A native of Wisconsin, Homer Ellertson studied at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and won a scholarship to study in France. In 1920 he joined the artists' colony at Tryon, in the mountains of western North Carolina. There he spent the rest of his life until his death at the early age of 42.
He exhibited widely in major American art centers, and was a member of AFA,Southern States Art League, and the Scandinavian American Society of Artists. In the 1920s his work is Modernist, with many of the subjects European. In the 1930s his work is American Scene, with a lighthearted sense of humor -- not typical of Depression-era artists -- that was lauded by the critics.
Ellertson worked in charcoal as well as watercolor, gouache, and oil. A multi-media retrospective of his oeuvre was exhibited at Tryon Fine Arts Center, Tryon NC, in 2000.