Mary Jane Q Cross
PO Box 724
Newport NH 03773,
I received my formal training at The Worcester Art Museum school in the early 1970's where I was a closet realist in a time of expressionism, I looked long and hard as to where my heart as a painter lay. Quietly I have trained myself under the influence of the Pre-Raphaelites and this can be seen in the realism part of my work. Out of necessity since losing so much of my ability to do brushwork, I have explored the more impressionist styles. And the resultant dreamy quality of the two styles has melded into a voice that is my own. They become my own paintings that wrap me with arms I have never seen.
A workshop with OPAM Daniel Greene in the early 1980's was a catalyst for my work.
As a mid career artist I work alone with out assistants in my New Hampshire studio. I am well known for painting three main subjects: the genre figure in lyrical activities, lilies in reflective water, or landscapes in soft light effects. In my oil paintings I am most looking to achieve, respect for the truth of a subject, that lets my work find meaning for others. If this is done with close attention, with academic craftsmanship that achieves a spirited and self assured vigorous presentment, I feel I am creating something I have not seen before.
We all deal with things we cannot change. My difficulty as a painter is a tremor that makes it quite troublesome to use tools. Brushes, pencils, even table utensils. After a long career as a Classical painter, I spent 5 ½ years in the mid 1990's re-learning my profession to settle successfully on a manner of fingerpainting. All of my paintings are 95 to 98% painted with my fingers. The remaining 2 to 5 % is refined in small strategic places with a brush, but using prosthetic devices, of my own invention and adaptation.
Additionally over the years of learning the craft of picking up the perfect amount of paint, whether in a small straight line or half moon curve has honed my hand eye coordination to make painting a lifetime of joy and delight. Most artists have a tremendous number of brushes. I have ten but mostly use five (fingers)
Solitary painting for me is a tangible form of reverence and love for the blessings of the Creator. When I consider my God's artistic creation, it turns me in on myself, first to a place of tangible emotion, then to a place of prayer, respect, and contemplative reflection. And, finally, I am in a place of a sifting through the thoughts that come forth as fingerprints of His good pleasure on my life.
Only recently I have become comfortable considering myself an American Pre-Raphaelite with many of the similar spiritual and rather old-fashioned ideas of elegant dreams of women and courtly respect. And true to their ideals I am also drawn toward wanting to enrich my work with inspiring spiritual values and nobility.
Pleasing myself in the work can be difficult and I hope to be working pleasantly until I die. Perfecting and never reaching that perfection is the vocation of being a painter. I laughingly think need 3 lifetimes to paint half the paintings in my vision. Looking forward to eternity, this is only a small portion of the work I desire to accomplish.
It is my desire that my paintings outlive me.
The paintings are done on gessoed Ampersand panels that are not flexible, so I am able to press quite hard to achieve coverage and infusing of who am. It is a pressing in.
I am always delighted to answer questions.
"Respecting beauty, truth, craftsmanship, wins over?..shock, ingenuity, novelty. To this end I will pursue beauty? all the days of my life."
MARY JANE Q CROSS