JAMES BOND star Pierce Brosnan finds exhibiting his artwork in California more nerve-wracking than any acting role, because his art is far more personal.

The actor showcased four of his paintings for the first time at an event in Santa Monica and became so nervous he had to resort to chain smoking to relax.

Brosnan loves to paint the women in his life and has many images of his late wife Cassandra Harris as well as portraits of his current wife Keely Shaye Smith.

And he insists the pictures are a much deeper, personal expression than acting - because in movies he adopts another persona.

He says, "A neighbour called me and asked if I would submit a few paintings for an event in Santa Monica.

"At the time I was tackling a canvas that I had started and never finished and it was one that my wife Keely really loved. I decided to have another go and at doing something I said I would never do - show my work in public.

"I bummed at least four cigarettes in a row due to nerves while the public began to stream in on a sunny spring evening."