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Louisa Nally – Thoughts of an Irish Canine Painter

Irish Water Spaniel painting


Louisa Nally – Thoughts of an Irish Canine Painter

I am an Artist. Like all Artists, I am extremely emotional and sensitive. When I paint, I fulfill an essential need to express my innermost feelings. Painting enables me to feel good about myself.

I am often asked why I have become so involved in painting dogs; in particular, the Irish Native Breeds and Gundogs. The answer is quite simple: I see dogs as part of our everyday lives and an extension of the people who have them.

For all of you who show them and own them, and indeed, work them and also compete with them in the field, just think for a moment how happy you feel when they succeed in competition. Well, that is exactly how good I feel when I am satisfied with a painting I have completed. I have a need to immortalize these precious moments for the future.

I see Gundogs as an essential link between man and nature. Think about it. They were evolved by man because of our need to become closer to the Earth and to the animals around us. Apart from hunting, imagine all the things that we would miss if we went walking in the countryside without our dogs. If our dogs even sniff the scent of a rabbit, one can immediately visualize the animal having been there. It shows us how insensitive humans would have otherwise become to the world around us. In a way, the dog has become our sixth sense. This is what appeals to me and what I try to capture when I paint.

I love to capture the incredible concentration and harmony between a dog and handler, whether showing or working—or just being with each other. This is why a dog is often with its owner or human companion, be it a child or an adult, when a picture builds up in my mind.

The Irish Water Spaniel, among the eight other Native Breeds, is part of our Irish Culture and Heritage. Many of the Irish Breeds are very popular in the US, as people consciously (or even unconsciously) keep in touch with their ancestral roots through their love for these dogs.

The beautiful Irish Breeds are so loyal, loving, and intelligent, each with its own very special Irish personality. It’s been said that they like the odd drop of Guinness… and sure, why not?

Love to all you in the US and in other countries, for helping to secure the future of our Native Breeds.




About the Artist

Louisa Nally is a professional Dog Artist living in the West of Ireland. She moved there 20 years ago from Dublin, where she lived high in the Dublin Mountains. Now she’s happy in the Mayo Mountains, in Knocknageeha, Newport, near the tourist town of Westport. The famous Dr. Trench O’Rourke (an Irish Water Spaniel Breeder at turn of the 20th Century) lived in this lovely little town in “River House” on the banks of the Black Oak River. The house is still there, standing proudly. It’s a guest house now and a wonderful place to stay, especially if you’re an IWS person.

Louisa has been painting Irish Water Spaniels for over 40 years. She specializes in all the Irish Native Dog Breeds and accepts commissions. Louisa paints in her Newport studio accompanied by her faithful “rat-tailed” Spaniel and Mayo Mountain Sheepdog.

[email protected]

tel: +353 852164451