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Living Your Greatness

Jul 14, 2022

Peter W. Hart is a self-taught, Montreal artist. He fell in love with painting at the age of 39 by chance while flipping through a book that included a reproduction of Degas’ “Dancers”. This painting was a revelation to him and awakened a sudden and intense passion for art - especially for the works of the "Impressionists". 

Inspired by the paintings of iconic artists like Monet, Renoir, Manet, Courbet, Pissarro, and Van Gogh, Peter began painting and travelling the world to admire the original masterpieces. Painting started as a hobby in 1989 to relieve the stress of running one of the world’s leading employee recognition companies. After the successful sale of the company in 2019, painting has now become Peter’s full-time vocation. 

In his paintings, Hart crystallizes his moods, transposing his emotions onto canvas, wood, and other materials. Imbued with fiery energy, Peter's works never leave the viewer unmoved. Vivid and expressive, his pieces are inspired by figurative paintings from another era but are eminently contemporary. His colour palette, composed mainly of primary colours, is radiant. Each stroke is lively and assertive - the textures rich, and the movement compelling. Today, Peter finds joy in harnessing the spontaneity of acrylic and the three-dimensional density of mixed media using everyday items such as noodles, rice, and beads. 

Peter's works are an “ode to life.” They are defined in different collections; sometimes impactful like his close-ups of tulips and sunflowers; sometimes sunny and more languid such as his landscapes with fields and bodies of water; and sometimes purely abstract compositions with bold strokes and convoluted spirals. Peter often favours large or atypical canvases — in various shapes and dimensions, and often diptychs — but what’s striking is that each of his paintings, even the smallest, has a strong and flamboyant presence that seems to extend beyond their frame, generously occupying a space of their own.

A prolific artist, Peter permanently exhibits his work at his self-titled gallery located in the heart of Old Montreal. This is where he stays in touch with more than 1,200 collectors from over 30 different countries. He also participates in group exhibitions and finds immense pleasure in holding workshops with various charities, specifically, the homeless and kids who are traumatized or intellectually handicapped.

In this episode, Peter talks about his formative years growing up and what inspired him to become a creative artist. Peter is also a former water polo player on the Canadian Men’s National Team. He played with some of the best water polo players that ever played for Canada. Many of his former teammates have been recognized and have made it into the Canadian Water Polo Hall of Fame. Peter talks about the brotherhood he and his teammates fostered. He believes this is one of the reasons his water polo generation was so great!


Afterwards, Peter talks about his entrepreneurial spirit. He was the CEO and President of Rideau, Inc. He worked with the company for 50 years. Peter discusses how he helped build a better world for people, businesses and communities by focusing on the power of recognition. He also explains how anyone can learn how to foster creativity, innovation and an entrepreneurial mindset. Peter then talks about what separates a good artist from a great artist. Lastly, he provides his definition of greatness and what it means to him.


Host: Ben Mumme







Guest: Peter Hart







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