Art Workshops on the Creative Process for Children and Adults

Artist Darlene Carman, Art Workshops for Children
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Darlene's Philosophy of Teaching Art

Download Darlene's Presentation,
Importance of Art to Our Children and Society

Darlene believes that painting with vegetables can be of significant benefit to children from 9 to 12 years of age. This is the time in their lives that many children become frustrated with their inability to produce realism and hence lose interest in art. Psychologists are convinced that by stimulating the right "creative" brain these children can revitalize their artistic development.

She has found that painting with vegetables induces children to explore and experiment, which they inherently love to do.

Since vegetables are familiar items with irregular shapes that produce unpredictable results, children are not fearful of making mistakes, but learn to accept and create from them. The result is often a textured finish that enhances the natural appearance of trees, bushes and ground surfaces.

Darlene uses vegetables to rouse the right brain. She believes that two mental processes occur when a child or an adult paints with vegetables. First, the left brain (logical side) which has no experience producing shapes and form with vegetables allows the right brain (creative side) to take control. Second, since neither the right nor left brain expects realism from vegetables, the shackles of anxiety are removed and painting is allowed to become spontaneous and fun.

Darlene's Technique:
How Darlene Developed the Process

Darlene is an avid hiker and takes advantage of the solitude by thinking about art. During a hike over a decade ago, she contemplated about what she could do to make her art look different from the works of other artists. She wanted to come up with a technique that would be original. Her mind kept drifting towards thoughts of food because she was hungry and did not pack a lunch.

The idea of painting using vegetables popped into her head. Painting with nature's tools to create scenes in nature appealed to the naturalist inside her. The inspiration led her to explore the different effects various vegetables make in painting trees and foliage. She was very excited about the way her vegetables simulated the natural spontaneity found in nature. Ever since she has expanded and refined the art of painting with vegetables.

Interview with Darlene:
Her environmental Philosophy

"When I hike the open space and parks I am intently aware of those who have trekked in my same footsteps. I think of the gifts that the lands have provided for our ancestors who used the lands' bounty for food, medicine, shelter and tools. Then came the artists who by sharing the aesthetics of these places raised the spiritual consciousness of the world. Today's artists still flock to these sources of enlightenment to tap further into the voices of these great lands.

Although the famous mineral water of Alum Rock no longer attracts the throngs who visited in the 1900s,the creeks still exist. In my Silence of the Land painting, I am saying that some day the mineral water may rise again and erase the markings of today's visitors.

In my work Fletcher's Tribute to C.R., Fletcher is bounding down a path at the Pinnacles washed in wildflowers offering their healing support.

- Darlene Carman