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Artist ready to give testimony about ‘not for sale’ painting

HORSESHOE BEND, Mo. (BP)–When Missouri pastor Clyde Leonard introduced his cousin Ted Blaylock to the congregation of Horseshoe Bend Baptist Church recently, Clyde recalled how the family thought Ted would never amount to much. “All he wanted to do was doodle and draw.”
Doodling and drawing have taken Blaylock to a successful career as a painter and sculptor. His art has provided him a platform for sharing his faith in Jesus.
Blaylock dates his salvation experience to a Methodist camp in the Perryton area where he grew up. But after his family moved to East St. Louis, Ill., he began to stray from church.
Ted did hold on to his determination to become an artist — through marriage at a young age, through the birth of four children, through a good-paying job as a steamfitter, through his wife suffering a heart attack at age 27. Her illness drove him to his knees, and he told God, “You can have the art, the money, the rest of my life.”
Blaylock disagrees with people who say God doesn’t make deals. “He’ll do anything. He wants to reach the lost and the backslidden.” In Bible study, Ted recalled, he kept landing on passages that said, “If you’re ashamed of me, I’ll be ashamed of you.”
To symbolize his life, he painted a Colorado wilderness scene with three crosses on a hill. He put a “not for sale” sign on it and took it with him to art exhibits.
“When people would ask me why it wasn’t for sale, it was testimony time.”
Blaylock sees his witnessing encounters as pieces of clay in a sculpture God is creating. “He doesn’t want us to be mediocre. He has a job for us to do.”

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  • Tim Palmer