Photo by Edward Weston, 1935

Millard Owen Sheets (June 24, 1907-March 31, 1989); American painter and a representative of the California School of Painting, later a teacher and educational director, and architect of more than 50 branch banks in Southern California.

A native California artist who 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, his watercolors were accepted for exhibition in the annual California Water Color Society shows and by 19 years of age, he was elected into membership. At 20, even before he graduated from Chouinard, he was hired to teach watercolor painting while completing other aspects of his art education.

....By the early 1930s, he was well on his way to national recognition as a prominent American artist. He was exhibiting works in Paris, New York, Chicago, Houston, St. Louis, San Francisco, Washington DC, Baltimore, and many other cities throughout the US. At home in LA, he was recognized as the leading figure and driving force behind the California Style watercolor movement.

....Watercolor and oil painting was only part of Sheets' art career. Through his teaching at Chouinard Art Institute, Otis Art Institute, Scripps College and other institutions, hundreds of artists were taught how to paint, and then guided into an art career. He was director of the art exhibition at the LA County Fair for many years and brought world class art to Southern California. During the Great Depression, he worked with Edward Bruce to hire artists for the Public Works of Art Project, the first New Deal art project during the Great Depression. In 1946, he served as a president of the California Water Color Society. In later years he worked as an architect, illustrator, muralist, printmaker and juried art exhibitions.

...During World War II, he was an artist-correspondent for Life.... (
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Suzan Hamer


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