Monday, August 2, 2010

Art world goes mad for Britain's 'Mini Monet'

British boy aged seven makes £150,000 in 30 minutes by selling his paintings

His paintings fetch thousands and attract buyers from all over the world. But while his watercolours, pastels and oil paintings hint at a talent honed through decades of practice, Kieron Williamson is barely halfway through primary school.

The seven-year-old prodigy sold his latest collection of paintings for £150,000 at the weekend, with all 33 works sold in just 30 minutes.

Mini-Monet: Keiron Williamson's landscapes and coastal scenes are making him hot property in the art world

The astonishing sale attracted buyers from as far as Arizona, New York and South Africa, with others bidding by telephone from around the world in the hope of securing an original. One couple from Philadelphia camped for two days outside the gallery in Kieron's home town of Holt, Norfolk, to make sure they did not miss out when the third exhibition of his work opened on Friday morning.

Many of his paintings feature Norfolk landscapes or coastal scenes, but the latest exhibition also included views of City Temple in Holborn, Central London, and even a painting of Hong Kong.

Genius at work: Kieron, painting in his parents' kitchen in Holt, Norfolk, has sold all over the world

Impressionist of the Broads: Kieron's landscapes of his native Norfolk show a talent well beyond his young age

Water way with colour: Light, colour and reflections fill one of the paintings sold in a recent auction

Collection: Some of his pictures at the Holt gallery

The biggest sellers were a 20in by 30in oil painting called Sunrise at Morston, which went for £7,995, and a 19in by 25in pastel called Marsh at Sunset, which fetched £6,750.

Kieron said: 'I normally paint in the morning and I am up at 6am and then after school - but with the school holidays at the moment, I am painting all the time. 'I like landscapes as they've got the big Norfolk skies in them and not too many hills or mountains.'

He paints up to six paintings a week and 700 people have registered on a waiting list for an original.

Until two years ago, Kieron's artistic talents stretched only to colouring in dinosaurs drawn for him by parents Keith, 44, and Michelle, 37. But on a family holiday to Cornwall he was inspired by visits to harbours and ports and began producing 'mind-blowing' images of the boats in the water.

Gallery owner Adrian Hill said: 'Kieron has probably become one of the most collectable artists currently exhibiting worldwide. He's impressionist without being too abstract. 'He is years in advance of where he should be.'

Kieron's parents plan to buy him a house with his earnings and invest the rest for him until he is 25.


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