The parents of 'Mini-Monet' Kieron Williamson have said that the 10-year-old's incredible talent is a burden.
Primary school pupil Kieron's success (in the past two weeks alone he has sold £400,000-worth of his work) comes, according to his mum and dad, at a high price .
"I know it sounds good, but we really feel the pressure," his art dealer father Keith, 47, told the Daily Mail. "When I sell a painting I know what I've paid for it and I know what mark-up I need to put on it. But how can I put a value on my son's paintings? It's very difficult."
His mum agreed that Kieron's popularity as an artist had caused a lot of stress for the family.
"We were very worried about the responsibility placed on Kieron's shoulders as this so-called Mini Monet," Michelle said. "Keith and I were very stressed. For us it was an ethical dilemma, but Kieron wanted it - he was very clear about that."
The worried mum added that she was also troubled by the public's perception of the family's 'wealth'.
"People say 'Oh, their son has a company and his parents are directors', with the inference that we're making some sort of business out of him," she said. "But we have to be directors: he can't manage his money because he's still a child."
The money, Michelle says, 'doesn't mean much' to her or her husband.
"It's Kieron's money, not mine or Keith's. We live modestly," she said, adding that 'Keith and I have never had much money. It doesn't bother us'.
Despite this, their young son's work has been snapped up by collectors worldwide, fetching up to £35,000 a piece, and just two weeks ago, the mini master 's earnings rocketed to in excess of £1.5 million after he sold 23 of his paintings for £242,000 in a 20 minute phone and internet auction.
Keith says that although they have concerns for their son, Kieron himself is keen to keep showing and selling his work.
"At least four times a year, we talk about not doing any more exhibitions or selling any more paintings, but the thing is Kieron enjoys having the exhibitions and selling his work. He likes the idea of people enjoying his pictures."
And, his dad says, there is no parental pressure for him to work – at least not on his painting.
"Kieron paints when he wants to," Keith said. "He will paint for weeks and then stop for weeks. As far as we're concerned, during those dry periods, if he doesn't pick up a paintbrush ever again, that's absolutely fine. Kieron dictates the pace."
"The only pressure he gets from us is to do his homework."
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