Essence of Touch: Exhibit of Finger Painting by Local Artist Wendy Van Fleet Opens June 10 at Colorado State University

The essence of nature and human nature is the core of a new exhibit at the First National Bank Gallery at Colorado State University’s Morgan Library. An opening reception will be held from 6- 8 p.m. Thursday, June 10. The exhibit will run through Sept. 26.

Artist Wendy Van Fleet creates vibrant works by painting with her hands and fingers. “This technique has evolved from working many years with chalk pastels where I used my hands to manipulate and blend the color directly on the paper,” Van Fleet said. “Being able to connect with the medium to the image is very important in my process and engages my visual and kinesthetic senses.”

Most of Van Fleet’s recent work is based on flowers and reminiscent of Georgia O’Keefe’s work.

“My art conveys the essence of nature and human nature; the connection that is shared beyond what is seen physically,” said Van Fleet. “Flowers will bloom only when the conditions in which they grow are conducive for each particular species. The time of year they bloom varies based on location and regional factors. Their life cycle begins from a planted seed, sprouts and eventually becomes a full bloom soon to wither and die; and the cycle begins again. Life cycles and seasonal changes constantly remind us of the passing of time. Our culture is obsessed with time and the attempt to manage and control it, myself included. Painting allows me the opportunity to become lost in time.”

About the Artist

Van Fleet grew up in San Jose, Calif. As a child, she was fascinated with color. One of her favorite activities was sorting her crayons by color, from light to dark; the colors needed to transition nicely in the box. It was as a young adult just out of high school that her passion for art ignited. Van Fleet’s artistic education is an eclectic collection of courses taken in fashion design and graphic design and work as a floral designer. She received her bachelor’s in art from San Jose State University in 1996 and has lived in Fort Collins for 14 years.