Creator of Fairies
Donna Antonucci of Webster enjoys creating mystical, fantasy art
By Lynette M. Loomis
When some children are daydreaming, it can be a challenge for adults to envision that those daydreams can turn into a career.
Donna Antonucci, 63, is a day dreamer and a self-taught artist who has loved the magical realm her entire life.
She bought her first fantasy art book, “The Land of Froud” by fantasy artist Brian Froud, while in high school.
“He is considered the godfather of fantasy art. His book was magic to me. It was full of all kinds of magical creatures, trolls and fairies. I was very influenced and inspired to create my own style of fantasy art. I am and have always been a daydreamer and I have always had a very vivid imagination,” Antonucci explained.
Her style is highly detailed. She likes to hide little sprites and creatures into her paintings. And everything must have wings! She smiled as she said, “People are always saying the more they look, the more things they find that they did not see the first time. My paintings are fanciful little worlds filled with magical creatures and beings.”
Her preferred medium has been colored pencils with mixed media, including airbrush, watercolor, acrylic and some pastels in her colored pencil work. She also designs some retro and kitschy crafty gift items for different holidays.
“I have a great love of animals and I love to do wildlife art,” she said.
She has volunteered at the Seneca Park Zoo Society and donated a great deal of original wildlife art that was gifted to guest speakers at their events. She also set up art displays for art auctions at their events.
Antonucci is the first one to say that she can’t sew, but she expresses her artistic passions by creating costumes, fun hats and headbands. She also loves to try new art projects. “I have worked with Kirks Folly Jewelry company, which specializes in fantasy jewelry, home decor etc.,” she said.
Antonucci has collaborated with Helen Kirk, owner and designer, for many years, working with her in designing jewelry, windchimes and greeting cards that sell on QVC and on their own website.
This talented artist makes greeting cards, prints and canvas prints of her work. Part of her trademark is the hand embellishment of her prints and cards with fairy dust (glitter).
“I like to have some sparkle on my art and most of the subjects have wings. I get so much pleasure painting little fairy animals, real and imagined creatures,” she explained.
Antonucci custom mats and frames her work and embellishes the frames to match the art with pearlized paints, glitter and other decorations.
She also has created her own line of products showcasing her art on umbrellas, mugs, magnets, messenger bags and pillows.
With such a vivid imagination, Antonucci said she has so many ideas in her head; they swirl around as she decides how she will interpret things. She spends a few days thinking about what she wants to paint. Next, she sketches things out and refines it on vellum tracing paper. She then takes that drawing and transfers it to my art paper.
“As I work, things change from my original idea. It’s almost as if what I am creating takes on a mind of its own. I get more ideas as I work, and I add those to my painting,” she said. “I get excited about trying new mediums and new crafty ideas, too. There are too many wonderful new products and so many ideas in my head; it’s hard to try them all!”
A recent development was securing an art licensing agent, Paul Wheeler of Looking Good Licensing in Vermont. Her eyes shined with excitement as she explained that she got her first licensing job with a fabric company in New York City, Benartex. The company specializes in quilting fabrics and Antonucci is working on a fantasy line of fabric that should be released in the fall.
Her work can be found at www.facebook.com/donna.antonucci and at https://instagram.com/fairymagicfantasyart.
Does her home in Webster reflect her passion? Of course!
“My studio looks like a fanciful toy shop! I enjoy being in my studio surrounded by things that make me happy. I am a maximalist! I have a love of all things Egyptian, too. My dining room is decorated with an Egyptian theme,” she said.
She is working on a new fantasy Egyptian mermaid.
Antonucci is a huge Halloween lover and has Halloween decor around her house and in her studio year-round.
She and her husband, John, have been married for 33 years.
“John has always been incredibly supportive of my art and decorating. He kids me sometimes, but he likes it and enjoys giving me the freedom to do whatever I want. He’s a saint… even though he doesn’t have wings!” she said.
While this daydreaming artist says she is really a child at heart, she also has a philosophy.
“I believe that as our world gets more complicated and crazier, we need to reconnect to the magic and fantasy that’s within us all. The mystical dreams that were part of our childhood are all too quickly lost. I want my art to recreate the wonder that just dreaming makes real. I honestly hope my art can take the viewer to a happy place and that it can make them smile every time they look at it,” she said.
Art Available Locally
Donna Antonucci’s art is sold locally at The Art Stop in Penfield; Mythic Treasures on East Main Street in Rochester; Artisans Annex inside Rehouse on West Ridge Road; and Shambala Cove a booth inside The Shops on West Ridge Road.