In America in the early 1980s Ronnie produced his first prints - three woodcuts and a series of monotypes. At that time he was not yet an experienced printmaker so it was with great enthusiasm that he seized upon the opportunity in 1987 to spend several months working in a professional printmaking studio in England. Since then he has devoted a considerable amount of time to printmaking and has produced a number of images using various techniques - etching, drypoint, screenprint and woodcut.
Over the years his work has been widely exhibited. In 1996 he had a retrospective exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, São Paulo, Brazil. He has had numerous one man exhibitions in North and South America, in the Far East and throughout Europe.
A passionate and dedicated artist, who grew up in an artistic family and first started painting at the tender age of 12, Wood went on to train to be an artist at Ealing College of Art, before following his incredible musical path with the Jeff Beck Group, The Faces and The Rolling Stones from 1975. Like other contemporary music legends of his generation – including Bob Dylan and John Lennon - music and art are inextricably linked in Wood’s life and the desire and need to create through both art forms is both natural and relentless. Ronnie Wood says: “When I get inspired I get almost possessed and I just have to paint.”
Wood generously nods to the inspirations from art history that have influenced his work - including Schiele, Henri Matisse, Vincent Van Gogh, William Orpen and Pablo Picasso, though he understands that his art, as opposed to the band, is essentially a solo performance. "Unlike music, it's a solo effort, there's no one else to blame. Then again, no one else gets the satisfaction out of it!” Wood says.
Clearly his solo art performance has already won him a legion of fans, with Bill Clinton one of several well known collectors of his original works of art. Wood has also received critical acclaim with his solo exhibitions around the world from North and South America, to the Far East and throughout Europe.
The artist and musician paints in his studio in London’s East End, but he is a prolific artist and both his homes in London and Ireland are filled with ‘work in progress’. Wood is tirelessly dedicated to painting and is always on the hunt for more experimental ways of expressing himself artistically. He is also a consummate printmaker in his own right having developed the skills and techniques of etching, dry-point, screen-print and woodcut.
Wood’s personal triumphs and tribulations have been well documented but it would appear that art has remained his one constant and steadying influence and has indeed bought the guitarist and artist enormous satisfaction over three and a half decades.
“There is no kind of therapy like the one you have from starting and seeing a picture through to the end," says Wood.
Ronnie Wood was born in 1947 in Middlesex, England, into a musical and artistic family. Before beginning his musical career he received formal art training at Ealing College of Art, London.
Throughout the years the artist and the musician have been inseparable. As his musical career progressed, Ronnie continued his passion for painting and drawing, his subjects ranging from band members and musicians he admired, knew and sometimes played with, to family and close friends - and, of course, the self-portrait. It is as natural to find him with a pencil as with a guitar, drawing portraits of contemporaries and finding inspiration from his musical influences.