Buttermilk Makes Sweet Tyler Roses - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/16/02 - Tyler

Buttermilk Makes Sweet Tyler Roses

   Renown painter/perfumer Benn Johnson introduced his alter ego "Buttermilk" to some second graders at All Saints in Tyler Wednesday. The young artists learned sweet roses can be made from sour milk.

   "We're painting roses," says Hartley Coker.

   "Mister Buttermilk showed us how," says Grant Bengtson.

   Buttermilk showed a class of All Saints second graders how to take a drawing of shapes, sour milk, and make a work of art depicting Tyler's pride and joy.

   "It's mixed with buttermilk," says Rilee Miller.

   But adding smelly milk to vibrant colors isn't a new thing as the young Van Gogh's learned from artist Benn "Buttermilk" Johnson.

   The pioneers were the first to find.. ..."They didn't have fancy paint like they had in Europe," says Benn Buttermilk Johnson. "So what they would do is mix things like berries, blueberries, strawberries and marigolds."

   Perfect colors for painting the perfect rose. "The pink and the red are for the petals, the green is for the stem and the leaf the blue is for the sky," says Grant Bengtson.

   A perfect rose to make the perfect quilt..... "Well I am going to put it into the Rose Festival and maybe somebody will buy it," says M.E. Smith.

   For a picture perfect piece of Tyler. "They started the same and they end up looking unique," says Johnson. "Some of the kids painted with Van Gogh like strokes and some were very slow deliberate lovely strokes so I think the quilt is going to be richer because of it."

   And without even knowing it, the second graders took home a lesson in art.

   "It's really amazing; I didn't know you could paint with buttermilk," says M.E.

   And a lesson in life. "I think a lot of times people just look on the surface," says Johnson.

   The "buttermilk roses" will be on display at the Rose Festival as will Johnson's Roses.

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