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!!!



Published & Awarded!

by Lydia Marie Elizabeth in

Hello, hello! Hellooooo!
This has been the summer of drinking Piña coladas and getting caught in the rain. Also spiders....
 I feel it has been quite a long stint since my last blithering and rambling blog updating all of you on my latest projects and happenings.  So here 'tis!   

Here's me, gulping down my sugarless latte (yes! Irrelevant fun fact first!! I've stopped taking sugar in my coffee. For those who knew that I took about a 1/2 cup of sugar usually, this has come as a big surprise.  And no, this isn't a 1770s plug against the British tax on sugar, it's pure enjoyment of flavor) and enjoying the first of my exciting news to share.


Lydia Marie Elizabeth featured in Stampington & Company's Artful Blogging Magazine (2).jpg

Danielle, the editor of Stampington & Company's Artful Blogging magazine reached out to me early May for an article for her magazine. I know editors are always looking for fresh content- but this is a huge huge compliment to me. And I'm so flattered to have been selected, approved, and printed!!!

Danielle designed a beautiful eight page spread for my artwork and article, and it is available NOW!!! :)
Throughout the article I detail how blogging has helped me to hone my brand and craft better. 
Guys, this makes three print magazines I've been included in this year; Philly Current, The Knot New Jersey, and now Artful Blogging (which you can purchase through the link!)
  WHAATTT?!?!?! Is this real life?!?! 
YES! It is! Look, look! There I am! Name, artwork, paint brushes, sunglasses and all. And the first spread features two of my favorite pieces.  ( Both pieces sold independly last year.) The left painting was a study of wood paneling with a whimsical "master copy" of a Franz Klein black and white period piece above the mantle, and the second which was an illustration of Ralph Lauren's Fall Winter 2016 collection.  This piece featured the reconstruction of Ralph's New York Polo Bar and all Ralph's gorgeous models (INCLUDING IRISH SETTER MODEL!) posed so elegantly and effortlessly around. 

Lydia Marie Elizabeth featured in Stampington & Company's Artful Blogging Magazine- featuring Franz Klien whimsical master coper and Ralph Lauren Fashion Week Illustra.jpg

Well, I received this copy the minute I walked in after painting the most glamorous wedding of my life at the Barnes Foundation (more on this to come!) and exhausted doesn't really cover it. I was shot. As usual I showed up about three hours early to start capturing the scene.  Once guests are seated and the ceremony starts I'm painting as fast as I can- vigorously splashing color to and fro to capture as much of the most important aspects of the scene in real time.  Half way through the outdoor ceremony the sky just let it all go- the whole thing. I wasn't sure there was going to be anything left. IT POURED. (which, I must pause and say- was kind of awesome. Because everyone was under cover and the rain was all in the background- and the draperies were swaying in the breeze- it was pretty epic. If it was going to rain on your wedding day- you'd want it to rain like this.) Anyway- the string quartet had a moment of panic retreating to the back corner of the site, but I had been aptly placed, and was safe and dry and successfully captured all the spontaneity of the day. 
As I limped back up the street to my apartment, perhaps just a tad damp,  I blissfully opened the cover and fell asleep on our sofa still in wedding live-painter garb at 7 pm. with Lulu somewhere in the mix purring in pride! 


 (fear not, online sales will be available 9.16.17 right here on my website shop!) 
A day and a half later I was traveling up the long, twisty, busy New England coast with my cousin and her one and a half year old to Maine.  The second week we were in Maine, I was in an art show that entirely depleted my allotted pre-sale 2018 Around the World Calendars and several original paintings.  

Lydia Marie Elizabeth, Rangeley Maine 2018 Around the World Calendar pre-sale sells out.jpg

You really can't tell her, but about three hours after this photo- my entire family was busily huddled under my tent as the SKY LET IT ALLLLLLL GO AGAIN and we were in a TORRENTIAL down pour. This time, however, stakes were a little higher as coverage was slighter. SOMEHOW we got all the artwork unharmed to the car. But I was soaked to the bone. 
Where do the spiders come in, you ask? Well, I wish I could ask the same thing. 
Maine. Has a problem this year. With large, disgusting, creepy, spawn-of-Satan spiders. 
So. After the Maine art show, Soaked!!! to the bone, (and humiliatingly entirely see-through!) I climb into the car and there it is. The first offender. A spider weighing about my own weight, just hitchhiking on my skirt. I scream bloody murder and sort of black out or something. A moments later, I came to and the spider was on the other side of the car in multiple pieces. Phew. 
But we had pina coladas that week which made getting caught in the rain a bit better.


Mystic Outdoor Art Festival, Beonne Beronda award 2017, Best New Artist, watercolor 3.jpg
Lydia Marie Elizabeth and beloved Clients the Romanos at the Mystic utdoor Art Festival, 2017.jpg
husband on brand (2).jpg

Husband dressed "on brand!"

Col. David C. Smith (R) with wife, Diana and daughter Lydia Marie Elizabeth, Beonne Beronda award winner at Camp Niantic, Niantic CT..jpg

Fun fact: My dad trained at Camp Niantic early in his Military career, and later funded all the newest buildings from DC when we moved to Virginia. We stayed on base and it was so fun and beautiful.

The very next week, we caravaned down the coast, listening to political talk radio and stopping at all the linen outlet stores along the way, (as one does....) to Mystic, Connecticut. This show is the first two-day show I have been a part of, and it's also one of the oldest juried art show on the East Coast.  To all of my mind, it's a huge deal I got into this show at all. There are several other artists at this show I was in awe of. 

The second morning of the show was the awards breakfast, which I wanted to attend and see all the artists from the event in one place. Being such a big deal show to me, the people who won the awards were of interest to me. My mom came with me out of people watching interest, but my dad and husband stayed with my tent to set up. 
There were first, second, and third place awards for every medium. Watercolor came and went to no surprise to me.  And it was very exciting to see everyone be recognized.

There were a few awards that were given in addition to these, that I was not expecting. And to my SHOCK! MY NAME WAS CALLED!!!!!
No, really. So shocked. I tripped over my chair and nearly cried when they handed me this gorgeous emerald green ribbon. 
The Beonne Boronda Award, the award's namesake photographed here, is for the best new-to-the-show artist.
See all the artist's awards here! 
Thrilled!! doesn't entirely capture it all. But it comes close enough.
Thanks for supporting the artwork that bubbles out of me. Xoxoxoxo

P.S. Spiders Part II. I came home to find that my studio had been taken over my jumping spiders. Omg I know, I know, but calm down. Thanks to Amazon, I got a wonderful spray that's been keeping them in their rightful place: dead.