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  • The Master's Artist is a group blog for writers united by the blood of Christ and a love for language. We come from different backgrounds, have different theological outlooks, and are interested in a wide variety of genres and artforms. The opinions expressed belong to their authors alone -- and you're welcome to share yours.

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April 12, 2010


L.T. Elliot

You are a Jesse to me and reading your posts is like poring over a Rockwell. You're a great to me, Billy.

susan fish

I had a professor like that in university. I auditioned and got into his creative writing class. And then, when I realized what he was like, I dropped it. Twenty years later, though, I regret it. I wonder what I could have learned had I been willing. Maybe it would have shaped me in ways I wouldn't have liked, but maybe it would have sharpened me.

Madison Richards

Every story shapes us. Every story tells the story of its characters but also tells the character of its teller. It was Jesse's authenticity that drew you, his style that kept you there, and the truth he spoke that stayed with you even after all these years.

Truth comes in many forms. Some pompous and self-important. Some genuine and simple. Everyone prefers a story they can relate to, even if it means they relate from a distance because that's all their walls will allow for, so I guess that's why there are all kinds of stories and all kinds of storytellers.

I love your hardware store style Billy. And I love that you too have learned the gentle art of making a point on the backside of the ordinary in life. That's what it's about, and yet your writing is sophisticated in ways that some of those elitists will never be able to capture. Thanks for sharing your gift with all of us...


What L. T. said...

It is one thing see beauty in things everyone else sees beauty in. You have to pay attention to find beauty in the common everyday. Of that, you are a master, Billy.

Sandra King

I love, love, love this. I want to be a Jesse.


You're better than a Jesse. You're Billy. Your writing has blessed me beyond measure.

Sarah Salter

I think there's something in the name... My Granddaddy was a Jesse. Literally. Jesse C. Staton, Sr. And he was the greatest storyteller I've ever known. Ever.

And darn that professor of yours! I LOVED my literature classes in college. I took so many of 'em that I'd have to take off my shoes to count 'em. And while some of the authors & works we read, I HATED, there were some that changed my life. And if a noodle-headed professor had driven me out of the class on the first day, I'd never have known it.


That snob may have been a professor, but he was NOT a teacher! God bless the Jesses of this world, who help us learn to actively listen!

Kelly Langner Sauer

wow - one of the reasons the Gospel is so good - and so neglected.

Megan Willome

I just get so annoyed when people like your professor run down Norman Rockwell.Just because it's commercial doesn't mean it isn't art.

Melissa Marsh

Amazing post. I would much rather be a Rockwell than a Renoir. And I really admire you for speaking the truth that day in class.

Thanks so much for this.

susan fish

Two cents more. Did the professor disparage Rockwell? Maybe indirectly, or maybe he just was giving the scope of his course. In any event, it sounds like you made the right choice for you, Billy, to get out of that class. The analogy breaks down for me a bit though: does visual art always have to tell a story to be good and worthy? I don't think so. Does a story always have to tell a story to be good and worthy? Absolutely. Let's be careful - all of us - not to disparage Renoir as some may put down Rockwell.

Madison Richards

Exactly (Susan) - Not everyone loves classical music, but those who love it find it to be life for their spirits and balm for their souls. It takes all kinds...


This is a really beautiful story -- the art is in the story-telling, not the story. Everyone has a great story to tell. Only those few can tell it in ways that make it everyone's story worth telling. You tell great story!

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