My illustration as lead art on page A1!!!

Tom Murphy

SUNDAY, JANUARY 21, 1990- Twice in twenty-eight  years in the newsroom of the AJC, my illustration made lead art on A1  (the other being the Gold Club Trial in 2001). But, to my knowledge, this is the first and last time my watercolor brushes graced the cover of the Sunday paper. Kevin Austin was A1 editor. (Thanks Kevin! Good job).


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Live sketches from Augusta yesterday

“Our feet are in the morning brook and its clear parable of time” 

-Conrad Aiken

AUGUSTA, GA., My mom’s ashes were interned yesterday in Summerville Cemetery in August Ga. These images were sketched live in my journal this morning from hoots taken yesterday. My brother Doug read a sonnet my father wrote to my my mom years ago and as he read, choking back deep emotions, I saw my father smiling and nodding his head in  complete joy, approval, and comprehension .

The Conrad Aiken quote is my father’s choice and is engraved on her gravestone.

Embo's service 1

Left to right: Julie Rooks Cumming, Lucy Schuller, Woody Schuller, David Connolly,  Alston Cumming

Embo's service 2

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Hot off the easel!


“Bloodroot”, 15″x11″, pastel on paper

Sunday, while bushwhacking across the south face Burnt Mountain (look to your right from Jasper, it’s the third mountain on the left from Mount Ogelthorpe on the right), I stopped to shoot this baby bloodroot blossom. Bloodroot is one of the first mountain wildflowers in April and always has a happy spirit to it.

This pastel is included in my exhibit of new paintings from Croatia and North Georgia on April 22, 3:00-6:00 at the Cumming / Preston house. Stay tuned!

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This just in! Game of Thrones, Croatian light

Grand Villa Argentina

“Grand Villa Argentina” Pastel on paper, 11″x14″


DUBROVNIK 6:00 pm SEPTEMBER 24, 2016: Croatia was chosen for the filming of certain scenes in Game of Thrones, probably due to cost but I suspect  the light and wine dark sea of the Adriatic was also a factor. I just finished this pastel for my upcoming show on April 22 of new paintings. It is based on a live watercolor sketch I painted in Dubrovnik on my final day with a NOLS alumni sea kayaking trip.

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Breaking news! More Croatian light

Lopud à l'aube

“Lopud a l’aube”, pastel on paper, 11″x14″

LOPUD, CROATIA-7:00 a.m. SEPTEMBER 20, 2017- This breaking light over the village of Lopud, Croatia was extra sweet for me after a grueling three hour traverse of choppy seas on the Adriatic Sea, my first time in a solo sea kayak!

This pastel will be included in a solo exhibit of new paintings on April 22. WARNING: the last pastel sold minutes after posting! Interested buyers let me know at and I can reserve it for you


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Hot off the easel! Croatian light

Just finished this pastel today. It will be included in an exhibit in April of new paintings. It’s based on live sketches in Croatia this past September while sea kayaking the Adriatic Sea for  seven days with NOLS. It was my first time in a solo sea kayak, on the ocean. It was…unforgettable.

Jaki and the Adriatic


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Remembering Black History Month in the AJC, Walter Cumming’s watercolor portraits

FEBRUARY 2002, THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION: For a daily series, I painted these watercolor portraits of important African Americans. I created this poster at the end of the series but it was never published. (All images copyright Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Tubman ILLUS

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River heroes and celebrities at gala last night!

SWEETWATER BREWERY, ATLANTA, GA. Last night, Georgia River Network’s  4th annual “Brews, Boats, & BBQ” attracted local celebrities and legendary “river heroes” at The Sweetwater Breweries. Included in the guests were former River Keeper director Sally Bethea, river guide giant Joe Cook, Chattahoochee Nature Center manage Alicia Evans, among many others.

Most impressive to me was my National Park Poster sold  for TWICE the opening bid to Georgia River Network board member Terry Pate. Currently only 189 signed limited edition archival prints remain. (they’re going fast folks! Go to to order one)


sally-betheaFormer Chattahoochee Riverkeeper director Sally Bethea poses in front of my National Park poster





Georgia River Network board member Terry Pate won the bid for my poster with twice theopening bid price! Thank you Terry!



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Blood On My Hands

Just the other day, I experienced “a first.” In an effort to stop the carnage of  political outrage and to get a break from family problems (since the death of my mother in November), I fled to the Appalachian Trail for my weekly long run with my dog.

Rounding the turn on a remote mountain road, I saw a pickup truck wedged against a tree and a young mid-eastern woman waving at me with her cell phone. “STOP! HELP” She handed me a bloody cell phone. “Tell 911 where we are located!”. We were miles from the nearest house but I knew exactly where we were.

Suddenly, my outrage at politics, and family problems vanished. This man’s life was in our hands.

“Is the victim bleeding from his head? Put a pressure rag on it right away.” The 911 woman told me. I yelled across the road to the young mid-eastern man “Is he bleeding from his head? “No. Yes. A bit.His nose and hands are bleeding” .

What happened next is still not clear. The mid-eastern couple said we need to get him out of the truck (instructions from 911?). The victim was conscious, moving arms and legs slowly and speaking softly “I ..need to get out…get my head on the ground. I need … to call.. my…mother.”

We three gently pulled him out and layed him on the ground. “Hang on buddy.” I told him, “ambulance is ten minutes away.” My hands were covered in his blood. I wiped the blood on the grass and on my pants. The stain is still there today. Just then, a firetruck arrived and and a local EMT fireman walked calmly to the scene, spoke with the victim. “Wud you do buddy?” he asked the victim as if greeting a neighbor in the barber shop.

“So, is everything ok?” I asked the fireman. ” You need us to stick around?”  “Na, everthang’s  fine.” he responded in local dialect.”Y’all can go own home.”

So I drove on up to the Appalachian trail for a blissful long run in the Appalachian mist. Politics and family problems didn’t enter my head until I returned back to my studio and the internet.


The above sketch was drawn from a photo I took on the sene

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DEATH! (and my last courtroom assignment)

CHARLESTON S.C.-The jury took 3 hours yesterday to decide on sentencing Dylann Roof to death for the murder of nine members of a black congregation. The sketch below was made live last week from the media room in the Federal Court House. A video camera in the courtroom showed his cold, emotionless expression which I was able to capture live in my journal in pencil and watercolor. The other two sketches were sketched live from inside the courtroom that morning.

For now, I’m calling this my last courtroom assignment and will be focussing on more uplifting themes for my art like National Park murals, and portrait commissions.



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