Photography
© Ely Abrums and Laura Walker

Walt Gonske

“In the past, I would have an idea for a painting and hold to that idea through to the finish.  I could pretty much see the end result before I started.  There were no surprises.  But now my understanding of the process is that the idea is just the first impulse.  From that first impulse forward, improvisation takes over.  The end result is not about that first idea, but is instead a record of all those impulses along the way.  Each stroke of paint carries emotion and power.”

Walt grew up in Irvington, New Jersey,  He studied for three years at an art school in Newark and, after that, three more years of study at the Frank Reilly School of Art.  He started his art career as a free-lance artist as a men’s fashion illustrator.  After a trip to visit his sister in Taos in 1971, he decided to move here and leave the fashion industry which was transitioning from illustrations to photography.

“My best work comes when I’m able to give up control, to trust my impulses.  Then the painting takes on a life of it’s own.  When I don’t know what is going to happen next, the process becomes full of surprise and wonder.”

Walt has been featured in numerous publications dating back to 1976.  In 2007 he held a one man show at the Taos Art Musuem and Fechin House. His paintings are included in notable collections including the Eiteljorg and The Gilcrease Museum.

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