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Brushing up on Ringo's art

A 10-minute interview with the artist

It's no secret John Lennon liked to doodle, but who knew drummer Ringo Starr also fancied himself an artist? For years, Starr has been drawing faces and forms on his computer, and selling them to support the Lotus Foundation, his charity supporting numerous social causes. Since an exhibit of work by the former Beatle is up tomorrow through Sunday at 60 Church St. in Harvard Square, we dialed him up to chat. Starr agreed to talk to us for exactly 10 minutes.

Hello? Where are you?

I live in Monte Carlo, but I'm in LA.

I'm in Boston.

One of my favorite cities in America. I've always equated Boston with Amsterdam. Everyone's calm and cool there.

Describe your art for me.

To keep myself busy while I was stuck in hotels on tour, I began using the painting program on my computer. I'd draw faces and color them in.

What's your computer? Care to give them a plug?

No, I'm not going to give them a plug.

Do you paint, too?

In Monte Carlo, I like to paint on canvas. I used to use acrylics, but Rembrandt used oils, so I started using oils.

Your pictures have a goofy sensibility.

Yes, they're kind of childlike. I'm using the most sophisticated piece of equipment, but doing the simplest painting.

(A voice comes on the line: "We're almost out of time.")

What is it with rock stars and painting? There's John Lennon, Jerry Garcia, Ron Wood, Grace Slick . . .

Joni Mitchell . . . Paul [ McCartney ] likes to paint . . . A lot of us come from an art school environment, but, really, out of thousands of musicians, there's maybe only 10.

Say, have you heard Paul's new record?

I have. I've listened to it once.

And?

The best of luck to him.

Is that an endorsement?

It's whatever you want to make of it.

(A voice: "We're out of time.")

I guess that's it then.

God bless and peace and love.

 RINGOSTARRART.COM: Check out Ringo's art
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