April 2021 Newsletter

Welcome to the April 2021 edition of the Jack Russell Gallery Newsletter.
We hope you enjoy reading about what we've been up to.

Jack Russell MBE


The World Cup Collection is finally here! I don't think I've ever witnessed such a rollercoaster of emotions, either as player or spectator, as I did that day at Lord's when England won the World Cup for the first time. Even now I have to pinch myself and I keep asking the question "Did that really happen that way?"  

The fact that I managed to get into the ground that day was a miracle in itself as it cost me an arm and six legs (don't ask, it's a long story!) but I feel extremely fortunate to have been sat in the Upper Mound Stand. Not only did it allow me to experience arguably England's greatest win of all time first hand, but I had the perfect view to capture the atmosphere for a painting.

For the full story click onto our World Cup Collection and I'll share that amazing day with you.   



One hundred years ago this year an unusual and historic match took place that I only learned about recently by accident. I discovered it while painting a commissioned picture of Old Buckenham Cricket Club in Norfolk. During my day there painting I was shown around the pavilion by the Old Buckingham stalwarts who proudly pointed out to me their connection with Sir Jack Hobbs and the Australian Touring Team. On the pavilion walls were photos of an Un-Official Ashes Test Match played during May 1921.

The match was arranged by local estate owner Lionel Robinson and his England XI was captained by the great Archie MacLaren and included in their ranks top players such as Percy Fender and Sir Jack Hobbs. Researching the archives, I discovered that Hobbs, due to the strength of the Australian attack and the difficult conditions, later said that his innings of 85 retired hurt was one of the best of his career. With the 100th anniversary approaching and due to its historical significance, plus the fact that in most cricketing circles it's a match that has been lost in the mists of time, I simply had to paint it.  

With the help of Old Buckenham's historian Tom Walsh, I set about researching the events in detail.  To get the weather conditions right I asked two BBC Weathermen, Philip Avery and John Hammond, to research the exact weather conditions for the afternoon Hobbs scored his 85. Hobbs batting became the focal point of the painting together with the unique circular thatched pavilion. In all my years involved with cricket I've never seen such a pavilion.

In the 1930's, when cricket declined at the ground, it was moved south of the border into Suffolk to Old Buckenham Hall School where it remains to this day. Many of the thousands of spectators that lined the boundary edge travelled to the match in cars, so it was a first for me to paint vintage cars in a cricket picture.  The research for this was achieved through the help of a friend of mine, Dr James Hull, who allowed me to paint the 1920's cars from his large collection.    

Taking a natural interest in wicketkeepers, I discovered the Australian 'keeper for that match was Hanson 'Sammy' Carter who was a spritely 43 years old at the time! A man after my own heart, he was born in Yorkshire in 1878 and moved to Australia when a youngster. An undertaker by trade, he played for New South Wales and would often be seen arriving at matches driving a hearse!  Seems I'm not alone when it comes to eccentric wicketkeepers.

The original Un-Official Ashes Test painting is rather large so we have concentrated on the main action for our latest limited edition giclee print which is limited to 100 and is now available on a first come first serve basis. Click here.

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In between commissions I've been outside to paint "plein air" a number of landscapes. Before we all went into the second lockdown I managed to squeeze in a trip to the Lakes with an old friend, Richard Bishop (November 2019 Newsletter).

He offered to guide me up the Langdale Pikes to Stickle Tarn for a days painting. What a brilliant experience that was. It was like painting on a different planet. It was so quiet! 

We also had some snow this winter, a rare occurrence these days, albeit short lived. I had to drop everything I was doing and rush out there before all the colours melted away.

The above three paintings feature in our latest gallery brochure. If you would like a free copy please drop me an email jack@jackrussell.co.ukor give us a call on 01454 329583.  

Don't forget, you can also get me on twitter: @jackrussellart, or visit our website


Restrictions permitting I'll be out and about this summer painting various cricket grounds and other landscapes. Hopefully spectators will be allowed back at sporting events so fingers crossed, we can all catch up then.

Take care and stay safe everyone.

With very best wishes,

Jack Russell MBE