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Dinah Cross James
— Napa, Sonoma, & Marin



Intro

Dinah Cross Jones is both an author and an artist. As an artist, she works primarily in oil on canvas. Her contemporary, vibrantly colorful, luminous abstract paintings capture both inner and outer landscapes.



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  • Photography
    Chick Harrity

Dinah Cross James
Anniversary 50+

Dinah Cross Jones is both an author and an artist. As an artist, she works primarily in oil on canvas. Her contemporary, vibrantly colorful, luminous abstract paintings capture both inner and outer landscapes. When asked what inspired her to become an artist, she replied, “My education in art history at Mills College made me realize I wanted to paint like Kandinsky!”

Cross James graduated with a degree in art history and fine art in the Sixties. Her first job was as a fashion illustrator. She then worked for Sunset illustrating books and later in New York with Reader's Digest. At that point, she returned to California and began freelancing for Sunset, but between jobs she started painting. Soon the painting took full time. “I've been painting and drawing full time for over 50 years,” she says.

Although Cross James lives in Napa, she has traveled widely, visiting places her spirit and work have drawn her to. She reports that when Mt. St. Helens in Washington began to show signs of eruption, she “had to be there.” She flew into the crater several times in a small plane and spent four hours there, sketching and walking. Her far-flung travels include Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Mexico, South America, China, Cambodia and India. In addition, she has visited Bhutan, Tibet, the Grand Canyon, Machu Picchu, and the Mayan, Incan and Aztec ruins. Says Cross James, “I have been given the gift and the drive to express life, nature and my experiences of other cultures. History, both natural and human, teaches us.”

Cross James’ art has received many honors and has brought her wide recognition. When asked about something particularly memorable related her work, though, she cites being able to produce her book, Journeys, The Art of Dinah Cross James. She explains that it “tells the story of the power of creativity to heal.”

Cross James says she is filled with anticipation and creative solutions each day as she drives to her studio. With regard to the future, she said she hopes that wonderful creative energy continues for a long time.



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