Fisher, the sister of the famous artist Abbott Handerson Thayer, began painting in the mid-1860's. Working mainly with watercolor, she specialized in depicting various flora and fauna, both cultivated and wild. She first started exhibiting at the Brooklyn Art Association in 1867 and frequently at the National Academy of Design. Between 1884 and 1887, she worked with the Prang Company of Boston who produced chromo-lithographs of her works.
C.S. Marlor, 'Ellen Thayer Fisher, Abbott's Sister' in The Journal of Long Island History, Fall 1975, vol. XII, no.1