Born in Christchurch, Eleanor Hughes (nee Waymouth) studied under C.N. Worsley from 1901 to 1903. In 1904 She went to England and studied under Stanhope Forbes RI, ROI.
In 1910 she married English artist R.M Hughes and went to live in Lamorna, Penzance in 1911, in London 1914, and in 1915 settled down in St Buryan, Cornwall. In 1933 she was elected member of the Royal Insitute of Painters in Watercolours. Was mainly a watercolourist, but also did some etching.
In 1935 Fisher & Sons of Christchurch held an exhibition of her work; in 1938 she was still exhibiting. In addition she exhibited with the Canterbury School of Arts from 1902 until 1908 as Miss E.W Wayworth and from 1912 as Mrs Hughes.
Her work is held in the permanent collection of the National Gallery, Te Papa Tongarewa and the Robert McDougall.