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  1. #1
    The Dentist English Noodles's Avatar
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    The boy who paints like an old master

    The boy who paints like an old master
    His pictures cost upwards of 900, there are 680 people on a waiting list to buy them, and his second exhibition sold out in 14 minutes. Patrick Barkham meets the gifted artist Kieron Williamson, aged seven

    In pictures: Kieron Williamson's best work



    After Gliman by Kieron Williamson. Click on the magnifying glass for a larger version

    Kieron Williamson kneels on the wooden bench in his small kitchen, takes a pastel from the box by his side and rubs it on to a piece of paper.
    "Have you got a picture in your head of what you're going to do?" asks his mother, Michelle.
    "Yep," Kieron nods. "A snow scene."
    Because it is winter at the moment, I ask.
    "Yep."
    Do you know how you want it to come out?
    "Yep."
    And does it come out how you want it to?
    "Sometimes it does."
    Like many great artists, small boys are not often renowned for their loquaciousness. While Kieron Williamson is a very normal seven-year-old who uses his words sparingly, what slowly emerges on the small rectangle of paper in his kitchen is extraordinarily eloquent.
    This month, Kieron's second exhibition in a gallery in his home town of Holt, Norfolk, sold out in 14 minutes. The sale of 16 new paintings swelled his bank account by 18,200. There are now 680 people on a waiting list for a Kieron original. Art lovers have driven from London to buy his work. Agents buzz around the town. People offer to buy his schoolbooks. The starting price for a simple pastel picture like the one Kieron is sketching? 900.
    Kieron lives with his dad Keith, a former electrician, his mum, who is training to be a nutritionist, and Billie-Jo, his little sister, in a small flat overlooking a petrol station. When I arrive on a Saturday afternoon, Kieron and Keith are out. When Kieron returns in football socks and shorts, I assume he has been playing football. But no, he has been replenishing his stock of pastels in Holt, a chichi little place where even the chip shop has grainy portraits for sale on its walls.
    Artist Kieron Williamson, age seven, painting at home in Holt, Norfolk. Photograph: Graham Turner From Jan Lievens to Millais, there have been plenty of precocious geniuses in the art world. Excitable press coverage has compared Kieron to Picasso, who painted his first canvas, The Picador, aged eight.
    "We don't know who Picasso is really," says Keith.
    "I know who Picasso is," interrupts Kieron. "I don't want to become Picasso."
    Who would he like to become? "Monet or Edward Seago," he says.
    These days, however, we are often suspicious of child prodigies. We wonder if it is all their own work, or whether their pushy parents have hot-housed them. People who don't know the Williamsons might think Kieron is being cleverly marketed, particularly when they hear that Keith is now an art dealer.
    The truth is far more innocent. Two years ago, a serious accident had forced Keith to stop work and turn his hobby collecting art into an occupation. The accident also stopped Keith racing around outside with his son. Confined to a flat with no garden, surrounded by paintings and, like any small boy, probably influenced by his dad, Kieron decided to take up drawing. Now, father and son are learning about art together.
    Kieron is rubbing yellows and greys together for his sky. "There's some trees going straight across and then there's a lake through the centre," he explains. Is this picture something you have seen or is it in your imagination? "I saw it on the computer and every time I do the picture it changes." he says, handling his pastels expertly.
    Keith ducks into the kitchen and explains that Kieron finds pictures he likes on the internet. Rather than an exact copy, however, he creates his own version. This winter scene is imagined from an image of the Norfolk Broads in summer.
    Figures at Holkham by Kieron Williamson At first, Kieron's art was pretty much like any other five-year-old's. But he quickly progressed and was soon asking questions that his parents couldn't answer. "Kieron wanted to know the technicalities of art and how to put a painting together," says Michelle. Hearing of Kieron's promise, one local artist, Carol Ann Pennington, offered him some tips. Since then, he has had lessons with other Norfolk-based painters, including Brian Ryder and his favourite, Tony Garner.
