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Born in 1855 in Glasgow, Scotland, the son of a baker, Sam Fulton was educated at the Free Church Normal School and the High School, and joined his father's baking business first as an apprentice and then as a journeyman. Though said to have been fond of drawing, he did not actually start painting until age 24. In 1880, he met E.A. Walton, the newly elected President of the R.S.W. He also met Sir James Guthrie, who became President of the Royal Scottish Academy, and Joseph Crawhall. Fulton spent some months during several summers at the Brig O'Turk with these three distinguished artists.
Fulton then spent some time living and traveling in South Africa but did not paint there. Upon his return to England in 1890, he resumed his art and in particular the painting of dogs and horses. He paused again from his creative work by tending to his father's business affairs between 1898 and 1904. He then briefly turned to portrait painting but very soon returned to his favorite subject, dogs. He became well known for the truthful character of his work, his ability to interpret and put on canvas the character, countenance and moods of his canine subjects.
Fulton only exhibited in and around Glasgow, gaining popularity and esteem through his paintings as well as his genial character.
"Men You Know", The Bailie, Wednesday, March 31, 1915
Information provided by the artist's great-great nephew David Fulton.