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Joe Duffy pays tribute to late Irish artist Frank Clarke after his death

Joe Duffy said he was ‘great fun’ and an inspiration to millions

Caoimhe YoungSunday World

RTE presenter Joe Duffy has paid tribute to renowned Irish artist Frank Clarke who died yesterday.

The Liveline star – who himself dabbles in painting – tweeted: “Sad to report the passing of a great art evangelist Frank Clarke.

“Simply Painting encouraged millions to paint including me. He was great fun.”

Dubliner Frank was world famous thanks to his first book Simply Painting - with his art and teaching - internationally acclaimed.

A notice on reveals that “the beloved husband of the late Peggy and loving dad to Jason, Clive and Ralph died peacefully” at St Vincent’s Private Hospital in Dublin.

Dubliner Frank Clarke

Frank, originally a successful publican, gave it up to pursue his love of art.

However, after six weeks of classes Frank was told to pack it in because he had no talent for painting.

Frank was immensely disappointed, but he persevered, and today his art classes, entitled Simply Painting, are recorded in the US and broadcast to 50 countries -- most lately in China.

A prolific painter, Frank has written numerous illustrated books and he also had an online shop for art supplies.

His family faced hard times when their son Jason had to learn to walk and talk again after a stroke.

Jason's problems began on New Year's Eve, 2000, when he was hit on the head by a bottle and taken to hospital.

"We were told he would never leave hospital and that he would never eat, walk or talk," said Frank previously, "Now he is doing all that and more."

Jason’s journey to better health was no doubt helped by his dad, who will be sadly missed by his friends and family.

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