In a week that has seen Rolling Stones legend Ronnie Wood at the top of the charts, he has been singing the praises of the incredible work of those on the front line. Inspired by the most special symbol of hope, a rainbow, he has taken those colours to his heart by creating a beautiful artwork for HELLO! in tribute to the NHS.
Sharing his gratitude, the accomplished artist and guitarist says: “The NHS are incredibly dedicated, and their commitment to giving support and saving lives is unbelievable. They deserve all the credit people can give them.”
Unveiled here for the first time, the colourful artwork was created by Ronnie last week in his studio at the home he shares with his wife, theatre producer Sally, and their three-year-old twins, Alice and Gracie.
Every Thursday, the family have been joining Clap For Our Carers and his artwork is another expression of that show of gratitude.
“This has all fallen into place since showing our thanks by clapping every Thursday, and our little twins love to see and paint rainbows. There’s just so much appreciation from us.”
Using a mixture of the materials and paints he had to hand, Ronnie set to work on the piece of art last week, telling HELLO!: “I didn’t have all the colours of the rainbow in my studio to paint this all in the same medium, so had to experiment with paints and pastels to get the colours right. I’ve tried to show a few examples of texture and mixed media, and different surfaces through texturing.”
Ronnie’s rainbow heart won admiration from two special critics, his adorable daughters, who turn four at the end of May and already have an appreciation of art. As Sally has previously told us: “They’re both arty. When Ronnie and I took them to the Tate Modern, they recognised works by artists such as Degas, Picasso and Frida Kahlo.”
HELLO! hopes you will place the pull-out-and-keep heart available in the magazine in your window as an expression of your support for the NHS. However the journey of this heart-warming piece of art will not end there, as it will go to St George’s Hospital in Tooting, South London, who last week told us: “We’re extremely grateful to Ronnie for donating this very special artwork to St George’s.
“We know that staff and patients will be really excited to see it on display in the hospital. The uplifting and optimistic message will mean so much to them.”
This gift to the hospital comes after Ronnie painted another NHS inspired painting, which was auctioned and raised £17,000 at The BLUE Auction by Bonhams in aid of the NHS Charities Together Covid-19 Urgent Appeal.
He has also been announced as the special guest artist for The Other Art Fair and Saatchi Art’s Online Studios, where he will release a series of signed, numbered limited-edition prints and two exclusive set list lithographs.
Sally has also been showing her appreciation for the NHS in a sweet way by creating a chocolate bar that is going into care packages for frontline staff, and the entire proceeds of those purchased from her Sweet Theatre range will go to the NHS.
Of his own recent success with the Stones, last week reaching No. 1 with Living in a Ghost Town, he tells us: “It feels fabulous being No. 1! It was wonderful to do You Can’t Always Get What You Want in lockdown too. Having had Ghost Town in the can really helped when Mick [Jagger] reconstructed the words and the mix of the song to fit in with the times we are in now.”
Like all of us in isolation, Ronnie and Sally are missing family and friends. As he tells us: “The most challenging thing about lockdown is being separated from family and friends and coming to terms with that and for people on their own.” However, his final words are for those at the front line: “Gratitude, Gratitude, Gratitude is the best prayer and messages for them all. THANK YOU.”
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