Elaine Badgley Arnoux was born in Omaha, Nebraska and moved to Southern California when she was 11. She was granted a scholarship to Chouinard Art Institute. Elaine Badgley Arnoux moved to San Luis Obispo, worked as a watercolorist depicting landscapes and buildings of the area. She helped found the San Luis Obispo Art Association in 1952 and was its first president. A painter, portraitist, teacher, activist and illustrator, Elaine Badgley Arnoux’s works are featured in the collections of numerous museums, including the San Francisco Fine Arts Museums, the National Women’s Museum in Washington, D.C., the Triton Museum of Art, the de Saisset Museum and the Berkeley Art Museum. Her book, The People of San Francisco: Lives of Accomplishment, features her portraiture of prominent Bay Area people.
She currently works out of her San Francisco studio.