Colleen Hoffenbacker’s work explores floral motifs, drawing inspiration from the stunning natural beauty and thriving tech culture of the region. With a commercial art background and more than 20 years of experience painting from nature, Hoffenbacker possesses a profound understanding of the intricacy and beauty of nature and the impact of human activity on the environment. Her botanical paintings explore the evolving relationship between nature and technology, utilizing both traditional and digital mediums to capture the delicate essence of the natural world.
Hoffenbacker lives and works in Bellingham, Washington, situated between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C. Following a successful career in graphic art and vintage poster restoration, she studied traditional realism at the Academy of Classical Design. Her work is recognized in the permanent Lunar Codex collections, the first curated art mission to include female artists from around the globe on the surface of the moon. She is an award-winning artist, a Member with Distinction of American Women Artists, and a juried member of Women Painters of Washington. Her oil paintings have been featured in galleries, museums, and private collections and support the conservation efforts of environmental organizations.
I create floral paintings that envision a fertile, fantastical garden and reflect the beauty, transformative power, and diversity of the natural world. The ethos and spirit of imagination that emerged in the Renaissance holds great significance in my classical oil painting technique. My floral compositions reflect on the early machine age's admiration of nature's visual order and the potential of our contemporary machine learning era to reveal new perspectives. Like early oil painters who studied botanical forms and structures, I am fascinated by the complex natural patterns found in flowers and plant life. My paintings fuse traditional observational methods with modern technology's capacity for seeing the natural world anew. I aim to bridge the past reverence for nature with our current exploration of its unseen facets through AI. Specifically, AI can detect intricate patterns within organic forms unperceivable to humans alone. By thoughtfully incorporating these machine-generated visions into my floral art, I hope to expand the boundaries of creative expression. My goal is to align these emerging technological capabilities with the core human values that have long inspired appreciation and awe of the natural world. I am inspired by the timeless vision of human creativity flourishing in tandem with discovery through new tools. By fusing technology with patient observation, I hope to participate at the leading edge of this new era, where part discovery and part creation give rise to something novel, meaningful, and profoundly beautiful.