“It all begins with a line, with shapes and with simplifying what you see.  That is how you will end up with a powerful composition.” - Milford Zornes

Milford Zornes was born in rural Oklahoma, and grew up in Idaho.  His love of travel took him all over the United States on a hitch-hiking journey across America; he came of age working the New York docks and even shipped out for Europe before eventually landing in California to train in fine art. In Los Angeles he studied art with F. Tolles Chamberlin at the Otis Art Institute, and later he advanced his studies of watercolor with Millard Sheets at Scripps College.

Zornes’ rise to prominence was swift, and by 1933, he was exhibiting his watercolors and receiving awards. His art production for the P.W.A.P. art Project led to a solo show at the Corocan Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.  One of his watercolors was selected by President and Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt to hang in the White House and an enormous amount of publicity followed. Within a very short amount of time, Zornes went from being a California watercolor student to being a nationally recognized artist. After the war, he traveled extensively, lived all across California, and decided to merge his two most favorite things: art and travel. He established traveling watercolor workshops that spanned all over the world including in China, Alaska, Mexico, Ireland, Italy, Spain, and Hawaii.

Paintings by Milford Zornes are in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Butler Institute of Art, National Academy of Design, San Diego Museum of Art, Laguna Beach Museum of Art, U.S. War Department Collection, Library of Congress Collection, Pomona Public Library, the Fontana Public Library,and Shatford Library, Pasadena City College, Gardena High School Art Collection, all in California.

California Scene Painting Timeline
: Attended Otis Art Institute and Scripps College; exhibited nationally.
1937:  Larson P. Cooper included Sornes in his California Group traveling show.
1942: Served as president of the California Water Color Society.
1940-1945: Acted as an official war artist in the China, India, and Burma. Exhibited in Bombay.
1940s: Traveled California painting, before settling in Claremont.
1950s: Trips to Alaska and a series of trips to Greenland inspired him to teach a series of traveling workshops.
1963: Milford and his wife Pat Zornes bought summer home and studio in Salt Lake City, Utah, where they hosted for regular watercolor workshops.  
    Milford Zornes (1908-2008)
Milford Zornes Lucerne Valley