Ken Delmar grew up in Manhattan. His mother was a ballerina-turned-artist. His father was Kenneth “Kenny” Delmar, a famous radio and TV actor who’s remembered for playing Sen. Beauregard Claghorn, a radio role that served as inspiration for Looney Tunes rooster “Foghorn Leghorn.”
With talent in the family, it’s no surprise that Delmar harbored a passion for painting. He’s been doing it all his life. He tried to make it a full-time career a few times, but to no avail. Instead, he sold real estate as well as commercials for television. He even wrote a book on body language.
But Delmar’s always come back to painting – and at age 72 his determination has paid off.
Bounty paper towels learned through a Stamford Advocate article that Delmar prefers painting his pictures on their product – and the company soon decided to sponsor Delmar’s first major gallery show in New York. To learn more about Delmar’s colorful paper towel pieces, which were on display in September at the George Billis Gallery, click here.
Folks say the future is sometimes staring you in the face. All Delmar had to do was look down and notice that his paper towels were absorbing rich colors while cleaning his paintbrushes.
A lifelong dream. An idea sparked. A sponsor found. A gallery show. How’s that for a quick picker upper?
Without further ado . . .
The NewsWhistle Q&A with Bounty paper towel artist Ken Delmar
Name: Ken Delmar
Date of Interview: 9-6-13
Age (if you want to give it up): 72
Birthplace: NYC, NY
Current town: Stamford, CT
Occupation: Fine artist
1. What’s the funniest or saddest thing that’s happened to you this week?
Had dinner with a guy that used to work for me 35 years ago. He is 88 and there’s no way he can still be alive, what with his cavalier lifestyle and abuses to which he subjected himself. It was sad because you don’t look so great at 88, and you’re not really looking forward to becoming so old, and yet you hope that you get to live so long because it still beats the alternative.
2. What’s your favorite movie? And why?
Citizen Kane, of course. Because it was amazing and because Orson was a friend and colleague of my father’s so that added an additional layer of connection.
3. What’s the biggest risk you took in life?
Getting married. And I did it four times, twice to the same woman. I never learn.
4. If you could go back in time and do one thing over, what would that be?
Allowing myself to be drafted in the Vietnam War. I had 22 friends when I was inducted. None when I got out of the service. Ugly all around.
5. Tell us your favorite joke:
How come you never see elephants hiding in trees? Because they’re really good at it.
6. What’s something that most people don’t know about you?
7. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever heard?
My grandmother told me to always tell the truth, because then when you absolutely have to lie, everyone will believe you.
8. Who’s your favorite celebrity? And why?
Frank Sinatra. Because he came from humble origins, yet didn’t let huge success destroy him. Also, he was a friend of my father. When I was a kid in Hollywood, I went to Nancy’s birthdays, and she went to mine.
9. What’s your strangest phobia or superstition?
I don’t care for centipedes, rats or rattlesnakes. No superstitions.
10. Last, but not least, is there anything you want to pitch, promote or discuss?
My latest paintings, which are oil paints on Bounty paper towels. The colors are spectacular, and I use primers, gels, driers, and framing techniques that ensure the works will last a long, long time.
11. Oh, and some bonus curve questions . . .
a. Who are your favorite artists/inspirations?
Degas, Toulouse Lautrec, Kandinsky, Matisse, Picasso, and the Wyeths.
b. What was the best museum exhibit or gallery show you ever attended, and why?
My own art opening yesterday (9/5/13) at the George Billis Gallery in Chelsea. Clearly the best gallery show I ever attended.
c. What’s the toughest thing about working with paper towel?
Nothing tough about it. It’s a dream. Affordable and available everywhere. Wish I had discovered it 30 years ago!
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