Emotion, color and texture best describe a glance at a Walt Gonske painting. One's first response will be the weakest; the work will forever continue to grow in the mind's eye. Walt has a sophisticated creativity, with a passion for the chosen subject, whether it is New Mexico, Greece, Spain, his garden, a stillife or a nude. The subject becomes secondary to the creative process. The movement of paint and almost four decades of creativity have allowed Walt to trust his instincts and simply respond to the chosen composition.
Walt Gonske lives and breathes in a world of art; it is his obsession. He has an ever-evolving pile of great art books next to his bed that feeds his need for knowledge. He is always searching for a little more insight to an artist's work and the creative process of the profession he has chosen. As the years of gone by and one's knowledge increases, it is always wonderful to discover a great work that one has never seen by an artist one has always admired in some museum show that one may have traveled halfway around the world to see. This is Walt Gonske.
Walt speaks his creative truth in each finished work. There are no gimmicks, formulas or smoke and mirrors here, just pure creativity, energy, color, emotion and, of course, drawing. I do not believe Walt to be a procrastinator, as he is always excited to get after a new subject, whether it is the new fallen snow in the Rockies or a vase of cut flowers from his garden. Walt will not go back and work on a painting once it is finished on location. He lets that spoken truth stand on its own for all to see. Of all the artists I have known over the years, Walt's work is the one I have seen artists stand in front of and shake their head, wishing they too had the confidence to work with such freedom.
Whenever I visit Walt's studio, he has amazing works all over the place, most with little notecards attached of the intended destination - a gallery, museum show, magazine article, present for a niece or a donation for a cause. Walt has no need to worry of a demand for his paintings, only his ability to supply. His only constraint is time and years left of creativity. I had an artist friend tell me of a conversation he had with Walt a couple of years ago, where Walt was truly anxious that he only had, at best, 25 years of good creative time left.
In this world of art, there is a lot of decoration and not a lot of fine art. To counter that, Walt has spent his life determined to leave his mark through his paintings. It has been very successful and well worth the effort. He is an American Master with an amazing gift, and those of us who are fortunate enough to collect his work already know that it has changed our lives for the better.
- Bill Rey
Claggett / Rey Gallery