Karen Boggs Bryant
I grew up in a rural part of Colorado, where horseback riding was joyful part of my daily life. I rode bareback, so I didn’t carry a lot around with me, but I did always have a pocket-sized sketchbook and pencil. While my horse grazed, I sketched. I drew horses, old barns and corrals, mountains and, especially – plants. Everything from the first flower up in the spring (it was always the Pasque flower poking up through the snow) to the scrub oak that covered the mesas, caught my attention. I took all the art and biology classes Douglas County High offered! College art classes encouraged and guided me, brought new ideas and challenged me to continue exploring on my own. Over the many years since, I have done just that. One of my favorite periods was spent learning from a wonderful Colorado landscape painter, John Tucker. An elderly gentleman in his 90s, he had a huge sense of humor and a lot of patience, in addition to amazing talent. He gave me my first introduction to the technique of layered transparent glazing, using acrylic paint.
In 1990 I discovered the art of scientific illustration. The branch of botanical illustration was particularly interesting to me. I was fascinated by such detailed, scientific accuracy being portrayed in beautiful pieces of art. I was hooked. I started taking classes in botanical illustration. I earned a certificate in Botanical Illustration in 1992 from the Colorado State University/Denver Botanic Gardens School of Botanical Illustration. I continued to take classes at DBG, and in 2016 earned a Foundational Certificate in Botanical Art and Illustration.