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The sign has been on the wall at work for weeks, warning us that we would be painting bowls. Bowl-painting? Eh, could be fun, but I usually leave in the morning before anything fun happens, so I didn't count on participating.

Today, I had to stay late to make up for hours lost this evening. Then, I heard there's be pizza for the bowl-painters, and we didn't have to punch out.

That pretty much sealed it. I'd be a bowl-painter.

So, I was given a plain, bisque bowl and chose several colors of paint: brown, blue, purple, white, black. I was going to paint something scenic; I don't think I'm a great painter, but it's just a bowl. I've learned enough by studing Pletan's works, I figured I could pull it off.

Surprisingly, everyone had much the same feeling as me: their bowl was to be perfect, yet after the first few minutes of spreading paint, perfection was clearly not going to happen. I, too, despite compliments from my coworkers, felt my art sucked. The paint was drying too quickly and couldn't be worked very well. I was leaving spots where spots should not be. I didn't count on how painting on the obtuse curve of a bowl would affect my ham-handed attempt at a mountain-bordered horizon. My art was amateurish at best.

Who'd think that a bunch of people working in a detail-oriented would be picky about their art? Go figure.

Oh, well, I told myself: I can think I'm doing crap, but what of it? Artistically, some of the Fargo bison weren't all that great, but they got called 'art'. In my best managerial voice, I complimented my coworkers and employees, pointing out what I thought was cool about theirs. I allowed myself to paint a symmetric ring of pine trees, where symmetry doesn't really exist in nature. It's a freaking bowl -- what does anybody expect?

So, I finished my bowl, ate my pizza, and then checked out everybody elses work with a dash of positive reinforcement and a reminder it's all for charity. The March of Dimes in the area is hosting Bowls for Babies on December 5th. They've asked a bunch of contributors to try their hand at fine art, decorating nearly a thousand bowls. Donors will attend the soup banquet on the Dec 5th, with the first 900 being given one of these painted bowls to keep. Helping babies and free art? That's an event! Keep an eye out for my bowl:

I actually really like that bowl. And I love that it's being used for a March of Dimes fundraiser. I think that's a very creative idea.

--Dakota Lifestyle: Beyond the Weather , 11/01/2007 20:17:12

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