Art-Making Activity: Produce Prints

Caroline Kent (American, b. 1975), An Improbable Concoction, 2020, Acrylic on unstretched canvas, Museum Purchase, Carmen Donaldson Fund, 2021.2, Photography by Seth Boonchai © Caroline Kent

“I am interested specifically in what is gained in an act of translation as opposed to what is lost, and…how the multiplicity of forms can create a kind of cacophonous affect—a chorus, an argument, or a call and response.”
—Caroline Kent

Inspired by the act of translation—the way meaning can shift across contexts of cultures—Caroline Kent’s paintings contain secret codes and hidden messages. Painted against black backdrops, the shapes in her paintings are often inspired by architecture, foreign languages, and film. She thinks of her compositions almost like musical scores, dance, choreography, or scripts; a way of imagining new ways of  moving through the world.


  • Assortment of pre-cut produce items such as lemons, peppers, celery, and potatoes
  • Thick white paper
  • Paper plate
  • Acrylic paint in assorted colors
  • Paint brush
  • Paper towels
  • Ink pens/markers (optional)

  • ADVANCE PREPARATION: Cut washed and assorted fruits and vegetables of choice in half into flat-sided pieces. Where necessary, remove seeds and juices. Allow to “dry-out” overnight.
  • Add paints of various colors to different paper plates. 
  • Dip a fruit/veggie piece into paint and apply firmly to paper, then lift to reveal a print. Repeat up to three times in different areas.
  • Choose another piece and paint color and repeat the same process.
  • Mix creative colors as you go along.

  • Cover surface area and clothing with something that can get messy and may stain.
  • Use the paint brush for even coating. 
  • Apply the first print to a paper towel as it may be your darkest, and thickest colored print. The more you make a print, the lighter the colors will appear.

  • Make greeting cards! Use card stock and fold it in half before printing.
  • Print on white/brown paper bags for personalized lunch sacks.
  • Turn your prints into creatures or landscapes by using ink or markers to add drawn features and accents.

Once you’ve finished, browse more family-friendly art-making activities.

NOMA is committed to uniting, inspiring, and engaging diverse communities and cultures through the arts — now more than ever. Your gift will make a direct and immediate impact as NOMA welcomes our community back to the museum and sculpture garden, plans new exhibitions, and develops virtual and at-home arts education resources for school partners.