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Milford Zornes: Nicaragua Sketchbook

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