Samantha Barnes is ipaintdogs.com

So, apparently the ‘About Me’ page is the most important - this makes it the hardest page to write.

Perhaps it might help if I list the things that are most important to me an an artist, and a human being.

KINDNESS. CLEAR EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION. SUSTAINABILITY. LOVE. JOY. SIMPLY BEING NICE TO OTHERS OURSELVES & ANIMALS. MANNERS. AFFORDABILITY. EMPATHY. REUSING EXISTING PRODUCTS INSTEAD OF BUYING NEW. BEING AWARE OF PERSONAL CARBON FOOTPRINT. HELPING OTHERS UP ON THE CAREER LADDER YOU ARE ALREADY ON. LISTENING. SMILING, ALOT.

I’m sure I’ll be adding to this list but the above gives you an idea of what is valuable to me.

My history.

I grew up in Winchester, Hampshire where the water runs clear and I was lucky enough to attend Winchester School of Art for my Foundation Year. Moving up to Edinburgh in 1991 I studied Printed Textile Design, gaining a 2:1 BA before moving to London where I completed various jobs to pay off debts and simply stay alive. In 1997, I fell over in Clapham Junction and broke my arm. I lost my job as I couldn’t work and with my other arm, I began to draw again.

I began to show work in galleries and took my first studio in 1998 where I worked, exhibited and partied for about 4 years.

2000 I opened my own gallery in Clapham Common along with my then business partner. We named it The Pond as it was opposite the Children’s Pond and a very happy 4 years was spent selling some 80 other artists work (as well as my own) in both the gallery and at art fairs. It was at one of these fairs that I met my husband, Carl, over an argument for a taxi in Battersea Park. We ended up sharing the taxi and were married a year later (yes, it really does happen)

2004 Carl & I became parents. I left the gallery to concentrate on family life and working from home in my art shed in the garden. 2008 we became parents again and left London to begin a new life outside of the M25.

When my children were young I started a business called Artypops which ran after-school & holiday art workshops for children. It was both brilliant fun and hard work.

In 2013 we moved to Suffolk to live by the sea and sap up the creativity that circles East Anglia.. Having no where to work, a friend offered me a lifeline - a beautiful studio in the garden of her house which I called The Art Retreat. In this gorgeous little house, we ran exhibitions, open-access art events, workshops and more.

Since moving to Suffolk, my work has sold mainly via my website as well as galleries and my NotontheHighSt page.

In 2017 I took an online course about painting dogs, specifically painting dog faces. Having completed this course, I painted my own dog Barney (you can see his picture below) and my clients began to ask me to paint their dogs too.

ipaintdogs was born in the close of 2017 and is now my full time profession and happy place. An UBER dog lover myself, I am only too happy to make my contemporary paintings of other much loved woofers, enjoying orders that come in from all over the world.

The same year that ipaintdogs was established, we moved into our forever home here in Suffolk. It’s been both pain and pleasure to modernise it and we are thankful and delighted to have found it.

This summer (2019) we are having a studio built in our garden where I’ll be painting all my dog commissions AND opening a side business - Sam’s Studio Dogs. Beginning later this year, we are going to be opening up our house to daycare other dogs. Just two to begin with, two dogs that will be with Barney & I daily as we go about our lives - and our walks.

I am so excited to be wearing my dogs hat fully now, both in painting and inviting them into our home as paying guests - it’s a natural extension and I can’t wait.

So, if you see a rather eccentric looking, nearly 50 year old woman with shocking pink lipstick and three dogs in hand, please stop and say hello, I’d be delighted to meet you.

Sam x

Barney, by Samantha Barnes, ipaintdogs.com