Mississippi man paints with just a toothpick - NBC40.net

Mississippi man paints with just a toothpick

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A Mississippi man is a very special artist, and he does it all "without" a paintbrush.

Margaret Ann Morgan shows us how and what he paints... Using just a toothpick.

"I just hold it about like that."

Terry Bustin can't read.. Or write.. But he can paint.

"Somehow I started, decided to try a toothpick, and I've been using it ever since."

He started out using a paintbrush, but for over 40 years, he's used a toothpick instead.

"After I do the pencil, then I go back over it with a black outline, then I color it in."

He paints what he sees, both in person and his imagination.

"Do people like what you do?" 


"What do they say about it?" 

"They just like it. Some of them want me to draw them a picture."

"To me, it's a miracle. I mean, it's not a painting, it's truly a miracle to look at that," says Jamie Tedford of Jones Co. Sheriff's Dept.

Terry has touched lives through his paintings, particularly at the Jones County Sheriff's Office. He spent some time there after moving in with his brother and sister-in-law. He's become one of the guys.

"What's been most moving to me has been spiritually, I mean, I think this is a god-given talent."

"I'm gonna put it between here. I've gotta let that dry before I get up here in this corner."

His favorite painting is the Battle at Little Bighorn- or what he calls- "Custer". And this galaxy piece- he drew every star and then filled in with black...All using a toothpick.

"He's just amazing. It is a blessing for us to have him. I love him, and he is just special," says sister-in-law, Karen Bustin.

Many times we try to teach those with special needs how to do regular tasks, but, in the end... they really teach us about life and, for Terry, patience.

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