said, I have several drawings I have been working on over the past few months.  They are colored pencil, some on hand made paper.  I have returned  to what I love- stories, fables, myths, mostly of female figures. I'm told there may not be a market for my work, but I say-whenever a piece of art is done with passion and love, it is appreciated in many forms! We shall see, I just have do do this right now! Again, thanks for joining me.


OH COOL! I just figured out how to put this on facebook, and you visited! WOW! Ok, thanks, and I will update with my new drawings as soon as I figure out how to do that...my so is sposed to help me....it's as they say, a learning curve. Starting an oil from one of the Mermaid drawings, have not gotten far as I've fighting a virus, but I'm cofee'd up, and willin to try! Later!


People have asked, why do you paint the things you paint, and what inspires you?  Well, I've been told that portraits, figures, fairy tales and mythology won't sell.  Maybe so, but it's what I love.  When I was a child, I was very shy and quiet. I loved my picture books, dressed up in scarves or whatever I could find to make believe I was in those beautiful stories I read. When I was 7 or so, someone gave us an old green satin ballgown dress to play in, and I remember dancing and spinning in it for hours, just to watch how the folds would move and glisten in the light...sometimes when I am drawing, that feeling of pure sensual joy returns. I use my models as a starting point, then my imagination takes over as I sketch, and the story unfolds...I see Persephone, or a sea creature emerging...or simply a certain expression that has to be explored, is enough.

I have begun a new series of work over the past few months, colored pencil stories,which I am now starting to paint in oil. I'll keep you posted. 


Hello!  I plan to start uploading pictures of my new work soon! Thanks for your patience!