A large family and teaching career kept Dr. Stafford from pursuing a serious career in the fine arts until retirement in 1993. Her education credentials include BSE and MA degrees in English; art hours from Kansas City Art Institute and the University of Arkansas; and an EdD in education with emphasis in art. She taught high school English, humanities, and art for sixteen years; was assistant principal for five years; and Staff Development Coordinator at the Arkansas Department of Education until retirement.

Since then, she has been painting and drawing full time and studying art under nationally recognized artists such as Richard McKinley, Gerald Brommer, and Skip Lawrence. Still an educator, she teaches drawing and pastel at the Maumelle Senior Wellness Center and recently retired as faculty member at the Arkansas Arts Center. She has been juried into many regional and national shows and featured in solo shows in Ft. Smith, El Dorado, Little Rock, Pine Bluff, Stuttgart, and Hot Springs. Currently her work is on display at Gallery 221 in Little Rock, Art on the Green in Conway, and Eurekan Art in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

Mary Ann enjoys working with watercolor, pastel, and acrylic; but also loves to draw with pen and ink and colored pencils. A recent series of pen and ink drawings of bare trees with watercolor backgrounds has been shown in several exhibits. "The Argenta Historic District," a series of 25 pen and ink drawings of historic structures in downtown Little Rock was exhibited at five different locations in Central Arkansas. For this project, she received a scholarship from the Arkansas Committee of National Museum for Women in the Arts. A book including the historical and architectural facts as well as the 25 images has been published and is available at http://www.blurb.com/b/6631540-the-argenta-national-historic-district.

Currently, Dr. Stafford is working on a pastel series of brilliant sky portraits for an exhibit in January 2018 at Art on the Green in Conway. Signature memberships are held in the Pastel Society of the Southwest in Texas, the Arkansas League of artists, and the Arkansas Pastel Society. She holds Diamond Signature in Mid-Southern Watercolorists and serves as Regional Advisor for the Central Arkansas Area.