Elanore Ruth Colburn was born in Dayton Ohio and studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. She was taught by William Merit Chase and Frank Duveneck, and later became a teacher at AIC. Her interest in color theory was complemented by her marriage to her second husband Dr. Joseph E. Colburn, an eye doctor who experimented in color theory and values. Elanore later moved to Laguna Beach to live with her daughter Ruth Peabody, where they opened an art studio together in 1924. With help from her husband's research, she developed her own principle of “Dynamic Symmetry”. She served as director of the Laguna Beach Art Association from 1926 to 1929, and was a member of the San Diego Art Guild. Her Impressionist style was marked by heavy textures and powerful color combinations with human subjects, namely people at leisure or mothers with their children.