Black-Capped Chickadees on Sourwood
Elisabeth Paxton Oliver was born in Glasgow, Virginia. Because of the bias against women artists in her time, she, like S.E. Smith, used initials to conceal her gender, hoping to have her work judged on its own merits. Early in her career, she did Orientalist-style oil paintings based upon a trip to Morocco; according to family lore, one of these was selected by the jury for the Paris Salon. Later in life, Oliver moved to Tryon, North Carolina and found success with watercolor paintings of birds like the Black-Capped Chickadees, following in the footsteps of master ornithological painters John James Audubon and Rex Brasher, also on display at the Norton.