Country life and family are both the inspiration and deepest pleasure of the British born textile artist, Elizabeth Orchard. She was a curious and creative child who grew up in the countryside of northern England and found nature to be her best friend.
From an early age, drawing and painting have always been her most expressive creative outlet. After a life-changing experience almost 20 years ago, she joined her youngest daughter who was studying in Florence and fell in love with the beauty of the city and countryside. Anxious to capture this new experience, she began to paint and soon her oil and acrylic canvases were drawing attention. Gallery showings evolved, architects and interior decorators came calling and private commissioned pieces became elaborate collaborations. Always mixing the pigments by hand and applying with both a knife and brush, Elizabeth’s contemporary paintings have captured fans world wide and earned her a reputable spot in the art world. About ten years ago, a friend brought Elizabeth a hand-painted sarong she wore as her wedding dress and asked if she would create a canvas painting of the sarong for their home as a memorial. The beautiful sarong inspired Elizabeth to try her creative talents hand-painting on silk.
No easy task, but never one to give up, Elizabeth researched and explored the materials and process until she had it mastered. As she explains “The silk has such a mind of its own, that it takes more focus and control to transfer my vision and more time and patience to achieve the end result, but I love the challenge it brings me and the delight it brings to others. Each scarf is a signed, art piece. Like a moment in time, no two are ever the same and I think that makes them extra special to each person that wears one, male or female”.
With a past career in fashion and design, Elizabeth has returned creating original, one-of-a kind scarves, inspired by the beauty of nature, the changing seasons, the structures of a city, the passion and personalities of people and the love of life. While still selling and fulfilling the need to paint diverse themes of her own inspirations, most scarves today are commissioned pieces. Clients world wide contact Elizabeth requesting certain color palates, themes and designs, that are often to coordinate with a wardrobe, hat, room décor, occasion or sentiment.
An important dignitary even requested a scarf to complete her outfit for a VIP luncheon incorporating elements of the silk wall paper in the room. A world-renown fashion designer has just commissioned a line of scarves to compliment her newest couture collection.
An art gallery in Cortona is currently showcasing her work. You won’t find Elizabeth’s scarves on the mass market. They will always remain individually unique, hand painted and signed. They are 100% silk, perfect for all occasions from the beach to the ballet, are the must-have travel accessory and are even washable.
The mother of two daughters, both married with children, Elizabeth enjoys life in England as well as Italy. She paints from the countryside in Florence.
“I couldn’t be happier or more content than when I can paint here in my garden on a beautiful warm day listening to music and surrounded by the smell of flowers and nature” she tells me as we sit sharing a glass of Prosecco. Elizabeth is a gentle, passionate, generous, extremely creative soul that has found peace and harmony in her life and is someone I feel so blessed to have met. She encourages visitors to her home studio, by appointment only.