Although I am a rank amateur when it comes to visual arts I still like to draw and photograph. My favorite subject in the whole world is dogs. I have been drawing and photographing dogs since I was a kid and have never tired of it. Stephen Huneck is one of my favorite dog artist.
A self taught artist Stephen got his start as an antiques dealer. His muse was dog and his canvas was wood. He was a wood carver, author and furniture maker. He was discovered when a Manhattan art dealer pulled a carving of an angel out of the back of his truck and purchased the piece for one thousand dollars.
In 1997 Stephen suffered a case of acute respiratory distress syndrome from an accident and was in a coma for two months. Stephen recovered but had to relearn how to do everything. Stephen started working on some woodcuts based on his dog Sally before the accident and carved his first one “Life is a Ball” afterwards.
Stephen had a vision after this near death experience and built the Dog Chapel where he lives in Johnsbury Vermont. The Dog Chapel was built as “a place where people can go and celebrate the spiritual bond they have with their dogs.” The chapel is a beautiful example of Stephens talent and vision. The chapel is filled with his artwork, furniture and carvings. The Dog chapel was built on Dog Mountain where Stephen lived and created.
Stephen’s artwork is prints made from his woodcuts and are mainly images of dogs. His images depict dogs doing what dogs do best whether it’s being our best friend or getting in trouble. His subjects tear up our houses and touch our hearts. He did a set of print particularly for veterinarians. His subjects are dogs of different breeds, although the mighty Labrador retriever seems to dominate most, and cats. His first subject was his black Labrador Sally who also was the main subject of six children’s books.
Stephen passed in early 2010 but left behind an incredible body of work. His work sits in the Smithsonian Institute, the American Kennel Club and the Dog Museum of America. He has had works commissioned by celebrities Sandra Bullock and politician Patrick Leahy. His gallery has a wide selection of other products that have Stephen’s images of dogs all over them. There are rugs, tee shirts, sweatshirts, hats, giclees and originals. His wife Gwen continues his legacy by keeping his gallery and the Dog Chapel going through the sale of his images. An original “Love is Give and Take” that has a chocolate and a yellow Labrador playing tug is the main piece over our fire place and my favorite work of art.