“You’re not going to believe this,” my husband said. He was calling from the Netherlands, where he was traveling on business. “I just got out of this exhibition by this woman who puts a Jack Russell in just about every painting!”
Since I’ve been writing for Best JRT, both he and I have been on the lookout for anything and everything Jack Russell. And once you start looking, you’re going to see it. Amsterdam is full of little galleries and art spaces, and he happened to stumble into one with paintings by Dutch artist Charlotte Mutsaers. And a whole pack of terriers.
Who is Charlotte Mutsaers?
Charlotte Mutsaers is an award-winning Dutch artist. I say artist rather than painter, because she’s also won awards for her novels and poetry. In addition, she is also adept at speaking and writing in mirror image — a talent that informs her outlook on the world, as well as her art.
In addition to terriers, Mutsaers’s paintings are full of rabbits, other dogs, and even cucumbers.
Well…. Mutsaers once said that as a child, she fell in love with a cucumber. Her father carved a little face on it, and she took it to bed with her like a teddy bear. Until it started to rot. But the cucumber lives on in her paintings even today.
In addition to her writing and art, Mutsaers is a vocal advocate for animal rights, and a member of the Partij voor die Dieren, the Netherlands “Party for the Animals.” She even ran for office in 2006.
What About Her Art?
Mutsaers started out as an art teacher, and taught for more than a decade. In addition to paintings, she has also designed stamps, illustrated magazines, and designed book covers. She started writing when she was 40, and won numerous literary prizes.
Full disclosure: the dog in Mutsaers’s painting is actually a Fox Terrier. In fact it’s her Fox Terrier, and it travels around the world with Mutsaers and her husband. But it’s an easy mistake to make, as the physical differences between the Fox Terrier and the Jack can be pretty subtle.
The plucky Jack Russell is a favorite for TV, movies, commercials, and books. And once you start looking for them, you’ll find they’re everywhere. Even in a little gallery halfway around the world.
Featured image via the author.