Cristina Baltayian is an artist specializing in contemporary botanical art. Rather than working from photographs, she works with living plant subjects. At the beginning of her process, Cristina invests in careful observation of texture, color and form, recording her observations by sketching.
This meticulous examination acquaints her with the personality and characteristics of the plant. She develops an intimate knowledge of each subject. Eventually, building a composition including as much information as possible about the subject: leaf structure, flower structure, etc...
Classically trained since childhood in graphite, pen and ink, and gouache, as an adult Cristina studied advanced courses in drawing, two-dimensional design, colored pencil and watercolor.
She has taught art in private schools for grammar school through high school grades.
Fourteen years ago, she began studying Botanical Illustration with Olga Eysymontt, at the Los Angeles Arboretum and Botanic Gardens, and later with Anne-Marie Evans, Jenny Phillips, and Margaret Best, and travelled to the UK to study with world-renowned botanical artist Pandora Sellars.
For the past four years, Cristina has been teaching Botanical Art at the Los Angeles Arboretum and Botanic Gardens. She has also taught at the Virginia Robinson Gardens in Beverly Hills, performed demonstrations at the Getty Center, and taught workshops at various venues. She owns her own studio where she paints and teaches privately.
Cristina's work has been shown at Chapman University, Filoli, Los Angeles Arboretum, the Virginia Robinson Gardens, the San Diego Botanic Gardens among others. Her work is also found in private collections and is part of the florilegium at the Virginia Robinson Gardens.
Cristina is a member of the American Society of Botanical Artists, the Botanical Artist's Guild of Southern California and the Angeles Crest Artist Guild.