    Garner, a professional artist, has taught more than 1,000 adults over the last few decades and Kieron, he says, is head and shoulders above everyone. "He doesn't say very much, he doesn't ask very much, he just looks. He's a very visual learner. If I did a picture with most students, they will copy it but Kieron is different. He will copy it and then he will Kieronise it," he says. "It might be a bit naive at the moment but there's a lovely freshness about what he does. The confidence that this little chap has got he just doesn't see any danger."
    Garner says his parents have been brilliant at shielding Kieron from the business side and the pressure this invariably brings. Keith and Michelle are extremely proud, and protective, and perhaps slightly in awe of their son. They insist that Kieron only paints when he wants to.
    "We judge ourselves every day, wondering whether we are making the right choices," says Michelle. "Kieron is such a strong character you wouldn't get him to do anything he didn't want to do anyway. It's a hobby. Some could argue he's got such a talent, why aren't we doing more for him in terms of touring galleries every weekend. We are a family and we've got Billie-Jo to consider; you've got to strike a balance."
    Boat at half way house by Kieron Williamson With all the people wanting paintings, I ask Kieron if he feels he has to do them. He says no.
    So you only paint when you want to? "Yep."
    Do you have days when you feel you don't want to paint?
    "Yep."
    So you only do it when you're in the mood?
    "Yep."
    How many paintings or drawings do you do each week? One or two? "About six."
    Is he a perfectionist? "You've got a bit of an artist's temperament, haven't you?" says Michelle, softly, as Kieron continues wielding his pastels. "You get really frustrated if it doesn't work out. You punched a hole in the canvas once, didn't you?"
    That was rare. Sometimes, however, Kieron will produce "what we classify as a bag of trosh," says Michelle. "He's just got to go through the motions. It's almost as if it's a release. It's difficult to explain it's the process that he enjoys, because there are days when he is not really focused on his work but he just enjoys doing it."
    Sometimes, when they have taken Kieron out on painting trips in the countryside, the little boy has had other ideas: he has gone off and played in the mud or a stream. He is still allowed to be seven years old.
    What do his school friends think? Are they impressed? "Yep." A few [at] moments later, Kieron pauses. "I am also top of the class in maths, English, geography and science," he says carefully, rubbing the sky in his picture.
    Kieron explains he is sticking to landscapes for now but plans to paint a portrait of his 98-year-old nan when she turns 100. What does he think about people spending so much money on his paintings? "Really good." Would he like to be a professional painter? "Yep." So he doesn't want to be a footballer when he is older? "I want to be a footballer and a painter."
    Kieron enjoys playing football and, like his dad, supports Leeds United ("I haven't ever pushed him into it," says Keith quickly). What other things does Kieron like doing? "You played on the Xbox but then you got bored of it didn't you?" says Keith.
    "You said I could have it out when Christmas comes," says Kieron.
    "You can have it out in the holidays," promises Michelle. "He's a bit all-or-nothing with whatever he does, like the artwork. You have to pull the reins in a bit because otherwise he'd be up all night."
    What would his parents say if Kieron turned around and told them he was not going to paint any more? "Leave him to it. As long as he's happy. At the end of the day, he's at his happiest painting," says Keith. "It's entirely his choice," says Michelle. "We don't know what's around the corner. Kieron might decide to put his boxes away and football might take over and that would be entirely his choice. We're feeling slightly under pressure at the moment because there is such a waiting list of people wanting Kieron's work, but I'm inclined to tell them to wait, really."
    I doubt many artists could paint or draw while answering questions and being photographed but Kieron carries on. When he finishes, we lean over to look. "Not bad. That's nice," says Keith, who can't watch Kieron at work; I wonder if it is because he is worried about his son making a mistake but Keith says he just prefers to see the finished article.
    "Is it as good as the one I did this morning or better?" asks Kieron.
    "What do you think?" replies Keith. "It's got a nice glow on it, hasn't it?"
    Kieron nods.
    I would love one of his pictures but, I tell Kieron, he is already too expensive for me. "I can price one down for you," he says, as quick as a flash.
    No, no, I couldn't, I say, worried I would be exploiting a little boy who is eager to please. I thank him for his time and hand him my business card. And Kieron trots into his bedroom, comes out with his business card and says thank you back.
    Kieron's tips for landscape painting

