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Plein Air Painting

Mary Ekroos was born in Maryland in 1941 into a family of artists. Her parents had met in art school. Her father, Bjorn Egeli, was a classically trained portrait painter of national reputation. Mary began her art training with him and later studied at the University of Delaware and at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D. C. She often returned to her father's studio for advice and critiques until his death in 1984.

From her early twenties Mary has worked continuously as an artist always seeking to enlarge her understanding of her craft. She began her career doing portraits both in oils and pastels and while she found a great deal of satisfaction in this work, she also maintained a steady flow of landscapes, marines and other genre. These have been done in oils and watercolors as well as pastel.

Since moving to the Eastern Shore of Maryland in 1972 her paintings of the Chesapeake Bay skipjacks, workboats and waterways have been acclaimed for their authenticity and artistic excellence.

She has executed several murals, one of which is in a hallway of a Federal era house and which consisted of five panels each about 7 1/2'x15'. For subjects Mary chose the house itself as well as the local workboats and skipjacks and a vista of a marsh in bloom with wild hibiscus or "marsh mallow". Another commission was of panels using the theme of figures from Chartres Cathedral.

While Mary Ekroos is an extremely versatile and capable artist, her love of travel has increasingly made her landscapes and marine paintings the focus of her energies. From the time she began painting, plein air work always brought a special satisfaction to the artist and she continues this tradition today. Annual trips to Vermont over the years as well as painting trips up and down the East Coast and through western states and also to Finland have been productive ventures.

Mary Ekroos has taught privately and has given a number of workshops. She has won many awards and has been in national and regional juried shows. Her paintings have been shown in the Maryland State House, The Academy of Art Museum in Easton, MD, and in the Cummer Museum in Florida.

She is a signature member of the American Society of Marine Artists and is a past Vice President of that organization. Her works hang in corporate and private collections in the United States and abroad.

Mary Ekroos is also a member of "The Traveling Brushes" a group of plein air painters who travel and paint and show together. This group was recently the subject of an AARP documentary film and will also be in an upcoming article in "American Artist" magazine. The Traveling Brushes has been featured in the Baltimore Sun newspaper as well as in several well known national art magazines.

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