Mary Louise Cromar Aro was born in Detroit in 1929. With a Masters of Fine Art (1982) from Wayne State she turned from emotional explorations of the citys ruins to new explorations of realism. Aro developed her own unique style of realism, incorporating a strong sense of abstract space and form. The resulting two-part watercolors combined two seemingly incongruous images: a landscape stretching across the upper edge of the paper and a portrait or object, framed by pure white space, below. The division of the picture plane and the purposeful inclusion of the white background separating the figure or object from the landscape became hallmarks of Mary Aros style.
Aro continues observing and painting during her summer months in Maine. For the other eight months of the year, she works in her livingroom studio, studying, combining the various elements of her multipart works, and exploring new imagery in oil.