While much is known about this beloved musician, fans will be thrilled to know that there is still more to uncover. For example, did you know that Paul McCartney, or Macca as some call him, wrote his first song when he was fourteen called “I Lost my Little Girl?” Or how about the fact that in his youth he twice failed auditions to become a choir boy- yes, Paul McCartney, failed singing auditions not once, but twice. Another little known fact about Macca is that his first instrument was not a guitar, but a trumpet. It was a gift from his father on his 14th birthday, but he soon traded it for a guitar. Other little known facts about him include that he is an honorary detective with the NYPD, he witnessed the 9/11 attacks from a plane in New York, he is a vegetarian, and is in the Guinness Book of Records with 60 gold discs and sales of over 100 million singles. However, one of the most fascinating aspects of his artistry come from the fact that not only is McCartney a world-renowned musician, he is also an accomplished painter, who has had over 70 of his paintings exhibited at the Walker art gallery in Liverpool.
(McCartney with his exhibit at the Walker Gallery)
Though he began regularly painting at the age of forty, his interest in art dates back to his childhood. When McCartney was eleven, he used a school prize to buy his first modern art book, which included works by Dali and Picasso. At fourteen, he won an art prize for a drawing of St. Aidan’s Church on the estate where he lived. While he lacked any formal art training, he became very friendly with many artists, critics, and gallery owners who exposed him to contemporary art and fed his enthusiasm for painting. One of Paul’s biggest inspirations is Willem de Kooning, whom he met when de Kooning was a client at his father-in-law’s law firm. Willem de Kooning became a family friend and a mentor to McCartney, inspiring many of McCartney’s works.
(McCartney with de Kooning)
As for his process, McCartney remarked that, “sometimes just putting on the paint is more interesting than actually thinking what it all means.” Many of the themes and titles of his pieces are spontaneous and are inspired by what instinctively happens on the canvas. McCartney has talked about how John Lennon and Andy Warhol “appear” in his pieces. Some of McCartney’s most famous pieces include “My Eye” (2001), “Big Mountain Face” (1991), “Boxer lips” (1990), and “Yellow Linda with Piano” (1988) (Shown from left to right):