Elizabeth R. Whelan is a UK-born artist and portrait painter. She grew up in Canada and completed her education in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Since then, the Chesapeake Bay and New England coastlines have been her home. For many years she lived aboard a Bristol sailboat. She currently works from a studio in Edgartown on Martha's Vineyard, and a catboat is now her transportation of choice.
When Elizabeth decided to pivot from a two-decade career in the commercial arts in 2010, she took a workshop with famed painter Daniel Greene. From him she learned the basics, and for the next seven years painted on her own while she and her partner Bill Benns, a wooden boat builder, worked as caretakers on the remote Nashawena Island (part of the Elizabeth Islands of Massachusetts).
They were the only year-round residents; taking care of the island, a farm, a herd of Highland cattle, and living off the grid had a definite impact on her approach to life in general. And a second painting workshop in 2014 with acclaimed artist Burton Silverman helped her set a course for a fulfilling career in fine art.
Whelan's interests include maritime, agricultural, and botanical subjects, as well as people of all types. Now that she is back in the relative civilization of Edgartown, Elizabeth supports the local art and artisan communities with an interest in preserving heritage and mastery. Along with her commissioned portraits, she enjoys painting people who are highly skilled at creating work by hand. Elizabeth Whelan is also interested in using strategic partnerships to promote local businesses and artists. Her philosophy is that ‘we can all succeed’.
Elizabeth R. Whelan is represented on Martha's Vineyard by The Field Gallery in West Tisbury for her portraiture, by Craftworks Gallery in Oak Bluffs for her smaller landscapes and paintings with rural themes, and in the Boston area by Francesca Anderson Fine Art/Portraits North in Lexington, Massachusetts. And in 2019 the Mikel Hunter boutique in Hudson, NY, will also carrying a series of her work.
Member: Portrait Society of America (Patron), Cecelia Beaux Forum, Oil Painters of America, Seed Savers Exchange.