Great Clown Portraits Are Just The Beginning!!!!

Archive for the ‘9) Dale Smith’ Category

The Amazing Herky The Clown

Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to a great clown Mr. Dale Smith A.K.A . Herky the Clown.   He resides in Massillon Ohio and is very well known they even have a Herky Day.   Herky happens to be one of the clowns that has granted permission for me to paint his image.  He is Watercolor Clown #9  Dale “Herky” Smith.  I really enjoyed working with him  and I am sure you will like him to.

So let’s get to know him better.

Herky and Nina  reunited

Herky and Nina Reunited

1. How long have you been a clown?

I have been a clown all of my life.  I was voted class clown in high school, but professionally trained since 1987. 

Young Herky

Young Herky

2. Who inspired you to become a clown?

I don’t know that I was inspired from the beginning. But I always loved Dick Van Dyke as a child.   When I was 3 I was in the hospital for a few days and my parents brought me a stuffed clown. Still have it.  Maybe that planted a seed?  

3. Where did you receive training?  & 4.  What people do you give credit to in helping you advance your art in clowning? 

I had always been intrigued by magic.  In the 10th grade we had a child development class and each one of us students had to do a lesson plan.  For the entertainment, I wanted to do magic.  Mrs. Marshall, the teacher, agreed that maybe a clown character would be fun for the preschool kids that were going to be brought in.  It was pretty scary.  I had no idea what I was doing.   

The make-up was horrible.  I used white shoe polish. (See pic)  I began to read books and talk to people in theater.  We didn’t have the internet like we do today.

The whole program went fairly well even though I was a scary looking clown.  Before long some of the elementary classes were asking me to come and perform for them.  Over the next two years I was doing shows pretty regularly.

By the time I was a senior in high school, the guidance counselor Miss Umbs informed me about Clown College.  Amazingly enough I was accepted for the 1987 session.  And it’s been a lifelong passion ever since.

For some reason Lou and Frosty (instructors at the Clown College) thought it always got a huge laugh when I big fella was playing the "Ma" in a gag

For some reason Lou and Frosty (instructors at the Clown College) thought it always got a huge laugh when I big fella was playing the “Ma” in a gag

5. Are you involved with any clown organizations?

  I belong to several organizations.  Some local, some on a national level.   

6. How do you feel your clown has evolved over time? How did you settle on the particular style and design of your clown or the personality you try to project as a clown?

Original Photo

Herky the Clown

My character has aged in place.  Herky was bald, older looking clown by most counts.  I had actually started out as a white face clown.  But after training and character development, the inner self comes oozing out through your pores.  

Projecting Herky is just self-promotion.  Inside I am that fun loving; help anyone I can, practical joker that is Herky.  Herky and Dale are pretty much inseparable.

7. I have learned a little more about clowns and I know there are different types of clowns, What kind of clown are you and what do you feel is your clowns most interesting characteristic?

  I am definitely an Auguste style clown.  Herky is very patriotic; he loves his country and his fellow countrymen. 


8. Have you ever worked in a Circus and if so which ones?

I have had the privilege of touring with the Kelly Miller Circus when it was 3 rings under a big top.  I’ve worked many shrine circus dates for the late George Hubler of the International Circus of the same name.  I’ve done some local TV spots; the class of 1987 was featured with Dick Van Dyke on a TV special all about Clown College.

In the 1987 Dick Van Dyke Show this was the amazing set we got to perform on.  trap doors, hidden panels, it was great

In the 1987 Dick Van Dyke Show this was the amazing set we got to perform on. trap doors, hidden panels, it was great

1987 Herky and Dick Van Dyke

1987 Herky and Dick Van Dyke

Kelly Miller Burglars the safe cracker gag

Kelly Miller Burglars the safe cracker gag

Kelly Miller 3 ring ticket wagon

Kelly Miller 3 ring ticket wagon

9. What kind of functions are you hired for example: conventions, parties…

  I still do public functions.  Corporate events, school assemblies.  Just about anything I am asked to be at.  I have also mixed a lot of the clown and magic into ministry work.  It’s a neat “medium” if you will to teach bible stories in an interesting manner.

10. Do you have bits that are standard in the clown world or do you create your own acts?  

There are some standard bits in the world of clowndom, but I usually have to put my own spin on things.  I have attended lectures, watched other performers, and although the material they were teaching was stellar, it didn’t always work for my character.

Ahhhh yes the old skeleton chase.....

Ahhhh yes the old skeleton chase…..

11. Do you use props? 

Props are a necessary item in any show.  I usually stick to the basics though.  I met a clown once who just kept pulling prop after prop after prop out of an oversized gym bag.  After 3 minutes the kids were all bored and out of control.  

Learning how to sew with the seamstresses so I can make outfits and props

Learning how to sew with the seamstresses so I can make outfits and props

11A. If so did you make them yourself?  

Some props are handmade, many are off the shelf, and I have some really talented friends who are able to help with custom stuff.

12. If you are in a parade do you ride anything? Bike, Unicycle, Clown car?

Parades are great.  I usually like to ride on some kind of vehicle.  I was in an accident YEARS ago and often makes it difficult to walk long distances.   Fire trucks are awesome.  We have a HERKY day in Massillon Ohio every year at Meadow Wind Health Care center.  It’s always a fun guess for the kids to figure out how I will arrive.  Once by ambulance, motorcycle, horseback, antique car. Right now we are working on a miniature fire truck that will be used in parades as well as fire education at local schools and fire departments.

