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Ms. Denise B. Flemming

(Business Owner)

About Me

I grew up in a comfortable, middle-class family in Toledo, Ohio. My father spent a great deal of his free time building furniture; my mother was very active in local theater. My sister and I divided our time between making things in the workshop and putting on neighborhood productions. We produced plays complete with commercials, circus entertainments, and fantastic spook houses in converted refrigerator boxes. One thing my mother was very firm about, regarding any of these productions, was that we were to charge either buttons or straight pins as admission. In third grade, I was chosen to participate in classes at the Toledo Museum of Art. Several of my paintings were included in art exchange programs with other countries. One of my paintings was chosen to be the cover of a teachers' magazine. I was published! Over the years, my work changed, then changed again. I now work primarily in paper—creating images by pouring colored paper pulp through hand-cut stencils. I feel that my art has come full circle from the bold, colorful paintings of childhood, through a period of tight, detailed images, and back again to bold, colorful, more childlike images. Papermaking for me is cathartic. Part of its appeal is that it's very physical—toting buckets of water, beating large quantities of pulp, hand-mixing huge vats of color. It's different from the Bob Cratchit-like existence that my former finely detailed style required—hunched over my drawing board with electric pencil sharpener close at hand. What other medium requires that you be up to your elbows in brilliant color?

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