Lucia had seen some of Lydia Reynold’s work at a friend’s home and wondered if she could do something similar to Paltrow's walls in her Lookout Mountain home. Lydia and Lucia bounced around some ideas. They liked the idea of a scene moving from wall to wall around the room. They even went across the street to take pictures of the view from the western brow of the mountain.
Lydia planned to incorporate these vistas in the murals for the dining room and made up a few sample boards. Color was very important, and the two gals decided to use soft grey tones instead of sepia. The result is spectacular, with many shades of deep colors of the trees to light smoky tones of the mountains in the distance.
Lydia works with her sister-in-law Eugenia Garret on creating the perfect colors, and they make a dynamic duo. Eugenia mixes her own color wash to use as the final coat, making the work pure perfection! Needless to say, the Hopper dining room is spectacular.
Lydia was literally raised in an environment of art and creativity. Her father was the art supervisor for the city school system in Chattanooga, and her grandmother was a professional artist.
Lydia was smack dab in the middle of five siblings, all of them artistic with their own flairs. She laughs and says that you could never see the top of the dining room table because it was always covered with someone’s project or multiple projects. This environment gave her so much freedom of expression, sense of adventure in art and the ability to adapt to a multitude of styles and ideas.
Today, she uses this talent to beautify everything she touches. She has painted murals for countless nurseries - using lots of bunnies, birds, flowers and other animals - each with its own personality. Many wear whimsical hats or bows! With her own special flair, she paints nursery rhymes, under-the-sea murals and flower gardens with picnic scenes. She also paints furniture with special critters like Peter Rabbit, and tea party tables reminiscent of Mackenzie-Childs.
Powder rooms all over town have stars on the ceiling, beautiful trees or whimsical monkeys playfully scampering on the walls, as well as countless more enchanting scenes. Her work is on display at the Chattanooga Zoo; two 14-foot tall giraffes grace the entrance to their enclosure. Of course, they show the artist’s personality with their long eyelashes and mischievous smiles!
Lydia always had art in her heart, but in 1991 she obtained a business license and became a real professional, working with with Kids on the Block. At that time she was a busy young wife and mother with three adorable children, Laura Jane, Zack and Luke. Married to Wayne Reynolds, a teacher and basketball coach at McCallie, Lydia is beloved by folks far and wide. “Lydia Reynolds is one of the most wonderful women I have ever known,” said Bobbie Steffner. “In addition to being incredibly talented, she is kind and good. When I think of the phrase, ‘Be the change you want to see in the world,’ I think of Lydia. She makes the world a better place with her beauty, grace and flair.”
Lydia Reynolds has been using her artistic talent to bring beauty into homes and environments of so many people. She has a flair for matching her artwork to the personality of the home, and it can be whimsical or sophisticated, bright or muted, realistic or fantastic.
For one friend, Lydia painted limbs across the den; mounted on the limbs is the family’s collection of hand-carved birds. A forest of white aspen trees covers another friend’s room.
Some of her clients have a fascination with these extremely expensive wallpapers that are seen in the fine design magazines. Lydia can put a very similar design on the wall, painted by hand, working around windows and doors, without the waste of extra wallpaper. She is a genius with color, perspective and design. And a wonderful person to boot!
by Judy Rowland