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Young gun draws

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He's not even a teenager but his drawings have received rave revues from both art critics and collectors.

News 8's Larry Himmel profiles a Temecula youngster who already has sketched out a brilliant future.

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You might say 11-year-old John Woolley has a sketchy past that began 11 months ago when he discovered a book in a backpack shop.

John says, "It was a book about this guy who just did drawings and writing about his travels. That was probably the biggest inspiration for me. So I thought, hey, I can do that."

211 drawings later the prolific fifth grader has gained a worldwide reputation for his whimsical paintings and poignant black and whites that display a stylish artistic maturity and attention to detail far beyond his 11 years.

John adds, "It only takes me a couple of hours to do the drawing. One or two hours for a normal drawing, maybe some of the more harder, bigger drawings may take a couple of more hours."

John has never had any formal art training.

John says, "I find something cool, something interesting, something that really has to be put down on paper, then I draw. It pretty much calms me down. It's soothing. It's relaxing."

His father Dave discovered John had a gift when his son was in third grade.

Dave remarks, "He woke up one morning and he drew his tennis shoe. He's got a very, very unique style. He's kind of the core of a child but the skill of an adult."

John continued to draw and share his work on the photo website Flickr.com, where he attracted a great deal of attention from other artists, critics, as well as collectors.

John just returned from exhibiting his work at the annual International ArtExpo in New York, where among others, Jane Seymour purchased one of his drawings. He was also recently accepted as the youngest member of the San Diego Artist Guild. His "Backyard Journals" website chronicles John's amazing odyssey into the world of art.

John says, "It's whatever catches my eye."

An unflinching eye that's seen so much in so little time.

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