Maggie Cross

Maggie trained as a primary school teacher at The Froebel Educational Institute where art was her special subject and taught primary school children for many years. She learnt her Chinese painting in Hong Kong where she spent all her childhood also learning the calligraphy and Chinese (Cantonese) language. She has been teaching Chinese Painting on a part time basis for many years. She regularly learns with Chinese masters to update her skills as well as making visits to China.

Maggie's paintings are held in many private collections. She also exhibits with The Society of Floral Painters. She is also a member of the Chinese Brush Painters Society. Maggie has written three books on Chinese painting and produced a DVD.

Approach to Teaching

Although I always have a well prepared theme for a course I am prepared to be flexible in order to meet the needs of the students. I teach by demonstration as Chinese painting is a technique much more easily learnt by watching. As Chinese painting is steeped in tradition, rituals and symbolism I like to include detail of this in my teaching.

What inspires your work

The Chinese believe that to give a painting vitality or 'Chi' one must thoroughly observe one's subject before committing it to paper without any prior drawing. My favourite subject is flowers and birds so my garden and those of others are a constant inspiration. I love visiting China and soaking up the art and culture as well as the stunning scenery.

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West Dean is part of a registered charity and relies on the support of generous donors, friends, legacies to help us deliver world-class education in conservation and the creative arts and maintain our award-winning gardens.

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