BANGOR — Nick Patterson paints and sculpts deja vu.

It started as a teenager with sporadic visions in his dreams. Things about to happen — but only to him. And pretty simple things at that.

His uncle pulling up in a new Ford Thunderbird. The copier breaking down at work.

Now 44, he’s incorporating those visions into his art.

His work was shown last summer at the Fort Knox Paranormal/Psychic Faire in Prospect, and he’s back for a repeat show and talk this August. In a weekend schedule full of U.F.O. enthusiasts, ghost hunters and a cryptozoologist, his is the shortest, most succinct intro: “Nick Patterson — Psychic Artist.”

Patterson considers himself psychic but “nothing terrific,” he said. “It’s oddball stuff that’s going to happen to me. I’m not the guy you come to to see your future.”

He hasn’t been able to see for anyone else, nor over the decades has he foreseen anything lucrative (no winning lottery tickets) or calamitous (“No Titanic or anything”).

“I’ve had events that were deaths in the family; you would think that’s the stuff you’d have visions of, but I’ve never had that,” he said. “Why would you want to?”

Instead, it’s visions like unexpectedly delivering a load of swordfish to Hannaford with a friend. And then having it happen exactly as he saw it happen.

They’re rare, vivid and set apart by a special sensation while it’s happening in his sleep.

“It’s like grabbing an electric fence,” Patterson said. “You don’t really forget that.” 

Running down a dream

Patterson, who currently lives in Bangor, grew up in Mars Hill. His first vision was the dream of his uncle coming up to visit from Massachusetts. The next morning, he remembers asking his mom if his uncle had a new car.

Not to her knowledge, she had said.

But he did.

The painting that came out of the experience, named “Premonition,” shows abstract faces over beech trees, ringed by faint blue polka-dots.

“The faces were a way of me describing the way the present seemed like the past; all three faces are essentially me,” Patterson said. “Also having the painting repeating the scene of the trees is a way to do that, too.”

In another vision, he saw himself running down a road for the first time and seeing a certain car pass him. And then it did.

Patterson said the visions come in black and white with flashes of color. The things they predict can happen a week, month or year later. The watercolors and mixed-medium sculpts that come out of them are rarely literal depictions.

“The challenge is to represent what I am experiencing without becoming symbolic in a way that has nothing to do with precognition and what I am actually experiencing, or be passed over as being merely representational of everyday things,” Patterson said.

There are also artistic liberties — the pigeons in a vision involving Monument Square became crows in a painting — and not every vision gets a piece of art.

“(In) one of the dreams, I was sitting on a box of swordfish and looking through a van and not being able to read (a) sign,” Patterson said.

It didn’t make sense until a buddy “called up, ‘I’ll give you a couple beers if you help me deliver this fish,” he said. “I looked up at the sign at the main gate at Hannaford. It said ‘stop,’ but it looked almost dyslexic to me in the dream.”

“It’s mundane, but I only delivered the fish the one time,” Patterson said. “It’s particular to me.”

Weird Wicked Weird is a monthly feature on the strange, intriguing and unexplained in Maine. Send ideas, photos and winning ticket numbers to [email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.