Paul Honatke of Grass Valley |

Paul Honatke of Grass Valley

Describe your art: My paintings include a wide range of styles and genres, but mainly fall into the abstract category. Underlying all of my work is a loose drawing style combined with rich gradations of primary color.

How long doing it? I’ve been drawing as long as I can remember. I began focussing on painting in high school and have continued since then. That’s a few decades!

Why do you do it? I’m forever fascinated by the simple act of creating. The subtleties of line and color are truly limitless and powerful. I make art because no one else can quite represent the way I imagine things, and also because I always want to make the next painting better than the one before.

What do you hope to accomplish? Artistically I want to convey my message, whether it’s a general message of visual beauty or a more particular feeling or mood. In terms of practical accomplishment, I hope to be able to support myself by being immersed in creative, absorbing projects.

Does my art convey a message? My figurative work frequently portrays women in meditative thought. Basically I’m examining what it is to be consciously human. I think that considering a work of art or nature frees us from the outside world and puts us in touch with our true selves. I always compare painting to music; it’s transcendent.

Where do you want to be with this in the future? I want to be making better,more challenging art.

Any special training required? I also do digital art. For that you obviously need some technical knowledge. With painting, you can certainly learn some basics and some tricks, but I think it’s mostly intuitive. I learned a few things at art school, but mostly I remember it as four years of painting without distractions (girls and parties notwithstanding).

Favorite part? When a piece is well underway and the work flows. And the surprises and happy accidents that happen along the way that can lead a painting where you didn’t expect it to go.

Least favorite part? Marketing and promotion.

Time it takes? Varies widely. I’ll frequently revise a piece that’s been done for a long time, months or even years. Some paintings begin and end on the same day.

Is it hard to do? Yes and no. I find it a struggle at times and effortless at other times. It can be a tedious chore and it can be an absolutely joyful experience.

Persistence is a definite requirement, in both production and promotion; but if you love it you keep going. It is hard to make a living, especially when you’re creating work that may be considered “beyond the norm.”

Other comments: My next show is at the new South Pine Café from July 18th to August 31st, 660 Auburn Folsom Road in Auburn (745-0262); 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. It’s a beautiful new restaurant with South Pine’s excellent food.

Along with my canvasses, I’ll be featuring over twenty small painted tiles in a wide variety of styles. Most of these center on the “feminine mystique” but each is unique in subject. Very fun. It’s a great opportunity for collectors to pick up an affordable piece or two.

Visit my Web site ( to see all of my work including photography and digital work.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User