About E. R. Whelan

artist Elizabeth R. Whelan and author Skip Finley present whaling captain portrait painting to Martha's Vineyard Museum, Oak Bluffs, Massachusetts

Elizabeth R. Whelan has become known for her ability to bring out the warmth and character of her sitters in her oil paintings. She enjoys contemporary and historic portraiture and feels deeply about honoring those who have passed with post-humous portraits that speak to their legacy.

Her art practice focuses on portraiture and botanical themes, with a science-based look at our world. Elizabeth Whelan is drawn to the complexity of plant ecosystems and our interconnectedness to our surroundings at an elemental level.

Using paint, Elizabeth supports the local communities with an interest in preserving heritage. She often paints those who would not otherwise consider portraiture, to tell future generations 'who we were'.

Elizabeth often pursues opportunities to collaborate beyond the art world. She believes in using strategic partnerships to promote business at all levels, and art brings joy and community to these collaborations. Her philosophy is that we can all succeed.

To commission a portrait or painting, or to enquire about purchasing a painting, please contact Elizabeth R. Whelan at erwhelan@gmail.com or call 508.560.0083

Member: Salmagundi Club, Portrait Society of America, American Society of Marine Artists, American Society of Botanical Artists, Coast Guard Art Program



I work in oils on canvas, painting mainly portraits of people, botanical, and marine subjects. With all, I feel a commitment to empathy and curiosity. I look for the essential nature of my subject matter.

The power of sight, combined with the ability to make thoughts into physical objects, is magic! I never take the artistic life for granted. It’s an honor to be able to paint, and I do it to express my delight and awe in the natural world.

I find that two basic concepts drive my artistic practice these days. I paint to represent the way I see, not only the color and detail but also the connection of everything living and inanimate on this Earth at a chemical element level. And I explore the constant motion, the growing, building, moving, and decaying of it all. I see and feel dynamic movement everywhere, even in the quietest scenes.

To convey these ideas, I anchor my paintings in solid composition and design, incorporating visual action while giving an overall sense of subject’s character. I prefer to paint people in natural settings and have them interact with the world.

I paint nature with a sense of motion and respect. I vary my approach from detailed representation to abstraction, to capture the scene as I see and feel it. People who enjoy my paintings remark on the warmth with which I treat my subject matter, human or otherwise.

So, when painting, I think about these fundamental connections. We are nature, we are part of the earth, the water and air, and connected to every other living organism. I paint with a science-based view and a desire for kindness, intelligence, and respect to be built between humans and the larger natural world.

-- Elizabeth R. Whelan