Art Workshops on the Creative Process for Children and Adults

Artist Darlene Carman, The Painting Gourmet

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Comments, References and Articles

David Matheson, fifth/sixth grade teacher
Randll Elementary School - Milpitas, CA

"The Painting Gourmet has been coming to my classroom weekly for six weeks. My students are highly engaged by the presentations and the art activities. They look forward to this each and every week. it seems to stimulate many learning modalities which are not often tapped into during the most "normal" school days. And the artwork that they have produced under the direction of Darlene Carman is incredible!"

Mayor Manayan
Mayor Henry Manayan,
City of Milpitas

"I have served the arts in Silicon Valley for nearly 17 years. Much of my service has included membership on a number of Boards including the Arts Council Silicon Valley, San Jose Museum of Art, Villa Montalvo and the Margaret Wingrove Dance Co. In my personal opinion of Darlene Carman's art work, I have always been impressed with her creativity and artistic merit. Her paintings cover a wide spectrum of subjects from natural landscapes including florals and wildlife, to ocean scenes and a variety of marine life.

Her realistic depiction of natural subjects, use of light and wonderful colors are particularly uplifting to look at. Ms. Carman draws us into her paintings. One of the most interesting aspects of Darlene's work is her ability to paint creatively. The best example of this is when she demonstrates the use of ordinary vegetables as substitutes for paint brushes on her work. It is a fascinating thing to watch.

I believe Ms. Carman's work will enhance any community. I particularly feel that Ms. Carman's live demonstrations will really appeal to children most of all, especially with the creative use of ordinary vegetables to create endearing works of art."


Henry C. Manayan, Esq.


Satisfied Teacher
Justine Wendt,
Second grade teacher,
Oak Grove School District, San Jose, CA

"Besides being a wonderful artist, Darlene Carman has the unique ability to transfer her love of art to children without talking down to them. The children found vegetable art different, exciting, and fun."

Happy Student
Third Grader,
Oak Grove School District, San Jose, CA

"I love painting flowers and trees with carrots and broccoli."

From the San Jose Mercury

"Darlene Carman, who lives in San Jose but teaches art in the Milpitas adult education program, is exhibiting her painting, "Fletcher's Tribute to C.R." at the library. "I am so thrilled to be a part of this," she said. "It gives me an opportunity to share my work with the community."

Her painting is a portrayal of a dog in a cart, but it goes beyond that. She met Fletcher while she was hiking with friends in Golden Gate Park and photographed him. Later, hiking at the Pinnacles, she found a path for Fletcher and photographed it. While she was painting, she saw Christopher Reeves on a television show, further inspiring her.

The finished product included some tributes to Reeves, including lavender for healing, she said.

Carman likes the idea of displaying her art in community venues. During another hike with friends, she visited the carousel at Oak Meadow Park in Los Gatos. She mentioned she was an artist and "came home with two eight foot panels." Both panels now adorn the carousel there."

From The Sunnyvale Sun:

Leafy stalks of broccoli and celery fill the basket. The wide-eyed youngsters select one of each and listen intently as the instructor shows them what to do next. Children's cooking class? Not at all. It's time for this year's Hands on the Arts children's festival. Those vegetables aren't for cooking and eating: they're for painting and creating. Sounds silly, but a skilled artist-teacher achieves wondrous effects with them on canvas.

"When you see her work, you think you're looking at under water photos of dolphins and whales," said Kay Whitney, city of Sunnyvale cultural-arts education coordinator and visual-arts chair for the event. "She teaches the children to create different effects with color - to execute and conceive an artistic composition, using vegetables as paint brushes. The kids love it, and they do a great job."

From Ellen Murray of the Los Altos Art and Wine Festival:

"Darlene has a natural energetic personality that children are drawn to." An important element of Darlene's popularity is the rapport she develops with children. She readily captivates and holds their interest.

Sampling of community events in which Darlene Carman has participated:

  • Kaleidoscope - East Palo Alto, CA
  • Youth Artist Fair and the Community Museum - Milpitas, CA
  • Los Altos Art and Wine Festival - Los Altos, CA
  • Hands on the Arts - Sunnyvale, CA
  • Jewell Arts Program, Oak Grove School District, San Jose, CA
  • Gate Seminar - Los Gatos Union School District, Los Gatos, CA.
  • Foster & Adoptive Parent Resource Center - County of Santa Clara


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