The Wokingham Paper

You’d better watch out, beagle’s about

A detail from Ben Edmunds’ winning painting of a beagle

NORMALLY, when an eight-year-old paints a picture, the best they can hope for is for it to be pinned to the family’s fridge door, but not-so for Ben Edmunds.

The youngster has been named as the winner of an art contest to design an animal-themed mural for a state-of-the-art hospital which provides the latest cutting-edge, specialist treatments for orthopaedic and neurological disease in cats and dog.

Ben, who lives in neighbouring Warfield, painted a watercolourof a beagle and it impressed the judges thanks to his incredible level of detail and the bright background.

Now, his picture will be translated into a wall mural by professional artist Anna Jaxe for clients and staff of Hamilton Specialist Referrals in High Wycombe to admire.

Runners up in the national competition were, in the nine to 16 age category, Francesca Jakins with a picture of a slinky black cat, and Carmel Keyes with a painting of puppies in the 16 and over category.

Prints of these entries will be created and displayed at the referral centre.

The winners and runners up will all receive art vouchers and Ben will be invited to view the mural of his painting, once it is completed and safe to do so.

Clare Hamilton, managing director of Hamilton Specialist Referrals, said: “We were blown away by the talent and creativity shown by many of the entrants in all the age categories.

“It was a tough, but wonderful judging process.

“Ben’s painting stood out with the bright-eyed beagle and eye-catching blue background; he’s a very talented artist.

“We’re excited to see it translated on to our anniversary wall to be admired by clients and our team alike.”

Ben was excited to hear he was the winner of the competition.

His mother, Sally, said: “He didn’t believe us at first. He said ‘Did I? Did I really? Yay’, and was delighted to win.

“We don’t have a dog of our own yet but Ben is desperate to have his own dog, and his favourite dog is a Beagle.”

His artwork translated into a mural will be a lasting homage to his favourite breed.

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