Beeston artist wins national competition

If having your work displayed in an art gallery and winning a national competition makes you an established artist, then Ellie Harrison is an established artist.

Nine-year-old Ellie from Beeston created her picture of a spaceman looking back to Earth following a YouTube tutorial, but choosing her own colours. The painting has been displayed in the LS11 Art Gallery and won first place in a national competition run by UK toy retailer Bargain Max.

“I like to paint landscapes and things that are colourful” Ellie explained. “I saw this lady on YouTube called Serena and she did something like the spaceman but I changed the colours.”

Ellie loves arts and crafts and when the lockdown started parents Rich and Jules converted part of their garage to create a mini art studio for her.

Ellie’s first attempt at the spaceman painting wasn’t entirely successful. She explained that she had used paper rather card, used the wrong tape to create the sharp lines of the spaceman’s torch beam and put it in a frame before it was dry so it smudged.

Dad Rich talked it through with her using the growth mindset tools promoted at Beeston Primary School. Ellie had another go, learning from her earlier mistakes and made her beautiful painting.

Having sent it to Slung Low for the LS11 Art Gallery – local artworks displayed on lampposts around LS11 – they suggested entering the Bargain Max competition too.

Ellie is largely self-taught and has always drawn and painted. She has also developed her skills at school.

“We do art every week at school. It’s not as much as I’d like it to be, because I’d like it to be in every lesson.”

She also loves sewing, knitting and crafting models from cardboard boxes and other items from the recycling. Art clearly runs in the family as Mum Jules has also had a picture displayed in the LS11 Art Gallery.

The competition ran by UK toy retailer Bargain Max, saw over 500 entries with only 15 shortlisted and 3 winners then picked. Ellie’s entry was well received by an industry judge for its brilliant contrast of colours and thematic timing from recent space events, the Space-X launch of astronauts to the International Space Station.

A spokesperson for Bargain Max commented:

“All three winners’ entries were superb. Ellie’s spaceman was an excellent painting and was a shining light in uncertain times. We’re really pleased to have been able to give families an opportunity to get their kids excited about our competition.

“Thank you to all parents who helped their children enter the competition and to all the children who entered, well done! A massive congratulations to our talented winners!”

To view all the finalists creations, go to:

You can find a map showing all the artworks in the LS11 Art Gallery by clicking here.

The whole family are enjoying the lamppost gallery, as Jules explained:

“It’s lovely to walk round and see them all. We had a walk up to Beeston Primary the other day and there’s some really lovely ones up there.”

As a postal worker, Rich enjoys seeing the artworks as he does his rounds.

The final words go to Ellie who said:

“Anyone can give it a go, don’t be scared of showing people what you can do. Some people will like it and some won’t, but that’s up to them.”

“Everyone can see what you’ve done, rather than just your family. I feel proud that it’s on a lamppost it feels really nice that other people can see it.”