Milford Zornes Book Review

There is a new, biographical art book on the block about the life and times of the well known and loved watercolor painter and teacher, Milford Zornes. The book is titled, “Happiness Is Warm Color in the Shade,” co-authored by my friends, Hal and Maria Baker.  What follows is a personal review of the book…

The new book, “Happiness Is Warm Color in the Shade,”” is an enjoyable biographical read for artists and non-artists alike.

Co-authors, Milford’s son-in-law, Hal Baker, and Milford’s daughter, Maria Zornes Baker, have created a well documented book about the life, times, and path of a dedicated, determined artist of the first degree. Milford Zornes is among the select group of artists in the 1930’s known as, The California Scene Painters. Milford stated, Art is not my profession, it is my way of life. Elsewhere he has also been quoted as saying, All art, if it is art at all, is abstract.

This book provides a rare, and insightful look into the private life of a dedicated artist and family man. We are taken on a tour of his life, from before he was born, through his high school years where. in his “Junior year, he was elected kindest boy in school, then on into professional adulthood, marriage and family. We learn of his many early interests prior to settling with dogged determination to be, not just an artist, but a successful, full time artist. In this regard the book contains, for the careful reader, a simple outline, a road map, for anyone who might seek similar success as an artist.

Happiness is Warm Color in the Shade, carefully chronicles the good fortune and hardships of a man who could very well be thought of as the last of, to adapt a well-known phrase, the World War II’s Greatest Generation of watercolor painters. It bears noting that much of Milford’s success came at the expense and support of his wife, Pat, who willingly chose to give up her promising art career for the support of husband and family. Continue reading