Sylvia Portillo was born and raised in Los Angeles County’s San Fernando Valley. Like most children she loved to draw, unfortunately, sometimes on the walls next to her crib. She is most grateful to her mother and maternal grandmother for providing frequent visits to the Los Angeles County Art and history museums.
In 1969, Sylvia moved to Seattle where she became acquainted with many different art media. Amongst others, these included glassblowing, clay sculpting, linoleum and wood engraving relief printing. Following her 2001 graduation from the University of Washington’s Scientific Illustration Certificate program she has been a continuous member of both the national and local chapters respectively of the American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA) and The Pacific Northwest Botanical Artists (PNBA). She is also a member of the Wood Engravers’ Network (WEN), 2006-present and a past member of The Guild of Natural Science Illustrators, 2005-2015, both national level and local chapter.
Her primary focus is now on botanical and wildlife art, often combining them. Sylvia believes that scientific illustration is the perfect venue to combine her love of art and science and to share the beauty and wonder of nature as seen through her eyes. Her art can be found illustrating Poet’s Corner in Westminster Abby, by Joel Athey, Ph. D. and in the Seattle Art Museum Sculpture Garden’s Vivarium. Sylvia became a Parklane Gallery artist in 2016.