What do David Bowie, Ron Wood, Grace Slick, and Tony Bennett have in common? If you answered that they are all brilliant musicians, you are only partially right. Another common thread is that they’re all established fine-art painters.
As with their musical styles, each of these individuals has a unique painting style. David Bowie, known for his glam-rock styling in the early ‘70s, was involved in promoting up and coming artists online before it became a widespread practice. His paintings range from abstract to surreal and can be found in galleries worldwide.
Ron Wood of The Rolling Stones tends to paint more figuratively, and many of his canvases depict celebrities. According to his website, he has been painting since he was twelve and his involvement in music and art go hand in hand. Grace Slick, who also paints portraits of well-known contemporaries from the music scene, is best known as the vocalist from the 1960s band Jefferson Airplane. After her retirement from music in the late ‘80s, she turned to visual art.
The jazz and show tunes vocalist Tony Bennett has art training and paints and draws every day. His works range from landscapes to figurative and his canvases can be found in many prominent galleries and museums, including the Smithsonian and The Butler Institute of American Art.
The fact that these very public figures find solace in painting is no surprise. Painting can be a solitary endeavor, and hours in front of a canvas offers a means to escape the chaotic nature of show business and the stage, while still providing an outlet for creativity. Many artists dabble in more than one medium, but for these musicians, it is much more than just a weekend hobby.
Brian Sylvester is a guest blogger on WallSpin, and an artist on Zatista.