Eminent 20th Century Texas Artist

A Life Well Lived


Early Beginnings

Mary Jane was born in Fort Worth, Tx on April 10, 1898 to Carrie Melissa Overleese and Andrew B McLean.  She was one of four children: sisters, Virginia (Blackwell), Annie (Gray), and brother Harlen.  On June 11, 1925, Mary Jane married Col Kenneth Bullock.  They had one daughter, Jane  Bullock Edwards  (1927-2014) and four grandchildren: Elizabeth (Harris), Kenneth, John,  Melissa (Smithee).


Education and Training

Bullock received her training at the Texas Woman's College (now Texas Wesleyan University), Fort Worth, TX. She graduated in 1920 with a degree in art from Texas Christian University, also in Fort Worth. https://txwes.edu/about/university-history/  Upon graduation in 1921, Bullock continued her training at the Art Institute of Chicago, where she studied with Joseph Amadeus Fleck and Frank Klepper.


Dual Career Path

Upon completion of her studies, Bullock returned to Fort Worth to pursue a career teaching art in the public schools, where she soon became a noted art teacher. She also taught at Texas Christian University. She was also a full time Army wife and a mother. 

Outside Interests


Always Prepared


With the eye of a true artist, Mary Jane saw every open field, every patch of wildflowers, every meandering stream as an opportunity to paint, to capture on canvas the beauty she saw in nature. Her daughter Jane once commented that “Mom kept her easel and paints in the car trunk and never hesitated, when inspired by a beautiful vista, to pull over on the side of the road and start painting.”


Travels in the Southwest

Mary Jane took advantage of her summer breaks from teaching art, to take road trips with her friends to discover new places to paint. During the 1930s she made several road trips through-out the southwest to west Texas, Arizona and New Mexico.  Frequently these trips lead her to Santa Fe and Taos where the colorful sky at sunbreak and sunset caught her eye.


Summers in Colorado

In 1945, Quinelle “Sunny” English founded a girls camp named Camp Wa Na Ka in Woodland Park, CO.  Sunny persuaded Mary Jane to come to Wa Na Ka during summers to teach art.  Daughter Jane attended camp in Colorado, recalling camp songs sung by firelight. Lucky granddaughter, Melissa, also attended camp with her grandmother.  The camp closed in 1972.

Going Full Circle


Tiime Passing

Mary Jane's husband, Col Kenneth Bullock proceeded her in death in 1957 at the age of 70.  



Twenty one years later, Mary Jane died in 1978 at the age of 78, survived by her daughter Jane, four grandchildren and her sister, Virginia McLean Blackwell.   


In Closing

Having enjoyed a full life, well lived, Mary Jane and Ken are buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Navarro County, Corsicana, TX.  Subsequently, her daughter Jane died in October 2014. Her legacy continues in her grand children, her great grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews.