Form, light space, time, perspective — in short, these comprise the elements that dovetail to shape my art. Recognizable subjects premised on direct observation automatically trigger contextual associations and connotations that can be accidental or deliberate depending on a particular work. My subjects emerge and engage my attention over time for no consciously preconceived reason. Time takes on meaning that differs from standard intervals. Tenses constantly shift. The compositions unfold and evolve over weeks, months, sometimes years. Taken together, my paintings and drawings become a sort of koinoi topoi, a personal collection of commonplaces. As in poetry, I, the artist, provide an image. Viewers bring their own experiences and perceptions to the image I present and come away with their own interpretations, which is exactly my intention.

The materials I employ are those painters have used for centuries: oil paint applied to Belgian linen stretched on wood frames; charcoal, graphite, or watercolor applied to heavy paper. My reasons for working in this manner are free from doctrinaire motives, apart from the simple fact I enjoy painting and drawing the way I do.

“There is a new kind of oddity and a renewed sense of provocation about painting like Walter Hatke's. [He] brings to his view an unblinking see everything and add could not be done much better.”
John Russell, New York Times