When Iris Grace Halmshaw's parents first supplied their daughter with painting supplies, they hoped it would be a fun way for the autistic girl to express herself. But instead of stick figures, Iris Grace immersed herself in abstract impressionist painting for hours at a time, often depicting movement in nature such as water, trees, wind, birds, and of course her cat, Thula. Now 5, Iris Grace is already selling her paintings for thousands of dollars a print, with art collectors and galleries gushing over the vibrancy and openness of her work, reports the Independent. "She is so interested in movement and how it changes things," her mother tells the paper, noting her daughter has received "a lot of references to Monet because of the Impressionistic style."
It all started simply enough, with her parents opting to share their daughter's early works online. Now Iris Grace has more than 95,000 likes on Facebook, and the proceeds from her art help fund her art supplies and private therapy for her disorder, which made it difficult for her to speak until recently. Meanwhile, her mother tells ABC News they have to shield their daughter from all the attention and keep her schedule as stable and routine as possible. "Nothing has changed in Iris' world," notes her mom. (One biochemist claims to have cured her daughter of autism by removing this from her diet.)