Mary Jane Q Cross [EM NRA 2013]


First name: Mary Jane ;
Middle name:
Q ;
Last name:
Cross ;

Member: Emeritus non-resident artist member ; 
2013 ;
n/a ;



As a mid career artist I work alone with out assistants in my New Hampshire studio. I am well know 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 and 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)

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 I 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.

Lilies: this colorful floating world has a tranquility and contentment to paint that soothes the bumps of life for me. They grow in eddies and a bit out of the main stream of rivers, ponds, lakes. They require fresh and slowly moving water. They die in fast moving water. When I seek them out I am always captivated by the intense beauty and fragrance in wild off the beaten path places. Lily affectionados sometimes let me know when their own domestic ones are in bloom and invite me into their private places to photograph and soak in what eventually become paintings.

There are memorable evenings of lilies at dusk or dawn. French lilies, Irish, New Hampshire, Long Wood Gardens, Breakneck Road lilies, all of these have been painted and call to me.

Landscapes: Light effects drive my life! I am always looking at my watch to see what time it is to come back to a lovely scene to either paint or photograph some of the fleeting moments that captivate me in nature. A scripture “all the trees clap their hands “ is evident in my heart as I paint. Paintings do not reveal the birds singing or crickets early in the morning or the fragrance of new hay . But they are present for me when I see what I have painted.

If I can paint on site I do. Plein air is an old love that produces paintings that sing. I have many years of painting with a large group of artists with Mentor Fran Weston Hoyt, a student of Art Students league, Vincent Dumond.

Plein air works show a joy that comes out of exploration and discovery.





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Record birth date:
June 17, 2021

Last updated: January 22, 2023 at 13:42 pm