Herkys parade fire truck

Herkys parade fire truck

13. Is there video we can watch of you on the web acting as a clown for us to enjoy?

  There are several videos on you tube if you type in Herky the Clown Ohio they will come up.   Right now I am on face book, and our web page is down for updates. We will be doing lectures in both clowning and magic and selling our products via the web.   I’m always willing to help others any way I can. 

Here are Dale “Herky” Smith web contact information

Dale Smith (Herky) on Facebook

Dales Facebook page

Photography Prints

If you happen to be in the Ohio area and you need a great clown – call Herky!

I hope you have enjoyed this post about another wonderful clown.

Until next time. Happy Clowning!

Thanks to Dale for all his help in creating this blog.

Patty Sue O’Hair – Vicknair Clown artist to the world

Follow my art on Facebook

Please like this blog and share among your clown friends.  All comments are welcome!

Watercolor Clown # 9

Watercolor Clown #9 Dale “Herky” Smith

2013-03-03 20.50.10

Hello Fellow Clown Lovers,

Clowns – I love them!  I love to paint bright, colorful, happy images and clowns fit right in with that.

I have painted clowns for several years.  Until recently I focused on painting them in Acrylics on canvas, but I have renewed my love of Watercolor and I am currently working on a series of paintings that incorporates great clowns (most of whom I have made friends with on Facebook) and watercolor on small affordable 9 x 12 watercolor paintings. My goal is to create 75 watercolor clowns in the 9 X 12 size.  I hope to sell thru Facebook or directly to the buyer and hopefully sell a few to the proud clown collectors out in  the world.

Each image will be on Canson 140 LB  Watercolor paper 9 X 12.  Each image will be mailed in a document mailer with a certificate of authenticity. Let me know if your interested or if you have a clown image for me to consider for the series.

Why I paint Clowns: For the record I do paint other things besides clowns but I have a passion and a love for clowns.  I paint my clown images with pride.  Many of the clowns I have met in person, or I am friends with on Facebook.  Some I have sought out because I came across a photo I liked. Others have found out about my work through their friends and came to me.  Each image is personally vetted.  I am looking for a certain look or feel from my paintings.  Not every image presented to me is right for a painting.

I am a skilled artist. I paint both in acrylic and watercolor. Neither of these mediums are easy or forgiving (especially watercolor). I have spent 40 years perfecting my skill. The fact that, I as an artist choose to paint some of the sweetest, funniest, most colorful, and always happy portraits you will ever find anywhere, is a matter of personal choice.

I realize that not everyone will get it or be on board with what I do. I realize there is a select market for my work. I am ok with this. I have faith that the clown and circus industry will surround me with love and laughter and purchase my paintings and prints. This is a very select market to sell to – I get it. You either love clowns or you don’t. I have been working for years to earn the trust of my clown friends and I will do my best to depict their clown persona, so that those who have had the pleasure of interacting with that clown in the past can remember and cherish those memories every time they look at one of my prints or paintings.

I am striving to be the best artist who paints clowns, I am following on the heels of Jim Howle (whom I have met and truly love) and Red Skelton (whom I wish I had met) I am not comparing my skill to theirs, but those are who I relate to.  … It is an honor to truly depict the magic of a clown, to catch the sparkle in the eye that has delighted thousands of children. If you’re good to the clown world they will be good to you.  Sincerely Patty Sue O’Hair – Vicknair.

Watercolor Clown #9 – Clown Dale “Herky” Smith 

 Original For Sale $200.00

I like to take pictures along the way as I paint so you can see the creation from start to finish.  Enjoy!  Leave me a note if you like the painting.

Original Photo

Original Photo

Herky 1 Herky 2 Herky 3 Herky 4 Herky 5 Herky 6 Herky 7 Herky Final


Art Prints

Not for Commercial Use

Copyright 2013 Patty Sue O’Hair- Vicknair Artist PSOVART

Prints are available direct from the artist.

For those of you interested in any of the clown watercolor painting prints. There are 2 ways to get prints.
1. I will post the image on several sites, with links found on my page associated with the clown image. Also there are links from my page directly to the pages where all my art can be found for prints. All you do is choose the one you want, the size, how you want it printed (canvas, paper, etc.) and pay for it they will ship it to you. Here are some sites I am on. (fine art prints, cards, phone cases) (posters, t-shirts, mugs, mouse pads, etc…) and you can order originals or prints from here. Email me direct at or call me direct at 479-601-5277

2. You can buy direct from me. I will order a print from my printer and provide a signed Certificate of Authenticity along with signing the painting. Your cost will be determined by the size you want + shipping to your location.
9 X 12 = $45.00
11 x 14 = $65.00
16 X 20 = $116.00
Each clown I paint receives a share of the proceeds, so rest assured I am selling these images with their blessing. If interested either message me on Facebook or email me at we can handle the transaction by Paypal

Until next time. Happy Clowning!

Patty Sue O’Hair – Vicknair Clown artist to the world

Across the top of this blog you will find pages dedicated to my art.  Please take a few minutes to look them over.

Follow my art on Facebook

Scan QR to head straight to the Facebook Fan page

Please like this blog and share among your clown friends.  All comments are welcome!

Follow me on Facebook to watch each clown being created.

Follow me on Facebook to watch each clown being created.


%d bloggers like this: