Parents of Mini Monet who painted Cornwall talk of family pressure
THE parents of a talented 10-year old artist - whose amazing paintings of Cornish scenes have sold for a total of £1.5 million - have spoken of the pressure on their family.
He has been dubbed the Mini-Monet, and when Kieron Williamson is not at primary school or playing with his friends he is working in his studio.
Inspired by the dramatic scenery of Cornwall, he first began painting landscapes on the Lizard when he was five years old.
The family, who live in Norfolk, travelled to Cornwall for their holidays and the young artist has been inspired by trips to Camelford, Fowey, Looe and Newlyn.
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Kieron’s oil paintings have since attracted world-wide fame.
But despite his success, his parents, Keith and Michelle Williamson, said it has been hard to keep a normal family life.
Mrs Williamson said: “We were very worried about the responsibility placed on Kieron’s shoulders as this so-called Mini Monet.
“Keith and I were very stressed.
“For us it was an ethical dilemma, but Kieron wanted it — he was very clear about that.”
His parents are also the directors of their son’s company, through which they sell his art work around the world.
“For some reason, people treat you differently when they see you apparently earning big sums,” added Mrs Williamson.
“Though we’ve had some incredible support along the way, we’ve also lost friends. People stop calling you. They perceive you differently. But we haven’t changed.
“It’s Kieron’s money, not mine or Keith’s. We live modestly. But sometimes when we’re out and about and people recognise Kieron, I feel as if I’ve got two heads. We’ve lost our anonymity.
“And the pressure does get to you. We have to make decisions, about Kieron’s finances for example, that no one understands.
“We haven’t yet got the work-life balance right. We haven’t been on holiday since 2010 because it’s been so relentless.”
Keiron himself is happy to paint and as a studio next to the kitchen of family home.
Her parents also added that he is under no pressure to produce work and exhibitions are not booked until he has created all the pieces of work.