Papier Mache Mermaid Box

I worked with the Maggie Mundy agency in the 1980s, opened my own gallery in the 90s, and went off to work in marketing around 2000. I’ve never stopped illustrating, and I hope I never will. My inspiration comes from the illustrators whose work graced the books and poetry of my childhood, and that of my son, when I revisited all the wonderful books there are for children. I love Dulac, Rackham, Adamson, Sendak, Ardizzone, and lots of the current illustrators too.

I have made pictures for other people’s stories and poems – long and short, silly and serious; designed my own and other people’s greetings cards; written and illustrated newspaper articles; painted posters for theatres, storytellers and puppeteers; drawn for educational books – including 30 pages of farming techniques of the world (‘lose the heron darling – we only want the bulrushes’); and made papier mache sailors, whales, mermaid mirrors, and Punch and Judy theatres. I collect old toys, wrote my thesis at college on tinplate toys, and some of them appear from time to time in my work.

Check out new and older posts for more images. Recently – I’ve completed the pictures for Heather’s book Stickleback Road, posters for the Abbey Theatre, Orkney folktale drawings for Orkney Islands Council, and am now ready to start work on new projects.

Slaying dragons

Poster image

Poster for Storytelling Festival



  1. I like Figgy’s Dream (because of the cat, natch!) but what is the person holding out to Figgy? I can’t make it big enough to see. BTW I saw a photo of the real Figgy courtesy of our mutual friend Loki’s Ma.

  2. It’s a blue bird, shaped a bit like a dove with its fan tail on the right. Figgy is interested but disdainful, and the boy’s wolf hasn’t figured out its edible yet.

  3. Thanks, Sheila! Both Figgy and the wolf seem to be more interested in the boy than the bird. Now that I know what it is, I see that the birds on the curtain on the left are similar. I love explanations…

  4. Don’t worry, Figgy’s not about to swallow the lad, too much like hard work for him – and the wolf in this case is a faithful servant, rather than a desperate predator…

  5. Ah,so figgy has KC’S genes as well(everyone bowing and obeying him)😆

  6. I think it’s just a cat’s natural position – superior to all, and in his own mind by far the biggest character… :0)

  7. Hi Sheila,

    I believe that is really you…remember me…in those days just plain michael newman from the fine art department at newcastle poly

    I remember sleeping on your floor with the ducks!

  8. Hello again Mike – how many Sheila Faichneys could there be??? Long long time no see! Great to hear from you – can I use your email to reply to you directly? Let me know. Cheers!

  9. […] would like to introduce you to Sheila Faichney who has taken over the gallery. Sheila is an artist and illustrator who worked with the Maggie […]

  10. Hi Sheila,
    How might I purchase a print of the Dennis Lee “Goodnight Goodnight” piece?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Brooke Thanks for getting in touch but I don’t know quite who you mean by Dennis Lee, all the artwork on this blog is by me! I do have some prints of this illustration but they are in storage at the moment until some building work is completed on my studio. I will see how easy it would be to get at them and let you know. All the best, Sheila

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