MARY JANE Q. CROSS
PO Box 724, Newport, New Hampshire 03773
“Respecting beauty, truth, craftsmanship, wins over…..shock, ingenuity, novelty. To this end I will pursue beauty… all the days of my life.”
My early work was primarily influenced by the romantic nobility of the Pre-Raphaelites. At stages along the way Sargent, Gerome, Lord Leighton, Millais, and Bouguereau have strongly captivated me. Later, after I had lost my ability to paint with a brush, the experience of painting in Giverny brought Monet's impressionistic influence into my art at a pivotal time. These artists' responses to nature and the figure have placed in me the desire to pursue beauty and I am dedicated to being faithful to their example in my subject and execution of these, my finger paintings.
The Pre-Raphaelites give us an emotional familiarity with their subjects that makes it seem as if we know the models or want to. It's as if we somehow have known them in a dream time, a time when we were what we are supposed to be. Only recently I have become comfortable considering myself an American Pre-Raphaelite with many of the similar spiritual and rather noble 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.
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.
When people see my paintings, the images I have created, they perceive who I am as a person and as a painter. They, in effect, see my mind, my heart and emotions. In the same way, when I see God's creation I hope to see the mind and heart of God. Truthfulness is the quality that captures my attention as I observe what God has made: trees in sunlight, apples on a plate, flesh in respectful contentment. In the landscape, in the still life, or in the emotions of the models that inhabit my paintings I respond to what God has made me by being truthful to what I see. I see what He sees. I see what He has created. I am a poor supplicant after His magnificent hand-longing to make what I see is His.
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, it brings me to a place of a sifting through the thoughts that come forth as fingerprints of His good pleasure on my life. They become my own paintings that wrap me with arms I have never seen.
When I am obedient to the inner experience of seeking God, it is the key to unlocking the beauties of the outer world. If I am born in His image am I not reflecting who has made me? When I personally nourish my soul with reverence, respect, and devotion, I am more able to respond to the world around me and am ever mindful that I am a part of the Created and with this life destined to create.
Art for me is when I have been soul pierced by beauty....and that beauty heals affliction. Art is also affliction driven to make me seek and experience soul ache beauty. To be transformed to the place of speechless longing and contentment.
I am truly delighted to answer any questions.