Glenn Howarth was born in 1946 in Vegreville Alberta. He completed his Bachelor of Fine Arts at the University of Victoria in 1970. Following graduation he worked as an art critic, initially for the Montreal Star and in 1971 for the Victoria Daily Times. Howarth began to paint full-time in 1973 after a period of study and work in Europe. Howarth became a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 1978. In the early 1980s, he became interested in the use of computer generated art and by 1983, he was so well renowned in the field that he was chosen as Canadian Commissioner at the XVII Sao Paolo Biennale and had his works shown along with three other Canadian computer artists.
Howarth taught extensively across Canada and until recently he was an instructor at the Victoria College of Art and Design. Howarth's work is represented in such collections as the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Glenbow Museum, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and the University of Victoria Art Collections.
In the final decade of his life Howarth painted scenes of BC, tondos filled with friends and acquaintances and large scenes of nudes in the landscape.