Ringo Starr paints to keep himself busy when he's touring. The former Beatles drummer began creating artwork in 2005, drawing on his computer before graduating to brushes, and creates most of his pieces while on the road with his group, the All-Starr Band. He told the New York Post
: "It's something to keep yourself occupied. I work four or five nights a week. I'm always traveling, always on the road, and this is more fulfilling than hanging around hotels all day. With so much down time, not knowing what to do with yourself, it's better to be creative. I began drawing in '05. I already had my computer. At first I just played around, sketching a few heads. Then I went further and decided to print them up."
Ringo, 72, was then surprised when his teacher compared him to Dutch master Rembrandt, which made him take his artwork more seriously. He added: "I took some lessons, I was using acrylics. The teacher told me to try actual paint. He said, 'After all, Rembrandt didn't work in acrylics.' Imagine? Likening me to Rembrandt? But I figured I'd try paint. Now I sell what I turn out. Every penny goes to the Lotus Foundation." The foundation is a London-based organization which funds family, child and animal welfare. Ringo is currently exhibiting and selling his work at Pop International Galleries in New York, with hand-signed pieces retailing at $800, while smaller limited-edition posters are $20. Ringo also released a book, Painting Is My Madness
, in 2008.