Cruz is a fine art woodworker, living one and a half hours north of Philadelphia. A leading wood stain artist, creating artisanal works on new and vintage wood substrates.
The collections are often created in tandem with ‘story’— narratives from the substrate itself, or other stories that inspire Cruz to visual design. The results are luxurious works of art with imbued history and elegance.
In this work there is also a reverence for the Tree and a conscious-awareness, giving a tree a third iteration of life. Cruz has coined this quality in her work as "Wàsayū” (wah-sah-yoo), inspired by Japanese perspectives that contrast to the western view of beauty. This view celebrates the beauty of natural age and passing of time. 'Wàsayū' means: profound grace in obscured transient beauty.
Born in 1972 in the South Bronx, Cruz moved around the United States before settling in New Jersey in 1996. At the age of six began drawing in a realist style, and innately drawn to tools and wood finishes, began working with them at age ten.
Exhibiting as early as 1988, then put herself through school and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Cruz's works are in national and international private collections.
GrainStain Arts® began in 2014. With no books instructing how to use woodstain as an actual Fine Art painting medium, Cruz pioneered original methods and has been developing them ever since.