About the Project
The Pet Story Project is a collaborative art project designed by artist Colleen Phelon Hall focused on connection. Through storytelling and art, she seeks to explore the special connection we have with our furry family members as well as create a forum for connection among a community of pet lovers. Colleen prompts people to submit stories about their relationships along with a photograph. Colleen gathers these stories and creates artwork honoring the vulnerability shared through these stories. This is an archive of illustrated love letters.
Dogs have my source of artistic inspiration from early on. One of my cherished possessions is my dear grandmother's oil painting of a Saint Bernard from 1916. My childhood dog, became my favorite artistic subject rendered in my first attempts in painting on canvas and sculpting in clay. Throughout my artistic career, I have witnessed that I am not the only one who finds dogs to be a source of endless inspiration and joy. For 25 years as a professional artist, dogs continued to wiggle their way into my work at the request of many clients. Be it a mural in a nursery or a spring themed Florida room, dozens and dozens of clients, wanted me to include their dog (and cats) when they saw samples of my work. It truly became a common feature of many of my murals.
A few years ago, when I was in a creative dry spell, one special dog, ironically named Homer, led me to rediscover my path as an artist and as a gatherer of ideas, images, and inspiration (and that is a long story for another day...) And then there is Mr. Coconut, my 11 year old Shih Tzu, who is literally my furry shadow, serving as my studio assistant, chair warmer, constant source of joy and my dearest little buddy. We got him for my daughters but he clearly got me. He leads me out each day on a walk, rain or shine, to greet my neighbors and enjoy being present to whatever the day may bring. He and all the dogs in my life have taught me way more lessons than I have taught them.
I have been moved truly by the depth of these unique relationships that many of you have shared about. I hope this projects serves as a forum where we can share and honor this bond - and know we are not alone!