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Ron Wood, painter

Rolling Stone guitarist has major exhibit of artworks

By Todd Leopold

Among Ron Wood's works is a painting of himself, second from left, and his Rolling Stone bandmates.
• Gallery 319:  Ronnie Woodexternal link
• San Francisco Art Exchange:  Ronnie Woodexternal link
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(CNN) -- Ron Wood could have just as easily been a painter.

The Jeff Beck Group, Faces and Rolling Stones guitarist -- whose work is on display at Gallery 319 in Santa Monica, California, and then going up the coast to the San Francisco Art Exchange, followed by Las Vegas and New York -- has been painting since he was a child, inspired by his brothers (who also played music).

Indeed, he attended London's Ealing College of Art and planned to be a scenic designer for the movies. He actually took a job painting signs as a move in that direction.

But the siren song of the music business was too strong.

"I thought, for what I was earning in one week of sign writing, which got so boring, I could earn in a night [playing music]," he said in an interview.

But he never gave up the avocation. His works, which include portraits of musical contemporaries, landscapes and abstracts, have attracted a following and sell for thousands of dollars.

He works in oils, silk screen and digital media. Sometimes he bases his works on photographs; other times his subjects pose. A handful have popped up on album covers, including the sketch of Eric Claption on the cover of Clapton's boxed set "Crossroads."

Wood has no plans to give up art -- or the guitar, for that matter. Why should he? He's got the best of both worlds.

"They're both forms of artistic expression, and I'm lucky enough to be born with [a talent for them]," he says.

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