Portrait of the Artist

Danette Steele Jones

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No place like home

Danette Steele Jones, Mississippi Delta Turnrow, watercolor on paper, 25 x 31 inches, 2013

By Noelani Kirschner

March 13, 2017


 

For the past 30 years, Mississippi native Danette Steele Jones has split her time between Jackson, Mississippi, and Volcano, California, outside of Sacramento. But her enduring love for her home state is what inspires her to continue painting.


“When I grew up in Mississippi, I didn’t know anything different. I didn’t know about the Sierra or the country in between; I just grew up in the Mississippi landscape. We had several hundred acres of farmland that were farmed in cotton. It’s still a lot of rural area, and there’s still a lot of farming. I grew up hunting and fishing with my dad up in Yazoo County in the Delta. Our Delta is very unique. There’s nowhere in the country like the Delta.

I live in two places now. I’ve probably driven across the country over 325 times—I quit counting. I drive from California to Mississippi. I’ve seen so much of the United States. I love the diversity that makes up this huge country, and I’ve been blessed by being able to witness it. You get to watch the landscape change from Mississippi wetlands to New Mexico mesas and Arizona canyons. My dad has always said, there is beauty everywhere if you just look out the window and see it. The only thing I think is more diverse than the landscape in this country is its people.”


Noelani Kirschner is the editorial assistant for the Scholar.

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