"Killing time" - Mark A. Fleming
Currently incarcerated in West Virginia
72 hours to complete the piece
"I thought of this piece because in essence, that is what I am doing in prison, killing time. There was an enormous amount of planning on the layout of this drawing. The Roman numerals coincide with the years I will have spent in Federal prison. I mixed a little realism and surrealism with a gothic/macabre feel. I always had a passion for architecture, so I wanted to make it like a structure. I spared no expense in the details."
"Now, faced with an inordinate amount of free time, I took my penchant for learning and dove into instructional art books like my life depended on it. Which, I guess in a sense, it did."
8.5" x 11" | Graphite on 60lb paper
🖋 Artist's bio
🖋 Artist's bio
My name is Mark Fleming, and I was born and raised in Charleston, SC. I am 35 years old and currently serving a 120 month sentence in a federal facility. Born into a great family, I was afforded every opportunity in life. Blessed with a natural aptitude and strong penchant for learning, I could have attained anything I wanted. Unfortunately, what I wanted was to feed a debilitating addiction that I’ve dealt with for most of my life. Which in turn caused me to make some unsavory choices that ultimately led to the situation I’m in now. My self-destructive behavior caused me to lose everything I’ve ever held dear. Most important was my relationship with my daughter and my family. I’ve had to watch my daughter grow from behind the walls, and that depressing fact is what really opened my eyes and made me ask myself what the hell I was doing. After a period of self-loathing, I turned to one of the few activities available to us in prison, pencil and paper.I had enjoyed drawing when I was younger but never really took it seriously. I guess even then I knew I had something of a natural ability. I just didn’t know what to do with it. Now, faced with an inordinate amount of free time, I took my penchant for learning and dove into instructional art books like my life depended on it. Which, I guess in a sense, it did. I hungrily learned about just every aspect of art I could find. Drawing and painting. Color theory and tones and values. Portraiture and anatomy. Still life and perspective. I was soaking up anything I could find. The more I dealt with it, the better I got. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t draw or scribble for at least an hour or two. It’s almost become a second nature to me and I’ve realized that my drawings have helped me fill this void that I was subconsciously trying to fill with my drug use for all those years. I have found a way to turn my destructive behavior into a constructive outlet for my visions. Doing something that my family and I can all be proud of. I have dreams to do some consignment work once I’m released from prison. I’ve done quite a bit of that while here. Things from logos and business signs to tattoo designs and family portraits. I feel fairly confident in a wide range of styles, but I prefer to do photorealism. Whether it’s still life, or animal and human portraits. I’ve also gotten into tattooing while in here, and I have become really good with that as well. Carrying my passion and my attention to detail into the skin. That is also something else I’m interested in pursuing. Maybe get out and make a name for myself and then join a shop, or start my own. All-in-all, art has helped me become who I am today, and I am glad that I have found and embraced it. I can only go up from here, and I have many great things to come..