THE Wye Valley has inspired some of Britain's most creative minds over the centuries.

Artistic tributes to its unspoiled beauty have flowed from the likes of Wordsworth and Turner - but none was quite so prolific as Donald Henry Floyd.

The gifted landscape artist settled in Tintern with his family in the 1930s, and spent much of his career capturing the breathtaking scenery that was all around him.

Roughly half of his 500 canvases were based on the Wye Valley.

Now Donald's son and only surviving relative, Roger, has decided he is running out of space at home, and is putting ten of his late father's celebrated pieces up for sale.

Eighty-year-old Roger, who lives in Monmouth, is holding a one-off exhibition next month of works valued between £300 and £1,000.

Roger looks back fondly on his father, who became a familiar figure in the Wye Valley as he sat with his tweed hat and pipe, painting the changing landscapes.

He described him as a sociable, friendly person with an unfailing enthusiasm for his craft - come rain or shine.

"He was a very jovial man who made the most of life," said Roger.

"He would set up his easel on roadside and just paint what he saw. People would stop their car and have a look; most of the time he would invite them in for a cup of tea. He made a lot of friends that way."

Even in extreme conditions, Donald's first thought was to capture the scene by painting straight onto canvas - in contrast to conventional techniques of the day which involved drawing at the scene, and adding paint in the studio.

"We would all be inside by the fire, but he'd throw on a couple of overcoats to do a painting.

He said it was like photography - if he waited, the subject would be gone," recalled Roger.

Anne Rainsbury, curator of Chepstow Museum, which holds a number of Donald's paintings, described his work as "timeless and evocative".

"Forty years on from his death, his paintings are as fresh, approachable and popular as ever," she added.

  • The Donald Floyd exhibition opens on September 24 at Brockweir Community Shop.

Donald Henry Floyd biography

  • 1892 - Born in Plymouth on April 18
  • 1913 - Exhibited first painting at a Liverpool art gallery
  • 1918 - Served in Palestine, Egypt and India in First World War. Painted while off-duty, remaining a private 'on principle'.
  • 1920 - First exhibition at the Royal Academy in London. Thirty of his paintings were displayed there over the next 30 years
  • 1937 - Settled in Tintern.
  • 1948 - Under commission by the Government of Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, produced 68 paintings of the island to mark its new independence.
  • 1965 - died on June 15