Dinah Cross James’ large-scale, pattern-based works are grand in scope but light in touch. Inspired by her subconscious mind, Kandinsky, and the vastly different landscapes of the globe, Cross James uses deep color and overlapping forms to create energy on the canvas. Her work is wildly kinetic, and often relies on constructs feeding into each other to heighten their power rather than creating juxtapositions. Colors do not contrast, but build to a crescendo; brushstrokes do not fight each other, but come together in a symphony of small variations. A mastery of space is also crucial to the paintings, each of which spins its forms around an expertly defined organizing principle to end up with a physical reality all its own. Cross James deals in the abstract, but her forms always seem to be hurtling through real space.
Dinah Cross James’ primary medium is oil paint, but she is constantly experimenting with new ways to apply and manipulate it, as well as with collage and printmaking. She lives in Napa Valley, where she continues to work and teach painting.