    1 "Go on holiday to where you really want to go, and be inspired."
    2 "Start with acrylics, then watercolours, then pastels and then oils"
    3 When you set out to do a landscape, "start with the sky first, top to bottom."
    4 "When you do distance, it's lighter, and when you do foreground it comes darker."
    5 "If you're doing a figure in the winter, do a brown head, leave a small gap, do a blue jacket and brown legs. Then with the gap get a red pastel and do a flick of red so it looks like a scarf."
    6 "Keep on painting."
    The boy who paints like an old master | Art and design | The Guardian

  2. #2
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    Very gifted. Thanks

  3. #3
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    Gifted indeed, but I'm not sure the "old master" bit is justified. He has an amazing talent, that's it so far.

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    painting old masters requires great technical skills which he wont have ,but still gifted at a young age nevertheless

  5. #5
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    ^
    Lets try a young master in training? He is very good and could get better nice to hear no one mention child prodigy a very overrated term indeed..

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    The boy has talent. The old masters never painted most of the painting as that was done by the understudies.

  7. #7
    The Dentist English Noodles's Avatar
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    ^Lazy bastards.

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    bet they wish they were in the coin now^

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    very nice.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by zubber View Post
    painting old masters requires great technical skills which he wont have ,but still gifted at a young age nevertheless
    Sure?
    Here is an excerpt from the book Reincarnation - A new Horizon in Science, Religion, and Society.

    A BLACK, BLIND SLAVE BECOMES A FAMOUS MUSICIAN

    To be born blind and in slavery in Georgia in the year 1849 was hardly a propitious entry into this world. In a magazine article, "Blind Tom: Mystery of Music," Webb Garrison related that for business reasons, "most Georgia farmers of a century ago were very particular about their- annual crop of slaves, and Perry H. Oliver, of Muscogee County, was no exception."

    So, when the baby of one of his slaves was brn stone blind, he was keenly disappointed. "Later, Oliver sold the mother at a slave auction to General James Bethune of Columbus, Georgia. Then he pulled the blind youngster from hiding. 'Here,' he chuckled, 'I forgot to tell you she has a boy. I'm throwing him in free' " (Coronet, July 1952).

    And so the poor mother with her one-year-old child was torn from her home and friends, to live among strangers. General Bethune named the boy Thomas Greene Bethune, but the world was to know him as "Blind Tom."

    Among the many accounts of this astounding prodigy, the best researched is that of Ella May Thornton, honorary state librarian of Georgia. Her study, "The Mystery of Blind Tom," was published in the Winter 1961 issue of The Georgia Review. We quote here from that article.*

    "While he was still an infant in arms, Tom's extraordinary susceptibility to any and every sound manifested itself-but to music in particular.... All of the Bethunes, who were of high intelligence, cultivation, and benevolence, recognized the unusual qualities of the small Negro.

    The first amazing demonstration of Tom's musical virtuosity was the those of the Bethune girls as they were singing on the verandah steps one evening. It was not the melody that he carried, but the more difficult second part. . . . He, spontaneously and perfectly, carried on to the end of the song.

    The next surprising exhibition was the following year when he was four, upon an evening when the young ladies had had several hours of music at the piano. After they had scattered to other parts of the house, all that had been played earlier was heard again.

    When the original performers hastened back to the parlor, there was the little black mite at the keyboard, giving back, in ecstasy, all that he had received. "No one knew of his ever having touched a piano before," adds Miss Thornton, "and it seems probable that he never had," because "sounds attract attention, and a slave boy playing the piano in a busy household would soon be detected."

    It is reported by the music magazine Etude (August 1940) that, right from the start, Blind Tom used both the black and white keys. Thus he was aware of the major and minor scales of Western music. As the black
    and white keys are not a natural arrangement, but an ingenious device invented by man, it is difficult to understand how a blind child could use
    and them without some prior acquaintance with the piano and a period of training in its use.

    Miss Thornton emphasizes that, when he began to play the great classics, he approached them "differently from those who play 'by ear' and know nothing of the placing of the fingers."

    He "displayed an absolute accuracy of fingering which a highly professional reviewer in 1862 declared was 'of the schools.' " Although Tom's mental faculties were quite limited, it would be a mistake to confine him to that class of rare retarded children who, having computer like brains, can record and play back compositions heard only once. While Tom had this faculty to a remarkable degree-he could hear a new piece twenty pages long and repeat it perfectly-he had unusual creative talent, too.

    "There were music teachers of the first class in Columbus at this time," relates Miss Thornton, one of them being Carlo Patti, the brother of the noted Madame Adelina. General Bethune sought instruction for Tom, thinking perhaps that formal
    teaching might be beneficial.

    The Columbus teacher, who may have been Patti himself, for he instructed the Bethune girls, declined the request saying:
    "No sir, I give up; the world has never seen such a thing as this little blind Negro and will never see such other. I can't teach him anything; he knows more of music than we know or can learn-all that great genius can reduce to rule and put in tangible form; he knows more than that; I don't even know what it is, but I see and feel it is something beyond my comprehension. All that can be done for him will be to let him hear fine playing; he will work it all out by himself."

    Tom's public concerts began when he was eight years old. When he was twelve, at "the very time of Georgia's secession, on January 19, 1861, Tom appeared in concert in New York City and, throughout the war, played in towns in both Confederate and Union territory, as well as behind the lines of both armies.

    Thousands of soldiers heard him, and many recounted these occasions, in wonder and amazement, in their diaries and journals, later numerously published. In 1866 and 1867 he performed widely in the British Isles and on the Continent and, for nearly twenty years thereafter, far and wide throughout America. He played at the White House by command performance."

