THIS WAY FOR
THIS WAY FOR
Landscape painter Maria Floyd holds a BA (Hons) in Fine Art & the History of Art from Goldsmiths College London, and later studied Illustration at Chelsea College of Art. She lives and works amid the rural beauty of Cornwall and Devon, where walking in the landscape is fundamental to her practice.
Working en plein air and at her Dartmoor studio, she makes drawings and paintings that respond directly to the landscape, capturing the raw, high energy beauty of coast and moorland through the instinctive placement of abstract shapes and expressive marks. Her work is for collectors who appreciate the spectacular beauty of the far west in all seasons and all weathers, from the soft lull of springtime to the violent sweep of winter skies, beating down upon the bleak and beautiful Atlantic ocean.
Walking on Dartmoor nearly every day with my dog, I experience the moor in all weathers. It is breathtaking to watch the changing seasons: the moor’s vast, open landscape offers dramatic skies that are constantly changing, from brooding clouds that tell of approaching storms, to shafts of bright sunlight that bathe the ground. I take my sketchbook and I sit and record what I see – from little valleys with small trees sheltering from the wind, to the rocky outcrops which reward me with far reaching views across the land – trying to capture a fleeting moment, clouds passing, the movement of the wind across the gorse and grass. I work quickly and expressively: the wind and the rain often physically affect the work, as I am out in the elements, and I welcome that. Every time I draw it is a different experience, and the way that I respond on any given day also varies. When I sit and contemplate my surroundings it feels new, sometimes still and peaceful, more often noisy with whispering grasses and breezy talk. When I walk on the moor I am aware of the colours and atmosphere of each day, as I follow in the footsteps of so many others before me, along ancient paths that tell tales of ancient travellers.
The Cornish coast is another point of inspiration for me. For over 25 years it has been a constant in my work, through which I strive to develop my drawing and painting. I sit and absorb the beauty and drama of the environment, the birds on the wind, the waves out at sea, white foam breaking on the rocks – the horizon, sometimes clear, sometimes hazy – dark clouds approaching or white clouds racing by. The roar of the ocean, the cry of seagulls, the howling wind and waves crashing against the rocks and headland keep my sketches moving, inspiring expressive marks and fluid lines. My constant battle is to capture an image which is in the process of moving on, of disappearing in a fleeting moment.