Elena was born in Havana, Cuba, and came to the U.S. in 1961 as a result of Castro’s revolution, living in New Mexico with a foster family until her own family was able to leave. A resident of the Washington area since then, she studied architecture at Catholic University, gaining her first exposure to the local arts scene working at Walter Hopps’ Washington Gallery of Modern Art. She started painting in 1970 and studied later at the Corcoran School of Art. Her paintings have been exhibited nationally in juried and invitational shows, and she has traveled as artist-in-residence to seven different locations in the U.S. and abroad. A book about Elena’s life, Embracing America: a Cuban Exile Comes of Age, by Margaret Paris, was published by the University Presses of Florida in 2002. Elena studied botanical art at Brookside Gardens School of Botanical Art and Illustration and earned a Certificate in 2015. After retiring from work as an engineering design professional, she is currently a full-time artist and teaches botanical art.


Instructional Offerings

  • Private Lessons (get in touch if interested)
  • Classes, Workshops, and Demos (see schedule)

Online Presence

Contact Info

Professional Affiliations

  • American Society of Botanic Artists
  • Botanic Artists Society of the National Capital Region