By Karen Adams
In early September, with a heavy heart, Darlene Carman announced the wrap of the long-running arts, nature, and lifestyle series, “Darlene Carman Presents.” The show came to Midpen Media’s Palo Alto studio in 2013, after an 8-yr run in San Jose’s Comcast, and later CreaTV’s, studio as “The Painting Gourmet Show.” Over the past 14 years, Darlene and her husband Doug devoted a tremendous amount of time, energy, and resources to the creation of over 400 episodes between the two series. In the early days of recording, Darlene and Doug produced four shows per month and later went on to win the coveted “Best in the Nation” Hometown award. Now the pair are ready to redirect their efforts toward other passions.
The loss of “Darlene Carman Presents” will not only leave an enormous gap in Midpen Media’s programming, but the absence of Darlene and Doug will leave an immense hole in the hearts of crew and staff. “We are deeply saddened to say goodbye to Darlene’s show,” said Keri Stokstad, Executive Director at Midpen Media. “She brought such a vibrant range of topics and talent to our studios, and we will certainly miss her and Doug’s regular presence, but we know they are a part of the Midpen Media family.”
Aside from hosting perhaps the widest-ranging spectrum of talent that has come through Midpen Media, Darlene often advocated for the animal kingdom and the natural world. Her guest list included zookeepers, the infamous Wavy Gravy, KublaCon gamers, snake handlers, bonsai and ikebana artists, dog trainers, Golden Follies (ages 63-92) dancers, an SFMOMA pastry chef, beekeepers, ukulele strummers, railroad historians, bookmakers, and even a goat. Her episodes often contained a healing message, as in the “Animal Assisted Happiness” or “Plants and Air Quality” episodes. As a fine artist, aka “The Painting Gourmet,” Darlene showcased fellow painters, photographers, sculptors, and illustrators. The range of topics Darlene covered was seemingly as endless as her boundless curiosity and fascination with life.
Darlene and Doug’s volunteer studio crew will dearly miss the royal treatment they were given by the duo. Darlene and Doug made a point of sending their crew an itemized menu prior to every show, detailing appetizers, the main course, and dessert for the evening’s crew meal. They also spent all year handpicking personalized holiday gifts for each of their volunteers. It goes without saying that Darlene and Doug were never short of volunteers to crew their shows. Staff and crew are banking on the hope that Darlene and Doug will find it difficult to stay out of the studio and will be back on the air with a “Darlene Carman Special” at least once or twice a year!