From an early age, she showed talent in drawing and painting and at the age of sixteen she attended the Central School of Arts and Crafts (now Central School of Art and Design) in Southampton Row, London, where she was taught by Bernard Meninsky. She later studied at St John's Wood Art School under P.F. Millard's tuition.
After her father's death in 1934, du Maurier, together with her mother and her elder sister Angela, moved from Cannon Hall, the family home in Hampstead, to a smaller house nearby. The three of them also spent a lot of time at Ferryside, their home in Bodinnick, Cornwall, where they lived permanently after 1939. During the World War II, she ran a market garden.
In 1945, during a visit to St Ives, she discovered its painters' colony, which revived her calling as an artist. In 1946, she left Ferryside for a studio in St Ives and held her first exhibition at the town's Society of Artists' autumn show. At that time, she met the artist Dod Procter and they began a close relationship.
In 1949, du Maurier and Dod Procter were invited to join the Penwith Society of Arts which was started by Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson, who wanted to break away from the traditionalist St Ives Society of Arts. It was also when she met the poet Noël Welch, who would become her life-long companion and partner.
Du Maurier painted mostly still lives, flowers, landscapes and some portraits. She continued to paint all her life and exhibited her work in galleries in London and in Cornwall, with the St Ives Society of Arts as well as the Newlyn Artists.
Du Maurier died at her home in Dartmoor on 12 January 1997, aged 85.
Dunn, Jane. Daphne du Maurier and Her Sisters. HarperPress (2013)