Top 20 Celebrity Painters
Celebrities who create art as well as sing, act and more!
In researching for our previous post on celebrity art investors, we came across an amazing array of celebrities who not only collect art, but create it as well! We couldn’t resist, and had to dedicate a post to some of these multi-faceted artists.
Amongst celebrities, painting seems to be the preferred form of visual art, whether in oils, acrylics or watercolors. Certainly there seem to be more celebrity painters out there than sculptors or even photographers. What is it that is so attractive about painting, that these already-acclaimed artists should feel so drawn to it?
As with all artists, the talent and skill of celebrity painters varies from person to person. In no particular order, here are twenty of our favorite celebrity painters: judge their gifts for yourself!
Please Note: All artwork shown herein is copyright its respective artist.
Sylvester “Sly” Stallone has been an icon in the film world for decades, but few know that he has been painting for almost as long as he’s been acting. His colorful, abstract pieces are both whimsical and imposing — perhaps not unlike the man himself?
See more of Stallone’s artwork at his website, www.sylvesterstallone.com.
Perhaps best known for her roles in the movies Kill Bill and Charlie’s Angels, as well as the TV show Elementary, actress Lucy Liu is also a very talented abstract artist. She has painted for years, under the pseudonym Yu Ling, but has recently been exhibiting at art galleries and finally claiming credit for her impressive work.
Legendary wild man Dennis Hopper, in addition to acting in such iconic films as Easy Rider, Rebel Without a Cause, and Speed, was also a gifted painter with a unique vision. His time spent with artists like Andy Warhol also gave him an unrivalled view into the art world of the 1960’s.
Before becoming the face of glam rock, musician David Bowie studied art and design, and has been painting ever since. His art evokes a depth and surrealism unsurprising from this avant-garde shapeshifter.
Not only is Johnny Depp a talented actor and musician, he is a gifted painter as well. Depp’s style is malleable, but he seems to relish painting unique and yet strangely moving portraits of people ranging from Jack Kerouac to Marlon Brando.
Singer and songwriter Joni Mitchell is not only famous for her heart-wrenching voice and lyrics, but her absolutely stunning paintings as well — many of which are featured as her album covers. In fact, though she dropped out of art school at age 19, Mitchell has always considered herself a painter first and a musician second.
See more of Mitchell’s artwork at her site, www.jonimitchell.com.
Always recognized for his comedy, as well as more dramatic roles such as in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, actor Jim Carrey is also an accomplished artist. Last year, he had a solo exhibition, Jim Carrey: Nothing To See Here, in Palm Springs.
See more of Carrey’s artwork at his website, www.jimcarreytrulife.com.
Legendary musician Johnny Cash sketched and painted for years, but never thought his work would appeal to the art world. Nevertheless, his work — exemplified by this painting called Flight — was very much in demand. However, Johnny’s heart was always in music, and his touring and recording schedule left little time for painting.
Poet and songwriter Bob Dylan’s painting style can be described as “freewheelin’“, as it were — certainly his artwork has a very impressionistic feel to it. Since 1994, Dylan has published 3 books of his Matisse-influenced artwork.
Musician Stevie Nicks was brought to the world of art by a dear friend ill with leukemia, and dedicates her vibrant, ethereal paintings and drawings to her friend who lost her battle.
See more of Nicks’ artwork at the website www.inherownwords.com.
Actor James Franco — soon to be back on the silver screen in Oz: The Great and Powerful — is a regular modern Renaissance man. In addition to acting, he also does performance art as well as painting.
Comedienne and TV hostess Rosie O’Donnell has long been known both for her colorful mixed media paintings as well as her charity work. At one time she even had a shop on Etsy, with art sales going to benefit charity.
It it at all surprising that actor Anthony Hopkins is amazing at anything he puts his mind to? Once having played Pablo Picasso on screen, Hopkins’ paintings are clearly influenced by the famous artist, but have a darkness and slightly disturbing feel that one would expect from the man behind Hannibal Lecter.
Music queen Janis Joplin tragically passed away at a young age, and left behind not only a catalog of legendary music, but a portfolio of impressive paintings as well. Perhaps with more time, her painting would have become as famous as her music.
Even the Chairman of the Board, the leader of the Rat Pack, Frank Sinatra himself has picked up a paintbrush in his day. While not a poor hand at painting, we think we prefer his dulcet singing voice.
We all know that Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, was a man of many talents and unrivaled in his time. However, few know that when he was just a child, Jackson was already an extremely gifted painter. This portrait of Charlie Chaplin — a big influence of Jackson’s — was painted when the singer was only 9 years old!
Stunning actress Marilyn Monroe has been the subject of many artworks — most notably that by Andy Warhol — but she also dabbled in painting herself. This delicate watercolor of a rose was inscribed by Monroe to President John F. Kennedy.
Musician Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones is a surprisingly talented painter in his own right, and his unique and changing style often shows viewers a “behind the scenes” look at the brilliant and bruised world of rock and roll.
Many people know icon Yoko Ono for her music, performance art and film work, but she is also a skilled painter and philanthropist. A recent auction of her puzzle pieces work went to benefit the study of autism.
Surprising though it may be, even Prince Charles of the Royal House of Windsor is himself a painter. Working from many rural and village landscapes in his native Great Britain, the Prince’s muted watercolors hearken back to the beginnings of the plein air movement in England.
See more of Prince Charles’ artwork at the Belgravia Gallery.
Whew! That was a lot of celebrity painters — and we’ve only scratched the surface! There are countless others, including Bono of U2, actress Jane Seymour, Viggo Mortenson, and even Beyonce Knowles — all of whom have been known to pick up a paintbrush from time to time. Some of these paintings I wouldn’t mind hanging on my wall, that’s for sure. Others, well… to each his own, yes?
What do you think? Can you think of other celebrity painters? What’s your opinion of the ones we’ve shown here? Tell us all about it in the comments below!