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, specializing in portraiture and painting marine and nature subject matter. I most enjoy highlighting the warmth of human stories and our connection to the world around us.

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.

I find that two basic concepts drive my artistic practice these days. First, I explore how to represent in paint the way I see, not only the color and detail but also the connection of everything living and inanimate. And secondly, I explore how to paint the constant motion, the growing, building, moving, and decaying of our world. I see 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 my sitter or subject’s character. People who enjoy my paintings remark on the care with which I treat my subject matter, human or otherwise.

I paint with a science-based view and a desire for kindness, intelligence, and respect to be built between humans, their creations, and the larger natural world. I feel a responsibility to record all our stories.


-- Elizabeth R. Whelan