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Milford Zornes: Nicaragua Sketchbook

Milford Zornes - Nicaragua Sketchbook - front cover

Milford Zornes: Nicaragua Sketchbook

Introduction by Bill Anderson

The sketchbook is probably the most valuable tool an artist has. It is where he studies the world around him and searches for answers and solutions to problems. There he is free to use his creativity in a direct and spontaneous way. The sketchbook allows for experimentation, mistakes, incomplete thoughts and uncertainty.

The most revealing of art forms is the sketchbook. It is the artist’s diary, the place for taking visual notes and recording experiences. If you wish to know the artist, look through his sketchbook and respect its honesty, sensitivity and faults. You have just ventured into his heart and mind as well as catching a glimpse of his skill as a draftsman and communicator.

Most artists carry a sketchbook with them all the time. You never know when you will see something that you must record, an idea comes to you that you must remember, or when you might have some idle time to practice your craft.

Milford Zornes is such an artist—someone that is constantly thinking about his next painting and working on his next idea. His sketchbook is always available. It is an extension of himself.

When you take a photograph you remember through the photo, but when you sketch you remember through the drawing process, which is more personal and more lasting. Since it is selective within the picture plane, it states more with less. This essence makes it more human, and allows the viewer to participate with the artist to complete the visual image.

This particular sketchbook of Nicaragua in 1974 gives us an opportunity to travel with Milford Zornes as he records what was most interesting to him on his adventurous trip into this Latin American paradise. It is amazing what he was able to state with a few well controlled lines.

Enjoy the sketchbook experience through the sketches of Milford Zornes—direct, spontaneous, revealing, honest and human.

Bill Anderson
Artist, Art teacher
Owner, Anderson Art Gallery

Oral history interview with Milford Zornes, 1999 July 18-Sept. 5, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Other Milford Zornes books

Milford Zornes: Nine Decades with a Master Painter

Milford Zornes: Book of Trees

Milford Zornes in Black & White

Milford Zornes in Black & White

Milford Zornes in Black & White - front cover

Milford Zornes in Black & White

Introduction by Bill Anderson

From an artist’s point of view, the word exploration encompasses a wide range of subject matter and the search to find a way to symbolize, organize and tell a coherent story about it with beauty, power, and meaning. Exploration includes processes, techniques and control with respect for the medium used. It also includes the powerful elements of lights and darks. With black and white an artist can break a two-dimensional space into a well composed illusion of three-dimensional space with form and distance, providing a full range of values without the distraction of color. It creates contrast that emphasizes one area over another or imparts a more dramatic, powerful feeling to a composition. Black and white drawings are the best way to involve viewers in the image because they can use their own minds’ eye to complete it with color details and all that is understood.

Drawing is the basis of all good painting, and drawing with a brush is the true test of an artist’s skill and knowledge—not just artistic knowledge, but general knowledge as well-. In addition to composition, value, and line, there’s a lifetime of study of the world around you and all the things you learn about the character of the subject itself. The artist must analyze and understand the subject and execute with brush thick and thin lines, solid and textured, controlled and spontaneous strokes. The brush has a mind of its own. The artist must have a fluid control or the picture looks as if the brush is in control. The black and white drawings in this book are a great example of Milford Zornes’ capabilities as an artist. They reveal his strength as a draftsman and designer of space. The subject matter varies, but he has simplified and transformed it into his own vision of its truth.

When the opportunity presents itself, Milford Zornes makes involved 22”x 30” studies with India ink and brush, using a dry brush technique that creates grays with the texture of the rough surface of the watercolor paper. He uses these studies to work out the placement of darks and lights. They also work as wonderful drawings that stand on their own as complete works of art.

In order to be a great painter, one must be great at drawing and composing a two-dimensional space. India ink is a difficult medium—direct, immediate, unforgiving. The drawings in this book evidence this truth: Milford Zornes is a great painter.

Bill Anderson
Artist, Art teacher
Owner, Anderson Art Gallery

Oral history interview with Milford Zornes, 1999 July 18-Sept. 5, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Shack sketch by Milford Zornes

Shack

 

Sea Cave Sketch by Milford Zornes

Sea Cave

 

Other Milford Zornes books

Milford Zornes: Nine Decades with a Master Painter

Milford Zornes: Book of Trees

Milford Zornes: Nicaragua Sketchbook

Milford Zornes: Book of Trees

Milford Zornes: Book of Trees

Milford Zornes: Book of Trees

Milford Zornes is a master teacher as well as a master artist. This small, hand-sized book contains a wealth of insights and an eclectic collection of drawings and paintings sure to inspire both those who love art and those who love to create it…

His paintings hang in the White House, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Smithsonian and more. He changed the way people saw life in the ’30s. Based on nine decades of observation, drawing and painting, Master Teacher and Artist Milford Zornes shares his understanding of the art of trees.

Other Milford Zornes books

Milford Zornes: Nine Decades with a Master Painter

Milford Zornes: Nicaragua Sketchbook

Milford Zornes in Black & White

Milford Zornes: Nine Decades with a Master Painter

Milford Zornes - NIne Decades with a Master Painter - front cover

Milford Zornes: Nine Decades with a Master Painter

A definitive exploration of the work and mind of world renowned artist Milford Zornes, N.A., Nine Decades with a Master Painter contains more than 230 images, richly juxtaposed with comments by Mr. Zornes and his colleague and artist friend, Bill Anderson. Among subjects discussed are the artistic process, seeing the truth in the subject matter, and the struggles and issues involved in the creation of paintings. A frank and open person, Mr. Zornes talks about such thorny issues as the business of selling paintings as well as how he has had to adapt to his increasing blindness. Best known for being a member of the California Impressionists of the Thirties, Mr. Zornes is far more than a California landscape watercolorist. Nine Decades presents his depth and scope as a world traveler capturing images in pencil, charcoal, lithograph, block print, India ink, watercolor and oil.

Milford Zornes is a born storyteller, brought up in an age when narrative was stylistically relevant in art. Mr. Zornes is one of the leading artists of the California School, a West Coast watercolor movement that arose during the Depression era of the 1930s and that continues to have national relevance today. This illustrated volume of stories and insights by Mr. Zornes reveals the working methods of the artist and the reasons why the California School was more committed to nature and to the “California Dream” than social and political ideals. It expands our understanding of one of the last living members of the group by including much previously unseen work. At 97 years of age, Mr. Zornes continues to have an active career in spite of his struggle with macular degeneration and his loss of sight, which has necessitated profound changes in his working methods.
–Susan M. Anderson
independent curator and art historian

Oral history interview with Milford Zornes, 1999 July 18-Sept. 5, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Walk By River by Milford Zornes

Walk by River

 

Giants of the Swamps - Milford Zornes

Giants of the Swamps

 

Other Milford Zornes books

Milford Zornes: Book of Trees

Milford Zornes: Nicaragua Sketchbook

Milford Zornes in Black & White