Bowman was born in New York City and raised in Westport, Connecticut. She discovered an early talent for portraiture and went on to study illustration and photography at the Rhode Island School of Design, graduating with a B.F.A. in 1971. Bowman moved to Minnesota in the early 1970s and was first published in 1987 for her work in The House in the Snow by author M.J. Engh. Other titles in which she collaborated are The Night the Bells Rang by Natalie Kinsey-Warnock and Night of the Full Moon by Gloria Whelan. Later in her career, she shifted her focus toward portraiture.
Bowman's portrait sitters include members of Congress and the judiciary as well as private commissions. She teaches the art of portraiture in Minnesota.