Freddie and Me
Homage to Red Skelton
16 x 20 Clown Oil Painting on Canvas
When I was a kid I used to love Red Skelton and used to watch his TV show all the time with my grandparents. I always loved when he did his famous clown Freddie. I thought it would be fun to do a Homage to this great comedian and his clown paintings. I'm giving away my age now, lol!
Red Skelton began painting early in his career but after his television show ended he became prolific. He painted and sketched hundreds of original pieces and by the end of the 1980's one of his original paintings would sell in the high five figure range.
Red Skelton often painted himself as a clown. One of his paintings, The Sky's the Limit, was inspired by a trip he and his wife Lothian made to Hawaii, during which he went parasailing.
Freddie and Me - Homage to Red Skelton
This was his painting that inspired me to do this composition.
Richard Bernard "Red" Skelton (July 18, 1913 – September 17, 1997) was an American entertainer best known for being a national radio and TV comedian between 1937 and 1971. Skelton, who has stars on the Hollywood Hall of Fame , began his show business career in his teens as a circus clown and continued on vaudeville and Broadway and in films, radio, TV, nightclubs, and casinos , all while he pursued an entirely separate career as an artist.
Skelton began producing artwork in 1943, but kept his works private for many years. He said he was inspired to try his hand at painting after visiting a large Chicago department store that had various paintings on display. Inquiring as to the price of one which Skelton described as "a bunch of blotches", he was told, "Ten thousand wouldn't buy that one." Skelton said he told the clerk he was one of the ten thousand who would not buy the painting, instead buying his own art materials. His wife, Georgia, a former art student, persuaded Skelton to have his first public showing of his work in 1964 at the Las Vegas hotel where he was entertaining at the time. Skelton originals are priced at $80,000 and upward; Skelton once estimated the sale of his lithographs earned him $2.5 million per year.
In Death Valley Junction California , Skelton found a kindred spirit when he saw the artwork and pantomime performances of Marta Becket. Today, circus performers painted by Marta Becket decorate the Red Skelton Room in the Amargosa Hotel, where Skelton stayed four times in Room 22. The room is dedicated to Skelton, as explained by John Mulvihill in his essay, "Lost Highway Hotel"
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