Billy’s art gift goes down the generations

Georgina Austin with her sister Rosanna and grandfather Billy Austin
Georgina Austin with her sister Rosanna and grandfather Billy Austin

Seven-year-old Georgina Austin is following in grandfather’s footsteps.

Her granddad is Billy Austin, former advertising manager of the Portadown Times, and something of a local legend of watercolours and sketches.

Georgina and her family were recently visiting grandad and grandma Averil at their home near Tandragee. And Georgina has proven her artistic prowess by dashing off a watercolour of an old church in her home city of Edinburgh – from a picture snapped by Granda Billy.

Said Billy, “I was surprised and delighted by the end result, seeing as Georgina is just seven. It was all her own work, with just a little advice from ‘the old man’. I had no part whatever in the actual painting.

“She shows a style of her own, and her family was delighted – her parents Roger and Judy, and siblings Rosanna (14) and Wesley (11).”

Rosanna also has the talent. She produced a watercolour of a Dutch scene, from a painting by one of Holland’s top artists, Edo Hannema. He saw it on Facebook and immediately contacted her to congratulate her.

Georgina’s watercolour, meantime, has attracted almost 500 ‘likes’ and 100 comments on Billy’s page – comments like ‘the gift lives on’ and ‘stunning - I hope she continues to paint’.

These came from as far afield as Russia, China, Australia and America, places where Billy’s name is renowned on Facebook for his scenes and character studies.

Georgina said, “I love coming over to visit granda and granny and getting out the watercolours and brushes. Rosanna and I paint quite a lot at home in Edinburgh.”