Known in the art world for her reflective and abstract paintings, Elizabeth Orchard’s canvasses blend harmonious colours that work well on a large scale and in a contemporary setting. Her particular technique, always using a knife to work the paints, both in oil and acrylic, has won commissions all around the world to collectors attracted to her flowing style capturing the beauty of nature and the essence of the changing seasons, often inspired by her adopted home of Italy.
Of Anglo-Dutch descent, Elizabeth lives between Florence, in an old yet revamped coach house on the grounds of a grand villa on the leafy outskirts of the city’s southern border, and her home on the Isle of Man in the United Kingdom. With an early career in fashion, Elizabeth went on to create a successful business designing gesso-moldings based on centuries-old European styles working for many of the world’s top international hotels and for private clients. Yet, today, it is seems creative life has come full circle as a foray back into fashion is now on Elizabeth’s cards, bringing her artistic talent onto silk, creating individual, hand-painted scarves.
Not the normal canvas for most artists, Elizabeth began to create one-off silk scarves after being inspired by a client who was married in a hand-painted sarong and then commissioned Elizabeth to interpreted its design onto a canvas as a wedding momento… and she was immediately inspired, deciding to work on silk, as well as on canvas, treating each scarf as an individual piece of art using painting techniques to create one-of-a-kind pieces for fashion savvy women. Designs are inspired by nature and the colours plus textures of bark, water, stone, and flowers, and the architecture of the cities which surround her Italian home including the Renaissance capital, a city Elizabeth feels she has found her artisan calling.
Her Tuscan home is also her studio; a large coach house on the grounds of a historic palazzo in the countryside just south of Florence, where, especially in spring, she loves to paint outside surrounded by the the smells of the newly blossomed herb and rose garden, while Mozart plays in the background. A serene space within she says, “I couldn’t be happier or more content”. Elizabeth considers each scarf a piece of art to wear all year round and ideal for travelling; they are light, easy to pack yet remain versatile and can dress up an outfit in seconds, or as Elizabeth puts it, “be worn on the beach or at the ballet”, transforming the simplest outfit with its statement design. So what venues does this fashionable artisan frequent when in Florence? Find out, as Elizabeth shares her NINE below…