Large Scale Harbor View: Hvar, Croatia

by Lydia Marie Elizabeth in

After my City Series, which were all at petite sizes of 5.5" x 7.7" ish, I wanted to try my hand at a larger scale format.
Most of my commissions range between 8" x 10" to 16" x 20," so my hands are trained to andrefined at this scale, and as I prepare for a grander series which also focuses on American Architecture over the coming summer, I'm interested in adapting my style and sense of detail to a larger format.

I must admit that the petite scale of my City Series really suited me, because it allowed me to labor over the details without the overall painting's completion taking too long.  Each piece taking me only a few sessions to get them perfected.

This 26" x 40" painting took more sessions, and to be entirely honest, I would have liked to do even more details in the distance.  The houses are technically large enough I could paint people in the windows washing laundry, or kitty cats bathing in the sun.  But that wasn't the focus of the painting, and to make it personal for it's purpose, it is void of human forms.

This is a town portrait of the island of Hvar, Croatia, completed for my husband's 32nd Birthday this past week.  It was one of our favorite spots along our tour of the country, and has recently become a hot spot for touring millennials. 
Chyea, I know. We are totes so hip.


Design Crush Tuesday: Watercolor Masters (Museum Day)

by Lydia Marie Elizabeth

Today I went to the much talked of American Watercolor exhibit at the Philadelphia Art Museum.
This illustration may or may not be a gross exageration. I may or may not be wearing heels, and I may or may not have snuck Lulu into the gallery with me today. #memberperks. 


 We, uh, I mean, I, was there the entire day. Practically. I did close down the show. I definitely saw like, three shift changes, while I walked through the exhibit a total of three times. Lulu didn't mind. She likes debating the character of John Ruskin and his influence on his students. 
Watercolors have really informed my love of art ever since I was a child. 
I loved how this exhibitions focus was on where watercolor began, what caused it to be so popular and it's progression over the late 1800s to the mid 1920s and now. 
To me, and I'm fairly certain everyone else, the Winslow Homers and the John Singer Sargent's were my favorite. Stood there all day as I did, I couldn't pick a favorite. They are too different. I wanted all of them. 
The exhibit was set up to showcase the tradition of watercolors- which, interestingly, was heavily used in Pennsylvania.  It was initially used primarily by women and, therefore, written off as a serious art. Later though with the influence of John Ruskin and celebrity Samuel Coleman and the emergence of the American Watercolor Society, it gained recognition and adoration.  It's stars in the 1920s were Homer and Sergent, and that is who this very tailored show focused on. 
While the medium began in America mimicking the British traditions, it fast became the iconic American medium-- completed quickly and with so many possibilities. 
Wouldn't you love my whole dissertation?? I could write one. 
But I think this exhibition gave me further fodder for contemplating my own work and it's significance in time and space. 
Particularly, John Singer Sargent pieces give me a little encouragement because he worked very hard at making his watercolors look effortless. He used rulers and compasses and measured everything out. Which, is what I do on all of my detailed finished work.  
This exhibit is such a big deal because watercolor are quite temperamental.  They are light sensitive and are therefore difficult to transport.  It is rare to find this many watercolors all in one place together due to this.  I highly recommend this show! I'm contemplating what print to have done for our house.. Winslow or Sargent....Winslow or Sargent...? :-/