After her studies she made name as a painter, in particular of portraits. She ceased painting, however, due to having the Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. Since, she has been writing among others on her Christian belief.
Leo Brabander: Ziekte en lijden voegen iets toe aan ons leven (Dutch: Disease and suffering add something to our lives), book chapter on Els Coppens van de Rijt in Geloven in Nederland. (Dutch: Believing in the Netherlands). Kampen: Kok, 2006, p. 38-43. ISBN 90-435-1303-2
Joep en Els Coppens. Neerpelt: De Dommelhof, 1971.