Live Boston Marathon sketches

I ran my 10th and last Boston marathon in 2007. During that race I carried a disposable camera with me and later sketched from shots I took during the race. (Runners World actually published one of my images) The weather conditions then were almost identical to today’s marathon so I included one of the 2007 color sketches.

Today, I sketched live from the comfort of my studio a chronological report from an internist stream.

Also, today I got an email that my Chattahoochee River paintings were accepted for an exhibit at the University of West England for Reportage an Documentary Drawing Award 2015. Cool! This gives more credence to my sketchbook reporting . Stay tuned.

Wellesley girlsT

This is my “runners eye view”watercolor of the Wellesley girls at mile 13 from my 2007 run

Boston page1

Boston page2

Boston page3

Boston page 4

Boston page 5

Boston page 6

Here are 2 of my 10 Boston medals, 1987 (my best time) and 2007 (my worst time)

Boston medqls

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Just finished this detail of Margaret Winship (ca. 1945) for the Cooley portrait. Also, a few more paintings available for the upcoming preview show at the Cumming / Preston house. Stay tuned!

Margaret Winship ca. 1940s

Coopers hawk poster

“Coopers Hawk”, 14″x11″, pencil and watercolor on illustration board

Wildcat Road in October

“Wildcat Road in October”, 11″x14″, pastel on paper

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Live Boston Marathon sketches!

A year ago, the 118th running of the Boston Marathon produced the first American winner since 1983. Meb Keflezighi  won a nail biting victory in 2:08:37, out running a fast closing  pack of faster Kenyan runners who were holding back, keying on another American runner, Ryan Hall. I sketched the event from a live internet feed. (Next best thing to being there.)

I ran my 10th and last Boston in 2007. I reported on the event with sketches from photos I took while running with a light disposable camera.

Monday, Meb will return to defend his title and I’ll be sketching the event live from the internet. Don’t miss my live report.



Boston sketch2

Boston sketch1



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This is the third in the series of  the Winship girls portraits (still in progress, awaiting feedback from Winship family members)

Also, stay tuned for info on a live preview of the portraits including new work available at the Tate Cumming/Preston house.

Dan and Lil latest

“Dan and Lil” pastel on paper, 23″x17″

Here are a few of works still available from Alliance Française “Chattahoochee: Trois Regards” exhibit plus new pastels of Tate .

Sycamore at Jones Bridge

“Sycamore at Jones Bridge”, pastel on paper, 16″x20″

November at the spillway

“November at the spillway”, Pastel on paper, 11″x14″

Edge of world 2 copy

“Edge of the World 2″, Pastel on paper, 11″x14″

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Hot off the easel! The Greatest Generation: Part ll

This, a work in progress, is arguably the largest commission of my career. These are the first 2 of  5  large pastel portrait montages (17″x 23″) of the four Winship girls of Atlanta and their husbands, all married in late 1940s post WW2. The goal is to capture their post war zeitgeist through selected photos from the 1940s through the 1970s. I will be adjusting their expressions, based on feedback from their children, over the next few months so stay tuned!

Below that are the first 5 wildflowers of the Chattahoochee for my other project: a 50 mile canoe trip, sketching scenes of Atlanta’s urban Chattahoochee River from Buford Dam to Peachtree Creek. Also, a correction: the TV reporter who interviewed me for TV5 is Andi Larner. Below is link to her interview.

Pem and Margaret detail

Lane and Lat 72 dpi2Wildflowers

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Shocking live sketches from the Chattahoochee

Yesterday, Tanook and I continued our scouting of the Chattahoochee River for our 5o mile exploration of  the metro Chattahoochee from Buford Dam to Peachtree Creek. Chattahoochee sketch 1 Much to our chagrin, after driving past rainy miles of nonstop strip malls, restaurants, gas stations, and gated communities on Abbots Bridge road, we crossed the bridge and took our first right into what was supposed to be the National Park entrance. “Where’s the Chattahoochee National park?!” I shouted to a large security guard at a gate. “Not here.” he motioned me to take a U-turn. ” I’m new here, don’t know where the park is. This is a private community” Medlock Bridge sketch2 We ended up turning around and driving downriver to the next National Park unit, Medlock Bridge which was not much more encouraging than the strip malls. The river was low with tan, slim covered deadfall, a sole fisherman in a rain soaked sweatshirt cast his lure hopefully into the turquoise green stagnant water. A Gwinnett police car rolled into the empty parking lot and parked by the boat ramp. “Let’s go home Tanook, and finish these sketches out of the rain. ” Stay tuned for more exploring of this quest for unfound Chattahoochee. MacMansions on the riverbank

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INTERVIEW: Joe Cumming on Claude Sitton

Claude Sitton sketch

“Claude was like a heat seeking missile!”

-Bill Emerson


Following is a brief interview today with my father, a civil rights journalist for Newsweek when Claude Sitton was at the New York Times. After our interview, I read Hank Klibanoff’s obituary in USA today and found some striking consistencies in how journalists remember Claude. For example Klibanoff quoted Bill Emerson: “Some people pursued don’t travel as fast as Claude does when he walks” confirmed my father’s Bill Emerson quote “Claude is like a heat seeking missile”. There were so many details that confirmed what an iconic, important yet humble southern journalist Claude Sitton was.

WALTER: So daddy, where and when did you first meet Claude?

JOE: Well, I think it was a party at Bill Emerson’s in Ansley Park. See he was a little late on the civil rights scene (1958) but he hit the ground running. The New York crowd were a little bit put off by him , that he was a country boy.

WALTER: You mean he was kind of snubbed because he was a southerner?

JOE: Well, that’s not important.. don’t quote that. .See he should have gotten the Pulitzer for his civil rights coverage, but instead, and this reflects that indifference they had, they waited until he was at Raleigh years later and gave him te Pulitzer for general editing when he should have gotten it specifically for the civil rights coverage.

Joe Cumming sketch2_edited-1

WALTER: Did you ever compete with him to out scoop him on a story?

JOE: Hell no. You could just see him early in the morning, like in Little Rock where they were integrating the schools, and he was buzzing around, talking to people  before I had my second cup of coffee…

EMILY: Wasn’t Bill Emerson there? (Little Rock) and the two of you couldn’t keep up with Claude?

WALTER: Daddy, to you, what was Claude’s most important role that no other journalists of his time fulfilled?

JOE: Well, of course, I was always justifying my laggardness by saying I was in a weekly situation (with Newsweek) and I was sending my material up to writers who would write it, and Claude was writing it on the scene. So we were at different tempos. But you couldn’t brush him off  ’cause he was a born reporter.

EMILY: Walter, did Doug tell you about when he (Doug) was working for the News and Observer, that, at that time, he was courting that girl artist and Doug put up one of her large abstract paintings in the newsroom and Claude said “Get that thing out of here”.

JOE: I went hiking in the smokies with him and his son Clint, and he was a good companion. He has this great stride that he could get places faster!


Above is an early 1960s Newsweek poster of my dad (left)


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