The art of Rolling Stones Ronnie Wood

PUBLISHED: 01:32 18 January 2010 | UPDATED: 14:35 20 February 2013



THE gentler side of wrinkly rocker Ronnie Wood will be on show in North Wales this summer. .

The artistic talents of the reformed hell-raiser and Rolling Stones guitarist will be on display as part of a major exhibition being held as part of The Gardening Show in Llangollen later this summer.

The exhibition is being staged by UK Fine Arts in association with four of the country's most prestigious private galleries: Number Nine The Gallery from Birmingham, Artifex from Sutton Coldfield, Art Legacy, Hampshire, and Pride Of The Valleys Sculpture Park, Surrey.

It's a major coup for organisers of the show which is in only its second year at the Royal International Pavilion. Prints of Ronnie's work, courtesy of Number Nine The Gallery, will be on display in the exhibition at the Pavilion Gallery on Saturday and Sunday, July 28th and 29th. The legendary rocker heads an impressive lineup of sculptors and artists that will ensure satisfaction for art lovers.

The silkscreens will be shown alongside the works of sculptor Ralph Brown RA who last month saw one of his pieces sell for 40,000 at Number Nine The Gallery and has recently celebrated his 79th birthday.

Wood's diversion into art is no recent fad, the guitarist, who will be 60 in June, gained an A-level in art a year early at school in Hillingdon, West London, and originally tried to get work as a scenic artist at Pinewood Studios.

Wood says: 'I couldn't get into Pinewood or any of the other studios because you had to be in a union or know someone who was so it was a closed shop.'

He did, however, make some money from his art: 'I spent about four weeks as a signwriter, you know, 'To Let' and 'Sold'.'

Nowadays Wood's art, which includes studies of fellow band members and other iconic musicians such as Rod Stewart, Eric Clapton, John Lennon and Bob Dylan, commands rather higher fees, up to a million dollars.

'Painting is a good outlet for me. With a band I'm part of a unit whereas with my art I control the whole thing. 'I do people whenever I can, in the studio, in the control room. When I get a bit of time I just do a quick sketch. I just grab a lined pad and a biro.

'If I didn't have such a good job now I'd be painting.' Ronnie Wood's work is being displayed by Number Nine The Gallery, whose owner Lee Benson admits he's just had a good weekend: 'I sold a Ralph Brown sculpture for 40,000.

'There will be some of his work at The Gardening Show and we tied it in with his exhibition at the Royal Academy and at Grand Designs Live in London. 'I'll be telling everyone about Llangollen because this is serious art we're talking here and we're bringing it to Llangollen because we know The Gardening Show is a seriously good event. 'If people have nice houses and nice gardens then they're likely to be interested in nice works of art, Ralph Brown's work has been at the Chelsea Flower Show.'

Among the other artists on show will be Liverpool sculptor Tony Evans whose stunning work in copper will be displayed.

Arranging the exhibition is art agent Steve Turner, of UK Fine Arts, who says: 'We will have 30 to 40 pieces of bronze sculpture and a number of paintings as well as Ronnie Wood's prints, in all there will be over 20 artists represented. 'We'll also be doing demonstrations with Frank Johnson there to show the Pre-Raphaelite style of painting and a sculptor on the Sunday.'

The Gardening Show organiser, Stephen Green, former chairman of the Garden Writers Guild and Phostrogen's

gardening expert, sees art as integral to gardening. 'Garden design is now recognised as an art form,' he said: 'What you are doing in the garden is painting pictures with a palette of colours. 'People who appreciate gardens will appreciate art and this link is something we positively set out to achieve. It's a new dimension and I'm not aware of any other garden show that does it.

'But gardens are for many people an inspiration for art, look at Monet with his garden at Giverny.' Last year, The Gardening Show's first, saw it attract 7,000 people proving that Stephen's vision of a show for gardeners of all standards pushed the right buttons.

He explains: 'My background is in gardening and getting people involved, not lecturing them but showing them how to do things, getting them hands-on.

'For the best part of 25 years I had been traveling the country, attending the major garden and flower shows and showing and advising people how to do things.

'It was David who said to me you spend so much time at these shows, why don't you do your own.' 'We've gone for a structured, quality, educational approach. Our exhibitors are hand-picked for being consumer friendly, knowledgeable and high quality and it seems to have worked.'

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