For many years Maureen Hyde worked as a book illustrator. Her interest for making a transition to fine art painting was deeply stirred by the works of Italy-based Daniel Graves, which she came across at a gallery.
Having raised her son, she headed off to Italy to study with Daniel Graves at the Florence Academy of Art, to learn to paint in a traditional style. She never left Italy.
What was it that drove her to make this big decision?
“Ever since childhood, I have had a curiosity about what I was seeing, and felt compelled to render this,” she said.
“I’ve always been very inspired by nature, having lived on a family farm in the woods during my son’s childhood. When I studied art at UCLA, my intent to learn to paint in a traditional way met with opposition, because of the fascist associations classical art had after the second world war. Then a good friend introduced me to the golden age of illustrations with a gift of some old books.”
Hyde decided to train herself for what was missing from the art program at the university. After seeing Graves’s work, she realized that she needed to complete her education of fundamentals at his academy.
Today, Hyde divides her time between teaching at the Florence Academy of Art, working on commissions, and doing her own work.
“I feel like I’m working all the time,” she said, laughing.
What Hyde enjoys most is painting figurative work: “It is like telling a story or creating a poem through images and the movement of light as it illuminates the subject rendered.”
Hyde’s work is reflective on the things in life she is dealing with or reflecting upon. Often she may not have a fully clear idea at the onset of a project and so the act of completing a work becomes a journey. “I respond to the ensuing dialogues throughout the process.”
“It’s a very introverted process. When I have an idea, I start to render it through very loose sketches. During that process of the drawing and even the final painting, that is when the understanding comes, it grows and transforms, adding, changing, deepening the meaning that is to be expressed.”
Maureen Hyde is represented by Gallerie Michael (Beverly Hills) and Weiler House Fine Art Gallery (Texas). Her website is maureenhyde.com
Wim Van Aalst is a painter based in Belgium.