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Style Magazine

Randy Honerlah

Nov 03, 2014 04:26PM ● By Style

Photo by Dante Fontana © Style Media Group

Although Randy Honerlah first picked up a paintbrush as a young boy and studied art in college, his professional path led him to IT management, a career he pursued for over 30 years. Recently retired, Honerlah now has the freedom to follow an artistic path and create whenever inspiration strikes. Currently showing locally at Gold Country Artists’ Gallery, Honerlah’s colorful, contemporary nature scenes and bold abstracts have won numerous awards and have been published in the book AcrylicWorks: The Best of Acrylic Painting.

HLB: How do you create your masterpieces?

RH: I love painting from photographs, either my own or those courtesy of friends. I then prepare the canvas with a few coats of gesso and depending on the look I want to create, I may use an under-painting of cadmium red, or another complementary color. I sketch out the larger outlines and then paint away! When completed, a painting will have many layers of glazes and textures.

HLB: You chose a very technical career—can you describe the relationship between your art and your then day job?

RH: During my career there was little opportunity to follow [my creative] calling; now that I’m retired, it has turned into my passion. When time did allow, I continued my art training with local artists. I’m really enjoying flexing the creative side now!

HLB: Have you ever been “blocked” as a painter? 

RH: There have been times where I’m in the middle of a painting, usually abstract, and I second-guess what I’m doing and myself. Looking through other artist’s work and how they approached their art always inspires me to see another way, or a color or composition that I could move to.

HLB: How did your art progress into your current impressionistic and abstract styles?

RH: After retiring and knowing I was going to jump in with both feet, I thought a lot about which styles and genres I’m most attracted to. I thought that abstracts were more contemporary and that acrylics would achieve the look I wanted. After painting abstracts for a few years, I decided, with the urging of some friends, that I should paint something they could more easily relate to. My landscapes are recognizable and have the painterly look I’ve always admired with the impressionists. I guess one would say my style is now melding into abstract-impressionism.

HLB: You grew up in the Bay Area. What attracted you to the foothills?

RH: My wife, Sharon, and I love the foothills for its beauty, history, fun-loving people and overall sense of community. The vibrancy of the local art and artists is really exciting and another aspect of why [I call the] foothills home. Oh, and the wineries are fantastic!

HLB: Is their anything you would have done differently?

RH: There were times when I desperately wanted to paint and I didn’t make the effort, or I kept making excuses for not getting started. If you want to create something, don’t wait for everything to be “just right”—go for it!
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