Fans of fantasy and fairy art take flight in the fantastic world of Selina Fenech. Rendered with a realism that’s unnerving, her creations seem just on the verge of coming to life and moving around within their frame—and that same extraordinary feature makes her work a perfect choice for translation into silver. Peter Stone hit a homerun with the Selina Fenech line, a collection of breathtaking beauty and astonishing true-to-life detail.
Selina the Superhero?
Like so many artists, Selina’s first interest in art was inspired by the illustrations in the books she read as a child. In a departure from the ordinary, however, those books were NOT fairy tales and children’s stories—they were comic books. An abiding fascination with her growing comic collection led Selina to make an early career choice as a comic book artist. Lucky for us fantasy fans (and unfortunately for the world of comics), her love of fairies soon won out over her love of superheroes, and the rest, as they say, is history.
The Human Form
Although her love of fantasy ultimately directed her career, Selina admits that if she weren’t painting fairies, she still might be interested in comic books—or children’s books, portraits, or any figurative work. The one thing she’s sure of is that she loves to paint the human figure. Selina explains her passion eloquently, “Every human face and form tells so much of a story, and holds so much character, it’s enchanting even without fantasy elements.” Truly, passion pays off. No one who’s seen her work can deny her ability to perfectly capture the expression and the emotion of the human face.
Just like us mortals, Selina’s fairies and mermaids find themselves embarked on paths that wind through sadness, brush tenderly upon romance, descend into mischief, and climb the heights of joy. This variety gives Selina countless opportunities to explore and sharpen her emotive powers, although she admits that she loves the romantic themes the best. At least, she used to… she also confesses that lately she’s been drawn to darker, scarier scenes—so hang on, fairy fans, the future is going to be a wild ride.
A Natural Connection
Selina’s creations inhabit a world of moss and rock, ebbing tides and rising suns, forest paths and greening glades. This connection with the natural world crosses the veil between fantasy and reality, and Selina herself can often be found immersed in her own garden, among the greens and browns of the earth, amid the turn of the seasons. Coupled with her passion for cooking, it’s unsurprising that Selina favors natural organic ingredients and shies away from processed foods. I’m sure her fairies would agree.
A Teller of Tales
If a picture is worth a thousand words, Selina is a voluble storyteller. Each of her paintings captures the essence of an enchanted tale with stunning clarity and understanding. As she says, “I love to paint anything that tells a story, even if I don’t know what that story is. I like to hint at stories, and let the viewer’s imagination come up with the rest. It provides endless possibilities and a way for every person who sees the artwork to relate to it in their own way.”
What makes a storyteller brilliant? The ability to flow with the story, wherever it may lead. Selina has mastered the art of flexibility, reveling in the use of watercolor because it’s unpredictable and adds an element of uncertainty to her plans. Faces take on a character of their own, and even tiny changes can hijack a painting away from her initial design idea and launch a whole new story for her characters.
The Power of Jewelry
For Selina, as for many of us, jewelry is but one more medium in which our stories are told. Whether the story is inherent in the design or a memory evoked on sight, each piece of much-loved jewelry carries the weight of meaning, connection, and sentiment.
Peter Stone is expert at creating those works of art that we so cherish, and the pieces inspired by Selina Fenech have a special dynamism that makes them extraordinary. Selina herself marvels at the detail, recalling, “I remember seeing them for the first time in person. Ever scale on the mermaid’s tails, every feather in the angels wings, so finely crafted.
They are such a thing of value, real treasures to me, and I love that my customers can buy my art as these little treasures as well.” Selina says she has enjoyed working with Peter Stone, and hopes to see new designs in the future.
What else is new?
As for the future, Selina sees no forthcoming change to the fact that she has, “as usual…a million pokers in the fire.” One project that she’s particularly excited about is an oracle card deck currently in the works.
Following the publication of “The Wild Wisdom of the Faery Oracle,” which she created with Lucy Cavendish last year, the two decided to work together on a second deck, and Selina is thrilled with its progress. Selina was kind enough to share with us an exclusive look at “Bloddewued,” one of her card illustrations, brand-new and unreleased. Fans of Selina Fenech can keep an eye out for the much-anticipated deck at her website, www.selinafenech.com