Paul Honatke, featured through December at Nevada City Winery, talks art |

Paul Honatke, featured through December at Nevada City Winery, talks art

“In my art I combine a loose drawing style with careful painting. The goal is to create a believable other world. A place where drawing throws conventions out the window and painting quietly brings them back in. 

The human subjects, in my paintings present a quietude which invites self-contemplation. Direct, and generally non-committal, they are every-persons in the world theater. Stylistically, I’ve been influenced by the usual suspects — Picasso, Matisse — and perhaps less obviously, Paul Klee. I like to think that I’ve put some distance between my work and those revered folk by developing a recognizable style of my own, particularly in the drawing.

Some of the paintings in this show “Electra Plus” are brand new, the rest were done over the past two years, approximately. With one or two exceptions, none of the subjects are drawn from life. Obviously! They are all interpretations and inventions. Sometimes spontaneous, sometimes culled from past sketchbooks, which constitute a rich resource of undeveloped ideas. A cast of characters in search of a play. 

Painting is a process of creating problems and finding solutions. I usually begin with a central figure to which I add other elements to create a narrative and develop composition. It’s a puzzle. In my recent work I find I am increasingly reliant on fine lines. They are the high notes that define the shapes and, I hope, make the image come alive. I am constantly striving for, and almost never achieving, perfection in this pursuit. It’s a bit obsessive maybe, but let’s call it passionate.

Some of the canvasses here have been treated with a ground/base of modeling paste to create an irregular textured surface.  I consider this as built-in visual interest; the texture being exploited through thin paint applications and their partial removal with sandpaper. Of course, this conflicts with the whole ‘perfect line’ thing.”

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