July - September, 2018: A selection of my artwork is now available for the summer season at Evrgreen, a charming coffee shop in the townsite of Waskesiu in Prince Albert National Park!

Representation: I am honoured to have my work represented by these well-respected professional galleries:
Darrell Bell Gallery located in the Canada Building in downtown Saskatoon
Assiniboia Gallery in Regina, 2266 Smith Street- a vibrant, bustling part of town.

November 10, 2016: I was interviewed by Daily Paintworks as their Spotlight Artist for a week! Read my interview on the DPW News blog!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday Spotlight - Greg Hargarten

Winter Meadow, Anglin Lake
24 x 24"
© Greg Hargarten

I am absolutely thrilled that this Sunday Spotlight gives me the opportunity to introduce you to one of the most all-round creative guys I know, Greg Hargarten, a Saskatoon-based painter, musician and graphic artist. 

I was so happy that Greg sent the above painting to be included in the spotlight because it happens to be my absolute favorite Hargarten. "Winter Meadow, Anglin Lake" brings tears to my eyes I love it so much. Now I am not one to easily part with my cash, but I truly believe I would have bought it had it not already sold before I got to the opening. I am, however, a proud owner of a small study Greg painted at Fairy Island, Emma Lake.

I met Greg at the Emma Lake Kenderdine Campus in the summer of 2009 when we were enrolled in the same painting workshop, however I had actually heard about him and the group he paints with, "The Men Who Paint", the year before that. Greg and these guys are known to be prolific and have a reputation for squeezing every bit of painting time out of the day, including getting up in the wee hours of the morning to catch the sunrise (which can be as early as 4:30 in the summer). I was really excited to be in a class with him and to see him in action over that week. In that time he created several stunning pieces and I found him to be incredibly generous with feedback to others and quietly humble in his own work. A class act.

I mentioned that Greg is one of the most creative guys I know and that is not quite true- he is one of the most creative people I know. From my vantage point there is not much he takes on that does not contain a creative element and he is good at ALL of it: playing the drums and guitar, singing, songwriting, painting, film-making, graphic design to name a few. Please read on to see exactly what I mean and enjoy the photos he has generously shared of his art and adventures. Also, there are some great links that will take you to various locations on the world wide web where you will be entertained and enthralled by his work. Please check them out.
Autumn Gale, Lake of Two Rivers (sketch)
12 x 12"
© Greg Hargarten

At the age of fifteen, Greg started his first band, but it wasn’t until he gave up drumming and focused on songwriting that things started to happen. Playing with local bands on weekends and designing posters, T-shirts and album covers for fellow musicians during the week, he scraped together enough money to record. Under the pseudonym Ricasso he has since written, recorded and produced four full length CDs. Over the years, Greg’s songwriting has earned critical recognition by the industry and press, as well as air-play on commercial radio and campus stations across Canada. He is the two-time winner of ROCK102’s Radiostar National Songwriting Competition at Canada Music Week; he has had his songs covered by other artists and been included on numerous compilation albums. He has also produced several albums for other artists most notably Dancing with Angels, the award-winning debut album by Eileen Laverty. Greg's music is available (under Ricasso) at iTunes and at CDBaby.

Inspiration Point, Ivvavik, Yukon
© Greg Hargarten

A recent development in Greg's artistic career is his foray into film making which he began with the intention of producing videos for his music. His most notable music video, and my personal favorite, is “Dear Abbey Road” which he not only produced and directed, but also played all of the characters of a pseudo sixties band on a television show. This effort won him “Best Small Scale Production” at the Mann Gallery’s Reel Rave Short Film Festival. He has also produced a few short pieces focusing on his art. Please follow these links to enjoy Greg's music and film work:

Second Hand Love Song (the below painting "Coal Mine Ravine" can be seen in this video)

Coal Mine Ravine
36 x 48"
© Greg Hargarten

In 2005, Greg rediscovered his love of painting after a stay the University of Saskatchewan Emma Lake Kenderdine Campus. Although he hadn’t painted since high school, he felt suddenly at home. Focusing almost exclusively on landscapes, he returned to the campus every year until its closure in November 2012.

Inspired by the work and adventurous spirit of the early Canadian painters, particularly the Group of Seven, Greg has always enjoyed painting outdoors “en Plein Air” as well as in his studio. When in 2007, he met Cam Forrester, Ken Van Rees, Paul Trottier and Roger Trottier, artists who not only shared his passion with the Group of Seven but also his affinity to paint outdoors, the Men Who Paint were born. In June of 2011 he and the group were chosen from artists across the country by Parks Canada to paint at Ivvavik National Park in the Yukon Territory. Accompanied by Parks Canada staff and a camp cook, the Men Who Paint were based at the Sheep Creek Warden station on the Firth River. There they spent 10 days in tents, visiting various locations on foot, or in some instances by helicopter, to document the National Park which borders Alaska and the Beaufort Sea.

 on the Firth River
Ivvavik, Yukon
© Greg Hargarten

Of the over 100 works the group painted in Ivvavik, 60 of the most engaging have been reproduced in a book "Halfway to Heaven". This compilation documents the Men Who Paint’s artistic journey though the remote Ivvavik National Park. It includes reproductions of the paintings done on site and photographs of the the National Park. The book is available at Chapters, Indigo and online at Greg’s website.

© Greg Hargarten

© Greg Hargarten

With Men Who Paint or on his own, Greg has painted at numerous Saskatchewan and Canadian locations including Lac LaRonge, Jasper National Park, Prince Albert National Park and Ontario’s Algonquin Park. Greg’s artwork is held in private, corporate and museum collections including The Mann Gallery in Prince Albert and the Parks Canada Permanent Collections.

October at La Ronge
12 x 12"
© Greg Hargarten

Evening Gold
24 x 24"
© Greg Hargarten

presenting his painting to Gene Simmons
© Greg Hargarten

Shekinah Pond
24 x 24"
© Greg Hargarten

Summer Breeze, Echo Lake
8 x 10"
© Greg Hargarten

Spring In Cypress Hills
24 x 24"
© Greg Hargarten

Artist Statement
"I have always needed to create things. Throughout my life, creative projects have been the one constant, whether through music, graphic design, video, drawing or painting, it has been essential to my well being. It’s my life line and keeps me exploring and learning about the world around me.
Painting is a way for me to connect with time and place in a very fundamental way. A way to strip away the limitations of the real world and explore of the essence of places and things. There is an elegance and splendor in our world that is often overlooked by all of us in our day to day life. I paint to help myself and others appreciate the beauty that surrounds us all.

Through painting I strive to capture the essence of things without describing them completely. I like working in a quick and energetic pace, using acrylics because of the immediacy they afford me. I’ve recently begun working with larger canvases and brushes, trying to deliver bold deliberate strokes. My goal is to be the medium for creativity, allowing the paint to be applied to the canvas directly from experience without stopping too long in conscience thought. It’s this freedom that I enjoy and has produced my best work."

Shekinah Birch
18 x 24"
© Greg Hargarten

Greg’s artwork can be found at Black Spruce Gallery in Northside, Modern Country Interiors in Saskatoon and at the following Men Who Paint pop-up shows across Saskatchewan:

October 25-26     Saskatoon - 212-308  4th Avenue North
January  10-28     La Ronge - Mistaseni Building
April  2014         Regina - Hague Gallery
July/August 2014     Rosthern - Station Arts Centre

Please note that the above October 25-26 date is next weekend! If you are in Saskatoon at this time, I encourage you to find time to attend this show. Full details on this event can be found at the Men Who Paint Facebook fan page. While you are there you may as well "like" their page.






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