They’re not footballs. That was the first line of critique Jeff Morton gave my still-life painting when I was a senior at Covenant and before he was hired. Indeed there are no terminal lines on soup can lids. Watch your whites. OK, the clouds in my small landscape painting were straight-from-the-tube of unmixed color and unconvincing. Pretty direct critique, it seemed, and blunt. And very on-target. That irritated me. It also convinced me he was a first-rate professor with an eye for painting that doesn’t get taught. His nonchalance was of a Yale survivor.

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People enjoy the bizarre.  But what makes the bizarre bizarre?  G. K. Chesterton states in his book Orthodoxy, "Oddities do not strike odd people. This is...why the new novels die so quickly and why the old fairy tales endure forever. The old fairy tale makes the hero a normal human boy: it is his adventures that startle him: they startle him because he is normal. But in the modern psychological novel the hero is abnormal...hence the fiercest adventures fail to affect him adequately." 

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Tea with Local Milk

“Hey! Wanna meet at my house instead?...I’m not in the mood to be in public.”

When I got this email from Beth Kirby, about 20 minutes before we were scheduled to meet, I lost it. All day long I had looked forward to meeting Beth, the artist behind the brand Local Milk, at a coffee shop in town. Being invited to her home for a cup of tea felt too good to be true.

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