all in a life of kieron williamson
I was a typical energetic toddler. I loved playing in the mud, investigating bugs, finding sticks and generally exploring the outdoors. My parents have always been proud of me, as despite being quiet and reserved at school, I have always been studious, achieving good grades and great comments in all of my subjects. Living in a first floor flat with no outside space meant that my love and passion for the big outdoors was satisfied with bike rides, trips to the North Norfolk coast, the local country park and Letheringsett ford, I needed space to run around and burn off energy.
At playschool I simply loved the sandpit and not a lot else, my parents would draw dinosaurs for me and I was happy to colour them in, but drawing was not really my thing. However, I first began drawing independently during our first family holiday to Cornwall, England in May 2008. Inspired by the boats in a nearby Bay at Gillan, I asked my parents for a sketch pad. The very next day I was drawing pictures of boats and as the holiday progressed I began to add backgrounds, scenery, hills and houses.
As time progressed, so did my interest in learning artistic techniques, I had a lot of questions about the differences between oils and watercolours, how to put a picture together etc, my parents didn’t have all the answers and were not afraid of asking locally for help.
Mum and Dad will admit that they are not artistic. They do, however, enjoy art and collect works by Norfolk artists. So, when I started to ask for help with putting paintings together, my questions were answered by a host of local artists who were happy to spend time with me and talk me through lots of different aspects to painting.
My Mum says that from day one, I showed an instinctive ability to mix colour. I loved trying different media, watercolour, acrylics and then oils and pastels. I have always insisted on using good quality adult art materials. I was never happy with poster paints!
After our holiday in Cornwall, I used to spend an hour a week with Carol Pennington at ‘The Last Picture Show in Town’, Holt, during the summer of 2008. Carol’s style is very contemporary and offered an opportunity for me to “let go” and “loosen up” but, I adamantly kept to my style. “You can’t get Kieron to do anything he doesn’t want to do!” says Mum.
As my work progressed, Mum and Dad would regularly take it down to Picturecraft Gallery, Holt to get their opinion. “Praise, support and encouragement is free and we willingly share this with children, whatever they are doing”, stated Adrian Hill, Picturecraft’s Managing Director. Both my parents hoped that one day in the future I might enter the art arena, but they never imagined it would happen at the age of just six.
With kind support from Picturecraft, another local artist, Brian Ryder, agreed for me to attend his evening watercolour course held between January and July 2009. Despite being the only child at the classes, I was well accepted by Brian and charmed the other adults attending.
A huge help in my development as an artist has been Tony Garner, who has been great, offering me the opportunity to attend pastel workshops and one to one tuition in the Gallery. The photo, pictured right, is of me attending one of Tony’s workshops and you can visit his website at www.artistsafloat.co.uk
During the early summer of 2009, Carol was getting ready for Holt’s first town festival, and like me, she was surprised and frustrated by the lack of entries of local talented people. Carol could not offer me weekly art sessions that year, but instead offered me the opportunity to show my work in her gallery window, which is celebrated each week by different artists. I also advertised in Holt’s local newsletter, The Holt Chronicle, offering Pet Portraits to help raise pocket money. I appreciated that good art materials do not come cheap! And my Grandma Gill was incredibly generous during those early years and kept my art supplies flowing.
In August 2009, 19 of my paintings made their first public appearance and the rest, as they say, is history!
Overnight I had become a global phenomenon. We never expected that people would want to buy my work, but people flocked to the gallery to see it and they telephoned and emailed the gallery too. My paintings have sold worldwide. My first exhibition of work in the November sold out in 14 minutes. There was interest from over 35 countries worldwide and I started with over 1800 followers on my mailing list and this list is still growing!
And I just kept on painting, painting for the love of it, painting the landscape around me, and spending time with people who also love to put it onto canvas.