Live Painting the 75th Anniversary of Palm Beach's Civic Association at the Royal Poinciana

by Lydia Marie Elizabeth in


This past fall I was commissioned by the Royal Poinciana Plaza to Live paint a portrait of the 75th Anniversary celebration of the Palm Beach Civic Association. The Civic Association had awarded The Royal Poinciana Plaza with the town’s beautification award for transforming the space into an enchanting place to visit for the county’s elite.
Preparing, as I always do, with what to wear first, I consulted fashion designer Katie Fong based in Greenwich, CT and she outfitted me like a princess for the event, so I arrived in style. Setting up my paints before the guests arrived, I began to capture the setting sun on the white architecture and the joyful palms as they began to sway to the band’s warm up tunes.

“When Mr. John S. Phipps dreamt of The Royal Poinciana Plaza, he asked of John Volk to “design for us a shopping plaza in any style you wish; however, it must endure for fifty years.” John Volk, architect to America’s royal families like the Vanderbilts, DuPonts, Fords and Pulitzers, made this dream a reality.

The Royal Poinciana Plaza stands today with the inherent charm and idyllic beauty retained just as she did more than half a century ago. The glint of this charm can be seen in the curvature of the restored metalwork, the click of one’s heels on the black and white checkered terrazzo, or the warmth of the Florida sun while you sit in a tucked away courtyard.” (you can read more here)

VOILA! the final painting!

Lydia Marie Elizabeth Schrader live watercolor portrait for the Palm Beach Civic Association's 75th Anniversary at the Royal Poinciana Plaza in Palm Beach

The Plaza has been one of my favorite places to visit while in Palm Beach, with it’s absolutely magical courtyards brimming with blooming flowers and palms dancing in the breeze. The foliage casts sweet violet shadows over the white architecture, and the passageways give way into rich deep indigo shadows causing the colors to pop.
The evening was spectacular, and when I heard from both my friends at the Royal Poinciana and at the Civic Association in Palm Beach that they were going to film the painting I completed for them, I had to pinch myself. Watch the video above to get a little background on the video and to see gorgeous gal Brittany show off my painting!!

I LOVED creating this painting, and had SO much fun at this event. The Royal Poinciana Plaza team knows how to put on a party! After beginning the Live portrait of the event, I started sketching quick portraits in indigos, pinks, and greens of guests throughout the remainder of the evening. It was such fun to be able to do BOTH live painting and live portrait sketches in one event. To be honest, I wasn’t sure how well I’d be able to pull it off, but between you, me, and the internet- it was thrilling and went so well!
If you sat for me, Thank you, it was SUCH a pleasure! And Cheers to the Royal Poinciana and the Civic Association for their taste in all things, but most especially art! :)
Click through here for the full article on the Civic Association’s page here.

For more photos of the event click through to the article above or peruse some photographs below. All photographs are compliments of the very talented

Call me a Snow Bird

by Lydia Marie Elizabeth in

I hope this blog post finds you snuggled up on the sofa amid all your favorite people in the whole world drinking hot chocolate in pure bliss.

I write to you from chaos.

The low-down is that my husband is working on a FEMA project in Florida for the next six months, and Lulu and I both thought that the obvious step was that BOTH of us would go down to be with him.
When? you ask? Oh, at the government's beck and call; whom literally gave Brent a solid three day notice that he was leaving.
Where? you say? We don't know yet.
Isn't he already there? or somewhere? Supposedly- but they are "further deploying" him from where ever he is right now.

You know whats ridiculous- that's the simple version of the story. The full story is MUCH longer and convoluted.

All of this to say, our Christmas card looks like this this year. One suit case that made it there- in honor of the luggage that was lost. A kitty cat who hates traveling who has traveled more than any other cat I've known, a portable Christmas tree (a far cry from our 10' Christmas tree last year...) and Brent and I without shoes. The lost luggage held shoes....

Lydia Marie Elizabeth Christmas Card from Florida.jpg

Lulu and I are in transport now with our paint brushes and ribbon to continue painting and begin the first commissions of 2018 in sunny and warm Florida!!!

Get ready, friends, I have BIG plans for 2018.... if I can make it through the last few days of 2017 alive! :) Happiest Christmas darlings!!!