Process and Innovation

Glenn Howarth was an innovator and artist very interested in process: he began working with tondo-shaped canvases, was an accomplished portraitist, and moved into computer graphic art in the early 80s. The way that he approached his computer work especially highlights an ongoing fascination with the layering of works and the process by which they come together. He applied the same stage-by-stage process to his painting by producing a seemingly abstract composition that would reveal itself at the last brushstroke. He sought to achieve this revelation of image through vibrant and sometimes garish colour relationships.

Wreck Beach #9 Glenn Howarth 1995 oil on canvas 65x65 Gift of the Estate of Michael C. Williams

Wreck Beach #9 (unfinished work), 1995, Gift of the Estate of Michael C. Williams.

His description of people at the nude Wreck Beach in Vancouver gives a clear idea of his conception of a scene and its colouration: “In the double circles (binoculars) body overlapped body for 600 yards. Orange skin, chocolate, tanned, sallow, lobster red, bone white, black, farm egg brown, milk chartreuse, and hair of all shades.”