PHONE: 760.943.8706
Millard Sheets
an american regionalist painter
Millard Sheets

Born: Pomona, CA
Studied: Chouinard Art Institute, Los Angeles
Pennsylvannia Academy of Fine Arts

Member: National Academy of Design
American Watercolor Society
New York Water Color Club
California Water Color Society
Millard Sheets Biography

Millard Sheets was a native California artist and grew up in the Pomona Valley near Los Angeles. He attended the Chouinard Art Institute and studied with F. Tolles Chamberlin and Clarence Hinkle. While still a teenager, Millard's watercolors were accepted for exhibition in the annual California Water Color Society shows and by nineteen years of age, he was elected into membership. At twenty, even before Sheets had graduated from Chouinard, they hired him to teach watercolor painting while completing other aspects of his art education..

By the early 1930s, Millard Sheets was well on his way to national recognition as a prominent American artist. Millard was exhibiting works in Paris, New York, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Houston, St. Louis, San Antonio, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Baltimore and many other cities throughout the United States. At home in Los Angeles, Millard Sheets was recognized as the leading figure and driving force behind the California Style watercolor movement.

Between 1935 and 1941, the recognition, awards, and Millard's output of high quality art increased. Sheets was mentioned in numerous issues of Art Digest, had a color reproduction in the book Eyes on America, and in 1935 at age twenty eight, Millard Sheets was the subject of a book published in Los Angeles. Sales of art enabled him to travel to Europe, Central America and Hawaii, where he painted on location. Although his watercolor painting techniques during this period varied from very tight to very loose, Sheets personal style always came through.
During World War II, Millard Sheets was an artist-correspondent for LIFE magazine and the United States Air Force in India and Burma. Many of Millard's works from this period document the scenes of famine, war, and death that he witnessed. This experience also effected Millards's post war art for a number of years. Many of Sheets works from the 1940s, painted in California and Mexico, reflect these mood shifts, especially when he used dark tonal values and depressing subject matter. After the 1950s, Millard Sheets style changed again, this time featuring brighter colors and often times depicting subjectsfrom his travels around the world.

While Millard Sheets was a talented painter in both watercolors and oils, this was only part of his overall art career. Through his teaching at Chouinard Art Institute, Otis Art Institute, Scripps College and other institutions, Sheets taught hundreds of artists how to paint, and then and then guided them into art careers. Millard Sheets was Director of the art exhibition at the Los Angeles County Fair for many years and brought world class art to Southern California. During the Depression, he worked with Edward Bruce to hire assistants for the W.P.A. Art Project. In 1946, Sheets served as president of the California Water Color Society. In later years, Millard worked as an architect, illustrator, muralist, printmaker and juried art exhibitions.

Millard Sheets Biographical information: Biographical information, interview with Millard Sheets, 1983. Stary-Sheets Fine Art Galleries, Laguna Beach, 1998.

Millard Sheets biography provided courtesy of “California Watercolors 1850-1970” by Gordon T. McClelland and Jay T. Last. Book available at
Millard is interested in purchasing all watercolors and oil paintings by Millard Sheets. If you have a painting by Millard Sheets and are considering selling it or just wish to obtain an estimated value, please contact us and we'll provide a free art evaluation.
email: | phone: 760-943-8706 | send printed photos to: Millard 2240 Encinitas Blvd. #302, Encinitas, California 92024 | | | | |
© Millard All rights reserved. No unauthorized use of images or content.