The pets 's plot
This watercolour painting is without a doubt a masterpiece of the Dog Museum. It shows pets plotting in a hunter's interior, painted against the light with a luxury of amazing details. A dog portrait painted on commission, the artist tells you the story of this painting and its presentation to the Queen.
August 2002
It was the varnishing day at Fabienne's gallery in Knokke, the very chic seaside resort in Belgium . Catherine, Fabienne's best friend gave me a commission to paint her Jack Russell terrier in the same spirit as "fine-mouche", the fisherman's Jack. You can see the link to this picture: I had hung the previous painting on the wall. One of these hidden winks that I love to hide in my paintings.

Alain, Catherine's husband confirmed this commission, but under one condition: he also wanted his labrador retriever in the picture. He wanted his dog, like he used to see him in evening twilight, when, sitting beside his master in the marsh, the labrador followed the ducks in the sky. I always had labradors, so I knew perfectly what he was talking about.
Well ! It 's not exactly what I ended up painting or the ducks were flying really low .
Alain is passionate about hunting and shooting. So I staged his riding equipment on the right of the window and his rifles and guns on the left side. Dont you see them ?
Nevermind ! So I 'm sure he will give me a commission for a second painting. If you add too many objects on the same painting, you can't read anything. On the photos, I had riding boots beside the labrador. I didn't paint them, because it was too difficult to understand the original image, between the black labrador, the black coat of the Jack Russell and the black boots.
The hidden signature
Did you see where I hid my signature ?
I 'm rather proud of this palette and brushes curved in the wood. I wrote "Cyrille Jubert (it'sme !) pinxit". It means "painted it" in latin.
You were null in latin ? me too. All my childhood, I had private courses with the parish priest each week, inhaling incense, naphthalene and garlic.
Can you imagine a more delicious perfume ?

I was not supposed to paint the cat, but the three pets were such friends, always playing together, that I thought I couldn't paint the picture without him. I show you below all the details of this painting and If you follow the story, scrolling down, you will see that, like the three Musketeers, they are four in this plot.
Details of the labrador and the Jack Russell
If you already tried to take a photo of your black Labrador, you know it's nearly impossible. This fur seems to absorb the light. On the photo, you can hardly see where the dog's eyes are. You can imagine the poor quality of the original photo of this black labrador against the light of the window on a very sunny day. I had a really bad time trying to re-invent his face and expression. Do you think this big teddy-bear will follow the young foolish Jack Russell in his naughty plans ?

Slide you mouse on his nose. Here is the Jack Russell terrier.
Looking at this picture, you can imagine that on the photo, the first thing that you could see was his ass hole (excuse my poor English, milady, I dont have a romantic periphrasis to describe it). Catherine asked me to turn her dog so he would face the Labrador .. and the camera. It's true that in a theatre an actor never shows his "back" to the public.
But ! but a dog speaks with his whole body and even if my fan-club thinks ... no ... even if my fanclub knows that I am a genius ;-) it would have been really difficult to imagine the same attitude from a different angle. So I just decided to practice an "anusectomy".
And it worked ! I could have been a great surgeon !

It reminds me of a meeting in 99. I was exhibiting in a very Parisian salon. The manager of a needle work company came to admire my paintings and proposed to use my first Jack Russell 's portrait on his tapestries, but he wanted me to paint it again without a sex.
- "You know, you cannot ask a lady to spend hours embroiding with thousand of knot stitches the dog's sex" ..
It seemed like a good reason. lol .. but I didn't follow that scent !
The cat and the evil genius
This is my first cat portrait. The skeleton, the fur, the eyes, cats are so different ! I was so anxious that I first painted the cat alone on a different sheet of paper. My first sketch is even nicer than this one, more free and artful. I couldn't show it here. All the dogs would have left their frame to hunt the cat. Could you imagine the mess ?
A nightmare for the museum's curator ! This one is cool too ! The sharp light in the fur with this dark background helps a lot. Before you slide your mouse over the cat's moustaches, take an admiring look at the copper of this hunting horn and the velvet of the gilet.

Do you see the reflections on the pearly inlaid work? Don't ask me how many weeks I spent on this painting, when you love, you don't count.
The evil genius under the seat is really part of the plot. You could nearly hear his cavernous voice. As you are looking at these details, have a closer look at the wood of the chair. That's the magic of wet on wet watercolor. Using pigments that won't melt and give a uniform color. You can realize gnarl truer than in real life. At the exact opposite, the ebony had to be as dense as possible to absorb all the light, and that is only possible in dry on dry watercolour.
The Queen and I
Nobody is perfect !
My aunt Elisabeth is the Princess de Caraman - Princess de Chimay.
When I came back from the "Belgium Watercolor Biennal" in Namur , where I was exhibiting, I called my aunt to visit her in Chimay. After lunch, I told her that I would be very happy if she could manage a meeting between the Belgium Royal family and I, so they could view my paintings.
" But of course", she said, "Her Majesty, the Queen Fabiola is coming here next week for our charity Gala. Come back, with your pictures and we shall organize a private rendez-vous."
It is written in the Holy Bible: "Knock at the door and someone will open it". It was as simple as that.
My paintings were hung in the drawing room and I met Her Majesty. She was absolutely delightful and charming. When she speaks about her passion, she has such sparkling eyes, that she looks like a teenager. She is really charming !
I had been told that I had to speak to her in the third person. You can try, it's not only difficult, it's nearly impossible.
"Does Her Majesty, paint herself ?" "I would be happy to show to Her Majesty ... bla bla bla"
I had a VERY hard time with that.
I started my sentenses with "Your Majesty".... but if you start a sentence like this, you follow with "you" and "your"... and you are all wrong !
But Her Majesty was very helpful and didn't mind my protocole mistakes. She were very talkative and told me I should paint donkeys. So when I came back home, I sent her a thank you letter with a little sketch showing me at the black board (like here) with a school donkey's bonnet.
Did I tell you I intend to become the Winterhalter* of the Gotha's kennel ?
For our American or Australian friends, let me remind you that Winterhalter 1805-1873 was the official painter of Napoleon III, painting the empress and her friends with great talent. I will be glad to paint Queen Elisabeth's pets ... Kings and Queens are not so many, but they could be interesting clients ... Will you believe me, if I tell you that each year I send them an invitation to my exhibitions ? It only costs me a stamp ... doesn't it ?

"Never without me" ... the stag hunter 's dog

a new masterpiece ?