Patrick Fleming, a recent transplant to Arkansas from the Chicago and Milwaukee area, has come alive as an artist down south. Using both his painting and sculptural skills, Patrick has developed a series of interesting "canvases" that have three dimensional elements to them and are shaped like puzzle pieces!
Fragmented Fantasies, Oil on Canvas
And now on to the questions!
Why art? There are lots of things you can do in life, why did making art grab you and not let go?
I’m not sure, but I've been involved with art as long as I can remember. It feeds the soul.
Yeah, it’s a question that gets asked a lot, but I’m going to ask it again: What inspires you?
Everything inspires me, life, nature, people, family and friends, dreams, experience's & past childhood memories. I don't think there is anything out there that doesn't inspire me?
What do you find to be the hardest aspect to being
The hardest aspect for me is time and money. I have more ideas than I have time to accomplish them. Plus the cost of materials can be overwhelming. My work is very labor intensive, building the canvas, making molds for casting, so the time factor can be an obstacle.
If you could say there is one thing that drives your creative process, what would that be?
My inner being, my soul. It's like there is this person inside of me that has to evolve and come out.
Most artists have some idea of where they are going with their work while they are creating it. However, there is always the aspect that the viewer will project their own ideas and experiences onto the work when they see it. Do you feel that you, in a sense, lose some control of the work once it is released into the wild? Is this bothersome to you?
No, I don't feel like I've lost control of my art once I let the public see it. I enjoy hearing and seeing how people react when they see my art. It brings a whole new perspective to the art for me. It isn't bothersome at all, it's more like the beginning of a new journey allowing me to see something different in each piece that I wasn't aware of when I was producing it. If my art brings out different feelings for different people, either are good or bad, then I have accomplished something.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I would hope to still be working on my art and having it evolve to a higher level, to grow with my art and have my art grow with me.
Any ambitious or exciting projects on the horizon for you? What’s new in your career that you’re excited about and looking forward to?
I'm starting to work 3 dimensionally again and beginning to cast bronze. It's a long road but a very fulfilling one to finally get back into working in a medium that I love.
What is your biggest thrill at the opening reception for a show of your work?
The biggest thrill for me is watching how the public reacts to my art and hearing the different interpretations of my from people.
If you had the ability to take a class or workshop with any artist, who would it be?
It would be with Augusta Rodin.
Where a piece of art is displayed can have an effect on how it is perceived. Have you ever placed a work somewhere, stepped back, and all the sudden realize, wow this is different now? If so, what was that like for you?
This is happening with my puzzle pieces. They change based on the wall they are hung on depending on the color of the wall and the type of the wall. The first time I showed them in public they hung on brick walls which gave them a totally different feeling.
What is the greatest accomplishment you want to achieve in your career as an artist?
Just to be an artist, nothing more, nothing less.
Thank you Patrick for taking the time to give us a little insight into yourself as an artist!