By Kathy Collins
On July 30, Diane Carter and her team of art coaches from The Drawing Point led a paint party for teen campers with Faces of Courage at Rotary’s Camp Florida in Brandon. The teens, all of whom have cancer or a blood illness, were spending the weekend at Rotary’s Camp Florida thanks to Faces of Courage. Faces of Courage is a non-profit that offers free camps and events for women, men and children with cancer and blood illnesses. Rotary’s Camp Florida is a 22 acre camp that provides special needs users with clean, safe and barrier-free camping facilities.
Carter donated not only her time and that of the art coaches, but also all of the supplies for the campers through her Golden Paint Brush Project. Carter, who is a cancer survivor herself said, “Research has shown that art reduces anxiety, depression, pain and improves the quality of life in cancer patients. I am not an expert, but I know it worked for me, and I want to give the same experience to others. I feel like I am giving them hope. I can see it in their eyes how they get lost in the art.”
Carter utilizes both live painting and video to help show the participants not only what the painting will look like, but just how to create a piece of art. But more importantly, Carter encourages participants to be creative and to use the instruction as a guide. In fact, Carter said of one teen camper, “Look, she is stepping out and using purple instead of black.”
Rebecca Freeman, age 16 from Clermont, said of the paint party, “I thought it was really nice and cool. It is a fun camp.”
The Drawing Point is located in Valrico. Carter and her husband, Bob, have been in business for seven years. They have taught hundreds of children and adults drawing skills on a private one-on-one basis. One of their students had a sibling who was stricken with brain cancer. Carter provided the girl with free art classes and supplies for several months. “She became our first Golden Paint Brush Princess,” said Carter who uses her fun mobile paint parties to fund the Golden Paint Brush Project.
For more information on The Drawing Point, Faces of Courage and Rotary’s Camp Florida, visit www.thedrawingpoint.com; facesofcourage.worpress.com; and www.rotaryscampflorida.org.