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Portrait of Gary Bukovnik

CIA News Highlight

July 19, 2019

Bukovnik built splendid career becoming fluent in flowers

A master of watercolor technique, the CIA alum uses his gifts to speak through floral compositions.

By Karen Sandstrom

If you stand in front of one of Gary Bukovnik’s big floral compositions, it feels like you’re looking at confidence in action. To control the distribution of watercolor seamlessly across several feet of paper takes a knowing hand. Bukovnik makes it look effortless.

But effortless it isn’t. Cleveland raised and CIA trained, Bukovnik has spent most of his 72 years mastering his medium, and in some ways he believes that he’s just finally getting it. Not long ago, he had a revelation while working on “Spring Light,” a 60-by-40-inch watercolor of delicate magnolia blossoms. “I...

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