Pierce Brosnan Talks Passion for Painting as He Sells Prints for Charity: ‘Art Saved My Life’

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Julie Jordan
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Keely Shaye Brosnan

Talk about silver linings.

During the pandemic, actor Pierce Brosnan, 67, has been focusing on his second passion — painting — at his home in Hawaii, which he shares with his wife of 19 years, Keely Shaye Brosnan, 57. Now an L.A. gallery is selling a limited run of prints of his painting Earplugs, which Brosnan created while filming his first James Bond film 1995's GoldenEye.

"I always set up a studio when I go on location," he tells PEOPLE in this week's issue. "When I was shooting the action sequences for the movie, the prop master would hand out these packets of ear plugs because of the rifles and the explosions. I found the infographic on the back to be steadily pleasing and compositionally intriguing."

Keely Shaye Brosnan

Brosnan first began painting at 16, when he left school "with nothing but a cardboard folder of drawings and paintings," he says. "Art saved my life. I managed to get a job, and I wanted to be a graphic artist. But I discovered acting three years into working at this studio and that was it, the tide turned."

RELATED: Pierce Brosnan Pays Tribute to Sean Connery After His Death: 'You Were My Greatest James Bond'

For more of Brosnan's interview, pick up this week's issue of PEOPLE on newwstands now.

His passion for painting waned for a bit but he returned to it in 1987 when his first wife, Cassandra Harris, was losing her fight with cancer.

"It really came to light out of a very hard time in my life," he says. "I turned to the world of painting and that gave me a great sense of comfort. Since then it’s matured. I go to the studio each day even if it’s just to clean the brushes or move the paints around."

Pierce Brosnan/Instagram

Proceeds from the limited run of Earplugs, which are being sold through Seasons gallery in L.A., will benefit A Sense of Home, which supports kids after foster care. The actor will start offering more runs of his paintings in the future as well, including prints of his portrait of singer Bob Dylan, which sold for $1.4 million at auction in 2018.

As for his process, Brosnan insists each creation "takes a long time because I’m lazy and I don’t paint fast enough."

"Or I get the painting to a certain stage and I fall in love with it," he adds. But in the end you just have to tackle it—and be fearless."

Brosnan's signed prints of Earplugs are now available through Seasons gallery in L.A.