International cricketer Jack Russell MBE has been a professional Artist for over 30 years. Self-taught, he decided to become a painter as a result of frustration at being stuck inside cricket pavilions when “rain stopped play.”
Jack paints a wide range of subjects. From landscapes, wildlife, military, portraits and sport. His paintings hang in public and private collections worldwide, from the Tower of London to The Bradman Museum in Bowral Australia. Sittings for his portrait paintings have included HRH Duke of Edinburgh, HRH Duke of Kent, ten Field Marshals of the British Army, Sir Norman Wisdom, Eric Sykes, and Eric Clapton. Sporting icons include Sir Bobby Charlton, Dickie Bird and Phil Taylor.
Jack’s cricketing pictures are legendary. He spent over 20 years in the thick of cricketing action for both Gloucestershire and England. Whether it’s a Test match or County match who could be more qualified to paint a cricketing scene? He knows the atmosphere and the technical detail of a cricket match inside out. After all, many of the cricket scenes he paints, he’s in them!
Jack Russell made his debut in first class cricket for Gloucestershire in 1981 at the age of 17 when still at school. Famed for his eccentricities and floppy white sunhat he turned professional the following year and played in 944 matches before retiring in 2004. He made his England debut in 1987, playing in 94 Interntaional matches before retiring from the national team in 1998.
His first test century was scored against Australia in 1989 and in 1995 against South Africa he broke the world record for dismissals in a test match. His aggressive wicket keeping stood up to the stumps to fast bowlers was the fulcrum of Gloucestershires’ golden period of success, winning 6 domestic one day trophies in 5 years, including a triple trophy success in 2000.
Awarded MBE for services to cricket in HM Queen’s Birthday Honours 1996.
The Jack Russell Gallery is situated on the High Street in the picturesque town of Chipping Sodbury in South Gloucestershire, 12 miles from Bristol. The building dates back to 1560 and was known as The Bell Inn until 1994 when it was purchased by Jack Russell who, after considerable refurbishment, changed its use to an art gallery.
The Gallery houses the Jack Russell art collection, unique in its dedication to the work of one artist, with its high ceiling and flagstone floor creating an ambience rarely found in today’s modern buildings, the visitor can browse through at leisure, the original paintings, prints and memorabilia from Jack’s world tours both as an international cricketer and artist.