The Wet Dog Story

New England artist Hannah Phelps paints in Freeport, ME with her golden retrievers



Ruckus, a golden retriever, was my older brother. In fact, my mother referred to him as her first born.

Eventually, there were other dogs and they would follow me around, steal my toys, play with me, listen to me or just sit quietly with me. We used to walk for hours in the undeveloped lands surrounding my childhood home in Maine. These dogs, golden retrievers and black Labradors, were my constant friends.

After a brief, dogless period in college, I adopted a golden puppy and together we would visit the New Hampshire coast and my retriever “siblings” every summer.

Many of the dogs in the paintings are gone now, but there are two studio assistants, Coast and Measure. 

They help me paint outside:


And when it was time to photograph some framed prints, they were there for me too:


And not just with the tripod:


Even when they aren't the subject of the artwork, they are a part of it. I wouldn't have it any other way.