    While Tom played Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Bach, Chopin, and many others, he was no mere repeater of the music of others.

    Of his countless hours at the keyboard, a liberal portion of these was given over to improvising. And, once given form, these melodies were forever afterward a part of his repertoire, which was said to embrace seven thousand pieces.

    In more than one critique it was pointed out that those who undertook to set down his compositions were never able to lay hold of the mystery and beauty of his musical phrases.... His grasp and mastery of the sciences of counterpoint and harmony were complete.... Indeed, all the elements requisite to the formation of a total musical power seemed to have been fused into his being.

    Miss Thornton ends her study with a problem: "A question is often raised as to whether there have been any findings by psychologists, physiologists, and other men of science, as well as musical authorities, in explanation of the astounding attainments of Blind Tom.

    The answer I make, after long study, is that there has been no explanation." Yet explanation there must be. If reincarnation proves to be true, then one could say that somewhere, sometime, this blind slave boy must have learned to become a superb musical artist.

    It may be significant that the appearance of Blind Tom on the Western scene was especially timely.

    It was toward the close of the black night of human slavery in the United States when he demonstrated to millions of listeners that the poor, despised, seemingly degraded, uneducated black person was capable of accomplishments that white people with the best education could not duplicate.

  11. #11
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    BBC News - Seven-year-old's paintings fetch 150,000 in Norfolk
    An exhibition of paintings by a seven-year-old artist from Norfolk have sold out, fetching about 150,000 in half an hour.Works by Kieron Williamson, from Holt, have sold to fans from as far away as Arizona in the USA.The exhibition opened at the Picturecraft Gallery in Holt. Gallery owner Adrian Hill said: "Kieron has probably become one of the most collectable artists currently exhibiting worldwide."

  12. #12
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    if he's so good why cant he paint people ?
    just bog standard landscapes ,in subdued colour-if you want to be a master , be your own worst critic - is he?

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    Equal to any prodigy I have heard of and awesome work for anyone of any age.

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    Thailand Expat Jesus Jones's Avatar
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    Bunch of jealous barstewards. They kid has talent.

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    Very talented for a young lad...seems to have a good idea on how to recreate distance and perspective...I wish him luck

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    Molecular Mixup
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    Quote Originally Posted by ossierob View Post
    Very talented for a young lad...seems to have a good idea on how to recreate distance and perspective...I wish him luck
    or has he just copied a photograph to get the depth and perspective ? , even then he has his colour wrong as he missunderstands the effects of distance on it

    ''Visually, there are three primary effects caused by atmospheric perspective:
    1. The further away an object is, the closer its color will match the color of the sky.
    2. As an object moves further from the viewer, the contrast between its highlights and shadows will decrease.
    3. The colors of objects that are closer to the viewer will be more saturated (less gray) than the colors of objects that are far away.''
    looking at any of his painting here you will see he breaks all those rules , eg look at the bank on the left , the green should get paler as it receeds , but he used the same green throuhout the depth ,
    old master ? they having a laugh
    its just greedy bastards buying them thinking they are getting a good investment .

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    ^ mate the kids seven, hes got plenty of time to develop his style.

    I've seen a lot worse in the shops.

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    the painting with the two boats. when i first looked at that painting about 6 months ago, what i thought amazing is not at first glance what you see, but what jumps out off the painting,that's hidden in the painting.
    it's not the only one ,a few of his paintings are like this.
    amazing kid .

  19. #19
    Molecular Mixup
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smug Farang Bore View Post
    ^ mate the kids seven, hes got plenty of time to develop his style.

    I've seen a lot worse in the shops.
    me too , much worse ,If he was doing it for a hobby i would praise him to the roof , as he is selling them for 900 plus each ,i wont be ageist and just take them as i see them.

    His mother is married to an art dealer..............

  20. #20
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    Witha natural talent like this he will progress to an outstanding artist.
    What has his mothers marriage got to do with it ?

  21. #21
    Molecular Mixup
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bower View Post
    Witha natural talent like this he will progress to an outstanding artist.
    What has his mothers marriage got to do with it ?
    here he is ,
    love the comments after the video, especialy about the narrators voice
    Watch British Child Prodigy Compared To Picasso - Kieron Williamson Online - VideoSurf Video Search
    painting a line .....
    just wondering how many cues and help hes getting , and perhaps his parents have encouraged him being artifically championed by media and critics as marketing ploy ?

    Another poor kid exploited
    they should arrest the parents for breaking child labour laws.


    ''
    "all humans are born artists. the trouble lies with staying that way" I think picasso said
    ''

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