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About the Artist

Mary Jane Thomas Stokes of Powhatan County, Virginia began painting in high school and continued with study of art at the College of William and Mary. She began her career in painting in 1979 with pen and ink drawings of historic buildings of Virginia and Maryland including county courthouses, colleges, and lighthouse. Several awards came her way as Outstanding Young Educator in Chesterfield, Virginia, Artist of the Year in Powhatan County in the 1980's, and purchase awards at several shows.

Her interest in the history of Virginia was the impetus in her drawings and paintings with the lighthouses being the favorites. In her research, she discovered the early days and pictures of the Virginia and Maryland lighthouses. Her work has been on display all around the Chesapeake Bay in museum and gift shops.

The accurately researched maps show the complete history of the Lighthouses of the Chesapeake Bay with authenticity found in the National Archives, the Library of Virginia, The United States Coast Guard records in Portsmouth, and the Mariners Museum in Newport News, Virginia. Some photographs from the National Archives used as the basis for the artwork were made in the 1890's by Col. Jared Smith who went around the bay recording these beautiful places for all posterity.

More of Mrs. Stokes' historical artwork can be found at the York Hall Gallery in Yorktown, Virginia. Here you can find nearby county courthouses, windmills, Williamsburg art, as well as lighthouses of the area. Her artwork continues to be very local in nature and mostly Virginia historical scenes with Maryland lighthouses added. Artwork is mostly pen and ink with watercolor wash. Some prints are made from acrylic and oil paintings. Mrs. Stokes now lives in rural Virginia and has a small studio on her farm.