It all started with an art class assignment. Now, 6-year-old Carter Hoffman is an abstract artist in the making.
The Hoffmans kitchen is now a temporary art studio.
A large tarp covers the floor beside their kitchen island, dotted with swipes of acrylic paint of various colors. It's a new solution, as the previous painting location (the backyard patio) is now a drying station for the paintings that have been glossed with an epoxy resin.
Who's the Picasso of the family? Six-year-old Carter Hoffman.
A couple of weeks ago, Carter's art assignment for his Volusia Online class instructed him to create an abstract painting using three different colors of paint and a water bottle. Carter loved it so much, he asked his parents to do more. The Hoffmans bought him more supplies, and with each painting, he creatively began to experiment. He ran a fork through the paint, moved the colors by tilting the canvass and dotted it with circles of paint.
“The dots are like his little signature," said Matthew Hoffman, Carter's father. "He puts dots on every single piece of artwork.”
After the family accumulated about six paintings, and Carter showing no sign of slowing down, the parents discussed what to do with them. At first, they thought about gifting them to their family members this Christmas but then they wondered if there was some way to give back to the community through art.
They spoke with Carter and three decided to sell his paintings to raise funds for Food Brings Hope, a local nonprofit that serves over 1,700 children in Volusia and Flagler County by providing meals, academic help and after school programs.
Carter's mother, Katie Hoffman, became familiar with Food Brings Hope through her employer, AdventHealth, which holds an annual Day of Caring volunteering event. Her department last year chose Food Brings Hope.
“We wanted to do something that was right here in the community, and so then we started researching them and saw how much they do for the school kids," she said.
Matthew Hoffman posted their initiative on his Facebook page on Tuesday, Dec. 18, and within four days, Carter had sold 18 paintings. They're not asking for a definite price per painting, just whatever the interested individual wishes to donate to the nonprofit.
As parents, he said they're extremely proud of their son.
“It’s really amazing to see people want to give back, the same way that he has wanted to give back through his artwork," Hoffman said. "It’s just really neat to see the outpouring of support that people have given him.”
Art runs in the family. Hoffman himself paint, having completed a minor in art in college, and Carter often shows interest when his father is working on a piece. He's shown him how to work with charcoal, pencil and various other mediums.
“He’s pretty in tune to art in general, but he’s definitely shown some talent with this," Hoffman said.
When he's not painting, Carter loves sports. He asks his parents to play football with him regularly, and also enjoys soccer. But for now, he's spending a lot of time on the tarp in the kitchen.
“Now it’s all dirty of paint," Carter said.
Contact [email protected] to request a painting.