ST. GEORGE — While this artist has dabbled in pottery, glass, oils, acrylics, pencils, alcohol inks, writing and even finger painting, watercolor has become her favorite. But it took time before she developed her craft. 

Watercolor art by Cheryl Sachse is pictured | Photo courtesy of Cheryl Sachse, St. George News

“What I really enjoy painting is people and crystals and flowers,” St. George artist Cheryl Sachse said. “I really love painting things that’s glass, that’s one of my favorite things. And I love things that pop out at you.”

Brought up by an artist mother, Sachse was immersed in art from a young age and nurtured to express herself creatively. Her earliest memory of painting dates back to when she was around 3 years old, she said, adding that gallery visits and witnessing live performances are cherished moments from her childhood.

Born in Price, she spent most of her years in Salt Lake City before moving to the Philippines for her father’s job. There, she completed grades ninth through 11th. Although she’d been painting her entire life, it wasn’t until high school that she took her first official art class. 

Together, she and her mother collaborated in selling their artwork at nearby craft fairs. Sachse painted items like sleighs adorned with enchanting Christmas scenes.

Watercolor art by Cheryl Sachse is pictured | Photo courtesy of Cheryl Sachse, St. George News

Until her mother’s passing in 2009, she had never explored watercolor painting. It was only after being handed down one of her mother’s watercolor sets that she began experimenting with the medium. Initially, she found it challenging and eventually abandoned it. However, in 2011, she made a firm decision to master watercolor painting, determined to succeed no matter what.

“It’s one of those mediums where if you don’t practice doing it, you can really mess up paintings,” she said. “And I messed up a lot.”

For six months, she immersed herself in mastering every aspect of watercolor. It was during this period that she discovered her passion for the medium, and it has remained her primary artistic expression to this day.

Art hasn’t always been Sachse’s full-time pursuit. Previously, she built a successful career in human resources, holding positions at prominent companies such as SkyWest and Utah Retirement Systems. She served as the president of Utah’s Society of Human Resource Management, overseeing a team of 14,000 HR representatives. Her responsibilities often took her to Washington D.C. for lobbying efforts.

Despite her demanding career, she pursued art as a side passion. It wasn’t until 2013, when her husband encouraged her, that she took the leap to display her artwork in a gallery for the first time. Overcoming her apprehension of familiar faces seeing her art, she chose to debut her first piece in a gallery in Mesquite rather than St. George.

“I had been painting just for fun for myself, and I didn’t think I was very good,” she said. “When I finally did it, that piece of art I put in won Best of Show and sold the same day it went in.”

Sachse’s artistic influence has expanded beyond borders, reaching five countries and numerous states. Within the local community, she has deeply engaged with the watercolor scene, first taking on the role of director of programs for the Southern Utah Art Guild before transitioning into vice president overseeing show management at the Dixie Watercolor Society, which she does today. 

Artist Cheryl Sachse stands next to her work showcased inside the Arrowhead Gallery in St. George, Utah, Feb. 27, 2024 | Photo by Jessi Bang, St. George News

Furthering her creative expression, Sachse is also a writer and illustrator. She illustrated her first children’s book, “Mooseberry, Mooseberry, Gooseberry Pie”, which was released in October 2018. She then wrote and illustrated her own book “What Hides Inside?”.

Sachse’s watercolor art can be seen inside the Arrowhead Gallery. Numerous paintings in her collection feature wildlife, often inspired by captivating images sent by her son, who works as a tour guide in Yellowstone and Alaska. Paintings inspired by a Native American festival are also showcased. A more extensive exhibition of her artwork is scheduled for April, where she will be featured as the artist of the month.

“This little boy and his father were dancing in front of me,” she said, pointing at one of her Native American paintings on the Arrowhead Gallery’s wall. “This little boy was so cute. He kept flirting. I bet he wasn’t more than four years old.”

Other local galleries featuring Sachse’s artwork include Gallery 35, Sears Gallery and the Mesquite Fine Arts Center. Find her art displayed in the Dixie Watercolor Society Spring Show, hosted at the St. George Art Museum until May 25.

“A lot of my inspiration is just crazy stuff,” she said, laughing. “I play with different things.”

For those eager to dive deeper into Sachse’s artistry, a tour of her private studio awaits. Email her at or connect on Facebook for more information.

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