Artist Eli Halpin draws inspiration from her Alaskan childhood and the animals she encounters in everyday life.

By Courtney Runn, Photos courtesy of Eli Halpin

All animals are welcome in Eli Halpin’s studio. From blushing deer and rabbits with a sweet tooth to rainbow-colored cobras and goats in sweaters, no animal is excluded from Halpin’s whimsical collection of paintings and gifts. 

While Halpin currently has only one pet—Lefse, a Siamese cat lovingly named after her favorite Scandinavian potato-based flatbread—she grew up with rabbits, cats, hermit crabs, fish, birds and a dog. She remembers stopping during family road trips in her home state of Alaska to photograph wild animals and has fond memories of finding moose nibbling on leaves outside her bedroom window. 

Today, she takes inspiration from animals she encounters in everyday life, from colorful roosters she met on the Funky Chicken Coop Tour in Austin last year to sea life she swam with during a recent diving trip in Hawaii. 

Halpin has always been creative but started painting full time close to 17 years ago. Now she works at and sells her art from her studio at 1023 Springdale Road in East Austin. 

Her guiding aspiration is to paint every day, regardless of how she’s feeling. She dons her apron, and once the brush is in her hand, passion and creativity flow. 



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