If you’re going to paint cartoon characters on a snowplow, wear a hairnet.
Unfortunately there’s a learning curve to these things — actually there’s a curve to the plow, too.
Regardless, the handful of students working outside of St. Joseph’s Catholic Academy seemed content to take their chances.
Approximately four heads of hair sat exposed on the front lawn of the Boalsburg school, huddled underneath what will eventually be the business end of what one would assume to be a very large snowplow.
It’s kind of like doing a mural on a curved wall — and you hit your head.
The top segment of the plow had already been entirely re-imagined as a scenic woodland landscape, a swirl of dark blue paints providing the backdrop against which three lone wolves — a nod to St. Joe’s mascot — prowled in brushstrokes.
Most of the work that remained concerned the name of the school itself, which had been etched in chalk at the bottom of the composition. A few letters still needed to be filled in with white paint.
“It’s kind of like doing a mural on a curved wall — and you hit your head,” Leann Reisinger, the school’s fine arts and video imaging teacher, said.
Reisinger and company are competing in the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s “Paint the Plow” competition alongside teams from the Clearfield, Bald Eagle and Bellefonte area school districts.
It’s relieving after a long day of school to come here and paint.
This year’s theme is “ice and snow, take it slow,” which is good advice for motorists driving in adverse conditions, but less so for artists on a deadline.
Paintbrushes have to be dropped come Wednesday and Reisinger’s crew spent a couple days last week hunched under a tarp trying to apply some finishing touches without getting pelted by rain.
Challenges have abounded, from honing in on the right idea to identifying the skill sets of the students volunteering their time.
“Everybody has a different ability,” sophomore Uyen Nguyen said.
Over at Bald Eagle Area High School, puns made the plow.
A cartoon cow advised people to “steer clear” while his friend the blue jay said not to tweet and drive.
Rose Cox and her students wanted to avoid the standard array of winter snowmen, but everything else was fair game.
“It’s relieving after a long day of school to come here and paint,” student Courtney Metz said.