WHILE his bandmates were singing Paint it Black back in the 1960s, Rolling Stones legend Ronnie Wood was doing just that with his paintbrush.
Now, as the iconic rock band head back on stage to celebrate their 50th anniversary, the guitarist has unveiled his own tribute to his fellow musicians – a new collection of portraits.
The works, including portraits of Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts and Keith Richards, together with a self portrait of Wood himself, are on show at the Castle Fine Art gallery. The Multrees Walk gallery is one of the locations across the UK which is displaying the six limited edition prints – for sale at up to £995.
And while you might feel it’s all a bit self-indulgent of Wood, it is after all only rock ’n’ roll.
“Ronnie Wood has an outstanding artistic talent,” says gallery manager Billy Couper.
“Working from real-life on-stage photographs, Ronnie first creates a dramatic black backdrop before painting his fellow Stones with breathtaking clarity and realism, working in acrylics, then oils and finally embellishing the art with oil pastels.”
Wood, who joined the Rolling Stones as lead guitarist in 1975, studied at Ealing College of Art before becoming a musician.
Over the years he has continued to draw and paint and has exhibited his artwork, featuring icons of popular culture, all over the world.
“When I get inspired, I get almost possessed and I just have to paint,” he says.
“There is no kind of therapy that is like the one you have from starting and seeing a picture through to the end.”
Wood adds that unlike his band appearances, his artwork is a purely solo performance.
“In a secret sort of way, I like the people that I draw to see the way I’ve depicted them. Unlike music, it’s a solo effort. There’s no-one else to blame.”
Wood’s latest collection, Decades, plays homage to the band’s golden years and may seem like the perfect Christmas present for a Rolling Stones fan.
With the cheapest of Wood’s print priced at £795, however, you’ll need a rockstar bank account to be able to afford one.
Drawing on childhood talent
RONNIE Wood was born on June 1, 1947, to a family of “water gypsies” or “bargees” – river and canal barge operators.
Art and music were his passions from an early age and he won his first art competition after his drawings were featured on the BBC television programme Sketch Club.
He followed his two older brothers to Ealing College of Art before beginning his music career as a guitarist with The Birds in 1964.
He later played for The Jeff Beck Group and the Faces before he was officially declared a member of the Rolling Stones in February 1976 after previously touring with them.
The Rolling Stones are celebrating their 50th anniversary with two gigs at the London O2 Arena this month.