Kieron Williamson

Kieron Williamson

Venetian Vignettes

In May 2019, Kieron Williamson embarked on his first foreign adventure to the historic city of Venice. Whilst he was following in the footsteps of many great aspirational artists his journey was to be captured each step of the way by the BBC.

Embracing the challenges of painting a new landscape, working exclusively in water colour, he produced a small portfolio of plein air Venetian Vignettes.

Kieron has since felt inspired to make further paintings in both oil and pastel and he is already looking forward to a return visit early next year.

The Gallery in Holt is delighted to release this inspiring glimpse of Kieron Williamson’s first visit to Venice including five watercolour vignettes painted on location, two pastel drawings and five oil paintings subsequently undertaken in his studio in Cornwall, one oil painting in particular being a major significant work capturing a view through an archway into St Mark’s Square.

All of the paintings are now available to secure on receipt of this e-mail by visiting The Gallery Holt on-line gallery shop here or for further information by e-mailing: or telephoning 0044 (0) 1263 711040.

Please note, as always, artworks are sold on a first come first served basis.


‘Having only ever admired previous works by artists Edward Seago and John Singer-Sargent, I was so excited to finally see Venice in real life. More recently I have been greatly inspired by paintings of Venice by my mentor, Brian Ryder, and those by Prof Ken Howard.’

‘As we arrived from the airport via ferry into Venice I was in awe of the sheer scale of it. The imposing buildings towered above somehow wrapping themselves around me as I ventured further into the city via the arterial network of the canals. The sun was setting and the light was changing minute by minute revealing to me instantly the challenges of painting I would face here.

I had to absorb the different feelings, architecture, colours and to me the most foreign of dynamics before I could even start to talk about it, let alone begin to capture it on paper.

I had nothing in my short life to compare this with; I was stepping into my own Venetian experience as it unfolded in front of me and played out so quickly over the five days.

My painting ‘comfort zone’ and passion is to be in the fields painting cows; where elements such as composition, line and texture are as ‘lost and found’ as you want them to be. But here in Venice was a maze of linear structures, amplified by rainy reflections, fractured by the passing of human traffic.

On top of which, the light and its kaleidoscope of effects playing out on the surface of the terraced streets was a visual spectacle I’d never seen before. In contrast, the lagoon itself presented as a wide open space, where the familiar, natural experiences of clouds and water and a diluted collection of distant buildings offered some sort of temporary respite on the eye!

The sense of excitement and anticipation, only paralleled with that of a Christmas morning as a young child, shaped each day from early morning starts before sunrise, to happily getting lost during the day and evenings enjoying the food and remarkable atmosphere with my mum and sister, Dawn Gerber from the BBC and our good friends, artist Barbara Hawkins and Cheryl Webster. They all made my first trip abroad a complete joy and a wonderful lasting memory.

Whilst in Venice I completed a handful of small watercolour vignettes that have formed the basis for this collection, returning home I couldn’t wait to capture this truly magical place in oil and pastel too.’

Kieron Williamson 2019

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