Walter Gonske was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1942. He studied with the late Frank Reilly at the Art Students League in New York. At the age of thirty he gave up his successful career as a fashion illustrator in New York City and moved to Taos, New Mexico to paint landscapes. "It was the best move I've ever made," says Gonske in the book "40 Watercolorists and How They Work" by Susan E. Meyer.<br>
Gonske's work has been exhibited at the Eiteljorg Museum, Gilcrease Museum, and the Prix de West Invitational at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.