Experience Colorado Through This Artist’s Delicate Works


Mixed-media artist Kristen Abbott

floral cyanotype by Kristen Abbott

Whether she’s searching for vintage postcards to incorporate into her paintings or the perfect leaves for her recent wet cyanotype project, “The Language of Leaves,” Boulder-based mixed-media artist Kristen Abbott considers herself a treasure hunter. Here, she shares more about her process—and the meaning it yields.

You describe yourself as an intuitive painter. In the studio, I’m fearless. My practice is a means by which I can channel my emotions and thoughts, allowing them to take tangible form in the world. 

How do local landscapes spark your creativity? Nature has always been my primary inspiration, but since moving to Boulder in 2021, I’ve found myself even more captivated by the breathtaking beauty at the base of the Flatirons. Natural hues are guiding elements infusing my art with a sense of place and belonging.

artworks by Kristen Abbott on display on a gallery wall

a floral cyanotype by Kristen Abbott

This is especially evident in your wet cyanotype prints, which get their beauty from the Colorado sun and foliage. My process calls for me to embrace the flow of the seasons. For this project, I also started intentionally selecting leaves based on their symbolic meanings. For example, I can pair English ivy—a plant that symbolizes love, loyalty and strong emotional ties—with willow, which can represent humans’ capability to withstand hardship and loss. 

What do you hope viewers will take from your art? I want it to encourage introspection. But I also hope it kindles people’s curiosity and inspires them to appreciate the everyday beauty that envelops us.