He has the touch of an Impressionist master but he prefers Gameboys to waistcoats. And he’s only been painting a couple of years because he recently turned 7.
Kieron Williamson of Norfolk, U.K., known in the British media as “Mini Monet,” has impressionist style and impressive impact: he just sold 33 of his paintings for a whopping $240,000—in just 30 minutes—to customers who traveled to England from as far away as South Africa.
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. Many camped outside the gallery for two days awaiting the 9 o’clock sale, gallery owner Adrian Hill said.
Kieron Williamson 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.”
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.
“Kieron is painting so far in advance of his own years,” Adrian Hill said. “There are many talented artists out there, but I can’t think of one that’s made such an impact at such a young age.”
Adrian Hill, who has known the Williamson family since before Kieron was born, said Kieron has always been fascinated by art. As a small child, he would walk around the gallery and closely examine all of the works each time he visited, Hill said.
Now, there is a wait list of 700 people who want an original Kieron work. Hill said the reason for the demand is the relatable style of the paintings. “They’re impressionist without being abstract and realistic without being photographic,” he said.
That impressionist style is rare in an age in which many art students become abstract or contemporary artists, gallery employee and art student Charlotte Hoar said. “It’s fantastic to see a style that was around hundreds of years ago brought back by a seven-year-old living in Norfolk,” she said.
Although focused on his work, Kieron is still a typical kid. While others set up for the exhibition, he was chasing bubbles in the parking lot, Hill said.
Kieron has yet to understand the financial implication of his success but he does get excited every time he sells a painting, Hill added.
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.
And, based on demand, it seems Kieron will be selling paintings for years to come. “I would happily exhibit all of them in the gallery,” Hill said.
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.