The Rolling Stones' guitarist talks about capturing tours on canvas
[b]Ron Wood[/b] studied art at Ealing’s College of Art. Despite being told by his bandmates to “stick to playing guitar”, he’s persevered and now, with an exhibition of his art running at Manchester’s Richard Goodall Gallery until January 5, he talks to UNCUT about his second career as “Ronnie Rembrandt”.
[b]UNCUT: What can people expect to see at the exhibition?[/b]
RWOOD: They can see all my work, including works that have been exhibited at Scream Gallery in London. Exhibitions are about a story, an experience. And with a good piece of art, you capture an audience with your story, the texture and the colour. All my paintings are inspired by experience. There is no way to separate one element from another. It’s the package of everything together.
[b]Is there ever a point where your music and art get in the way of each other?[/b]
On tour with the [b]Rolling Stones[/b], life is incredibly busy: the travelling, new cities, shows three or four times a week. But I travel with my paints and often paint in the hotel rooms on my downtime. It’s fantastic, because there’s always something new to see, to capture and to explore. By the end of the tour, I have paintings to reflect the entire journey.
[b]Was art your first choice of career?[/b]
I always looked up to my brothers Art and Ted, both musicians and painters themselves. Since I could remember, I wanted to do exactly what they did, and so I followed them to art school. There wasn’t one moment where music took over. In my life and forever, art and music have been intertwined.
[b]Can you remember the first things you ever drew or painted?[/b]
I was quite young, maybe nine or so when my first painting was properly recognized. I won a TV competition. My family and I were having dinner at home, and there was my painting on the telly!
What kind of attitude did the[b]Faces[/b] and the [b]Rolling Stones[/b] have towards your art?
They’ve always supported me in what I do. It’s part of me and always has been. I’ve been nicknamed “Ronnie Rembrandt”, an incredible compliment. It’s always good to have our tours captured on canvas. It’s great to look back on. I wouldn’t say I have one ideal subject. I love painting while we’re on tour and I love trying to capture the energy and passion we have when we’re on stage. It’s an incredible position to be in: painting what I experience, see and feel at that point in time.
INTERVIEW: ROB HUGHES
The Richard Goodall Gallery is at 103 High Street, Manchester M4 1HQ
For details, visit www.richardgoodallgallery.com
Pic credit: PA Photos