One Small Voice
by Laura McGaffey
Articles originally published in "The Voice in the Desert"

Benson Artist - Jessie White
June 2007

Click for larger view

Jessie White’s maternal grandfather was Wilbur White, the St. David beekeeper whose honey some considered the best in Arizona. Ted DeGrazia,, the famous southwestern painter, would travel to St. David to buy Wilbur’s beeswax for the creation of his artwork.

Wilbur’s daughter, Laura named Jessie after Wilbur’s mother. Laura did not believe in television; she encouraged Jessie to rely on her own imagination and creativity to entertain herself. Jessie credits her mother anad her grandparents for her appreciation of nature.

Both of Jessie’s grandmothers, Thelma White and Doris Jordan of Florence, Arizona, were artists and Jessie started drawing at a very early age. At 12 years of age Jessie started studying the drawing and painting of horses. She says that until then she had “trouble maintaining proportion” in her art but one day “it just clicked”. About this time, Rose Land, a local artist, began mentoring Jessie. Jessie did not sit around watching TV or complaining about having nothing to do; she would visit Rose at home almost daily to learn everything she could.

Jessie recommends Betty Edwards’ book, “The New Drawing On the Right Side of the Brain” as an effective manual for training one’s artistic brain, eye and hand.

Jessie works in graphite, pencils, watercolor and oils. The black and white photos herein do not do justice to her work. I have uploaded these and other photos to for your pleasure.