Lord's distinctive artistic style grew out of her fascination with oriental art and culture as well as Art Deco and early 1920s fashion. Although she never actually travelled to the East, she gleaned source material for her work from oriental paintings, tapestries, prints, manuscripts and other objects that she saw in museums and private collections.

Elyse Ashe Lord studied at Heatherley’s School of Art in Chelsea and first exhibited her work publicly in 1919 after the end of the war. Lord's early works were predominantly paintings, her first watercolour show took place in 1919, then in 1921 a show of drawings was held at The Brook Street Gallery. She was elected a full member of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours in 1922, and in 1923 The Fine Art Society issued her first colour prints. Five years later The Lefevre Gallery held a large exhibition comprising a group of 33 watercolours on silk and 54 prints.