Born In 1951, Mary Jane resides in Newport NH with her husband Mark Cross. Mary Jane's desire to make beautiful things began a serious journey to live an artist's life by age 8. In 1970-1973 studies at the Worcester Art Museum School in Worcester MA began her insatiable appetite for museums, galleries , biographies, paintings and then their storytelling in paint. Cross found the season of expressionism of the 70's to fall short of the academic skills that were desired. So, shortly after graduation she patterned a curriculum for herself and a few students after the French Academic Painters, and the Pre Raphaelites. Studying how other artists were trained gave her the courage to find what her own voice would be.
A few workshops along the way with Daniel Green, then 15 years of mentoring in atmospheric color treatment with Fran Hoyt, a student of Vincent Dumond of the Arts Students League, she began to round out studious 'perspiration'. Gerome, Bouguereau, Lefebvre, the Pre Raphaelites, Jules Bastian LePage, Mary Cassatt, Lord Leighton left their romantic sumptuous themes, models and exquisite technical ability to story-tell in captivating ways rounded out the 'inspiration' that continues to captivate and embody her work.