March 2013 Featured Artist: Teena Marie Fancey

Trouble  12" x 12 Mixed media, acrylics, found objects, vintage ephemera

Trouble 12″ x 12 Mixed media, acrylics, found objects, vintage ephemera

bio pic b&wTeena Marie Fancey is a Nova Scotian artist working in mixed media and relief printmaking methods. Primarily self-taught, she has also gained skills by working and collaborating with other artists. The Nova Scotia Art Bank Program purchased her work “2 Crows” in 2000 and in 2010 her work was selected to represent Canada at Kinsale Arts Week in Ireland. Teena Marie’s work has been exhibited in solo, collaborative, and group shows and is held in private collections throughout North America and beyond. Teena Marie is a member of VANS and the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design.

Tall Tales

In my latest work, I draw on inspiration from collected photographs, remembered poems, nursery rhymes and stories that left me full of wonder and fueled my imagination.

I love the way the stories are told with an enchanting sweetness even when the tale was grim and dark.

I have conveyed these impressions in my work using paint and carefully chosen subjects, colour, objects and ephemera. These bits and pieces bring their own history and a renewed value in merging together to tell tales that are both imagined and true.

In Good Company

I’ve been a VANS member for a number of years now, I can’t actually remember when I first joined. 2000 or maybe earlier? I enjoy the magazine, Visual Arts News and being connected to the arts community throughout the province via the e-newsletters and bulletins. I like knowing what everybody is up to!

I have also participated in a few VANS exhibits, most recently Saturday Night/Sunday Morning and Participating in group exhibitions is always a good exercise to discover new ways of working. Being presented with interesting themes or concepts can often lead to evolution in one’s work. Feeling like you’re in good company is a nice result of showing en mass, as is being a VANS member.


Mostly other artists influence me to continue creating. So many great ideas and talented people are out there, but I also have a strong desire to tell stories for people to enjoy. I love to collect things and write too, so I can put things that I love together and share a story visually. The urge to communicate will always motivate me to make things.

Creative Living

The biggest challenge for me is maintaining my practice while trying to make a living. This is nothing new to anyone in the creative arts. Luckily, I work for the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design in the gallery and shop and hone my skills doing installations and scratching my creative itch by being part of an organization where we are creating events, projects, and promotions of our artists and artisans; further connecting me to the arts community. I am also a professional member of the CBCCD, and am represented in the gallery shop.

Since 2007, I’ve been painting in a specific style and have shown regularly from 2009 – 2011. My hard work is starting to pay off, as interest and sales are increasing. It never fails to feel good when someone likes what you make and wants to own it. It’s always a good day when that happens.

Fairy Tales

I’m inspired by fairy tale illustrations, so my work is often dark and surreal. I use old photographs from my growing collection and after working on them digitally, I make a transfer and use it as an under-painting. The subjects are often unknown to me and I wonder what they may have been thinking at the time their picture was taken. I invent a story for them to tell by altering their image and surroundings with acrylics — sometimes adding found objects or ephemera. I often like to use a bit of humour in my work. My goal is always to entertain. It’s not unusual for me to write poetry and rhymes to accompany the work and the writing helps me to develop the visual for the idea. Incorporating these things into the work is more than satisfying to me as it brings many of my loves together.

Bits and Pieces

Last spring, I participated in a group show called Home To Roost; collaborated with a basket maker on a few pieces; and tried to get some work ready to have for sale during the summer/fall seasons. After a bit of a break I’m now busy creating a body of work for an upcoming show this year.

Altered Egos

I am having an exhibition, opening in November 2013 at the Craig Gallery in Dartmouth called “Altered Egos” featuring mixed media paintings of individuals who wish to show their ‘second selves’ that have been coaxed out by me with a bit of paint. These egos will take on all sorts of forms: fur and feathered creatures, the seasons, storybook characters, various occupations, and emotions, and the odd sign of the zodiac.

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