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PAINTING ON A GRAIN OF RICE
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PAINTING ON A GRAIN OF RICE

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Dave Stevens has an acute eye for art.

He also has great acuity of vision - 20-17 to be exact - which enables him to paint tiny portraits on grains of rice, watch faces and the heads of pins.His miniature portrait of St. Louis Cardinal shortstop Ozzie Smith on a grain of rice is enshrined in the St. Louis Baseball Hall of Fame.

Now his attention has turned to bigger things: portraits of Cardinals manager Whitey Herzog on baseballs.

``Herzog has a banquet coming up at the end of May. I have to do seven dozen portraits in seven weeks,' he said, dipping a tiny brush into a palette.

He doesn't limit his subjects to baseball players or baseballs. His favorite effort: a grinning Mickey Mouse on the head of a straight pin.

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