About The Artist
Gary Hartenhoff was born in Sioux Falls, SD in 1935. Surrounded by horizon touching fields of endless blue sky, he developed the desire to recreate what he saw around him. In high school, Gary took every art class offered and started painting design on cars and store windows, which lead to sign painting at a very early age.
In 1962 he was, once again, enrolling in painting and drawing workshops offered by Augustana Collage in Sioux Falls, the University of Minnesota and, finally the Scottsdale School of Art in Arizona.
Gary closed Hart Signs and headed west to pursue his dream. His travels brought him to the Pacific coast and southern California. There he spent the next 18 years with many different artists learning all he could about the profession of oil painting, from stretching canvas to framing and all the technical procedures in between.
Gary’s subject matter is as varied as his western wanderings – from serene seascapes to the rugged landscapes and cloudscapes of the Midwest as portraits of the American spirit to compelling still lifes.
Embracing the vastness, strength and solitude of nature, Gary captures the essence of his subjects with gifted and trained vision.
Tell me about your creative process and why you work in your chosen media. I work in oils. I believe oils best express the realism of nature.
What art do you most identify with? Representational.
What is your favorite or most inspirational place in South Dakota? The vastness and beauty of our rural areas.
Professionally, what’s your goal? To continue advancing my skills as an artists and the ability to see with a more developed eye.
What’s integral to the work of an artist? I can’t speak for other artists, for me it’s being honest with my product.
What role does the artist have in society? Providing beauty for the world to enjoy.
What’s your favorite piece of work that you have created? This constantly changes with the advancement of my skills and observations. What might have been my favorite work 10 years ago may be completely obsolete today.
What would people be surprised to learn about you? At age 80, there isn’t much surprise left in me.