Facebook art challenge day 3

Here are three paintings published in the AJC some may remember, More live reportage of historic events: Coretta King’s funeral, celebrities who lived in Atlanta in 2001, and the final episode of Seinfeld.

Coretta page and sketch150dpi_edited-1

Below is the largest painting I’ve ever done for publication. The original is a pastel on paper 20″x 25″ . The AJC printed it as a full page, double-truck wrap-around the Sunday section then called “Dixie Living”.

Know your neighbors 150dpi

For the final episode of Seinfeld in 1998, the gifted and knowledgeable art director D.W. Pine (now at Time Magazine) advised me on the characters since I was a virtual illiterate on Seinfeld.


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Facebook art challenge – day 2

Yesterday was day 1 of this Facebook art challenge: post 3 paintings per day for 5 days . So this is day 2. These sketches and paintings were all published in the AJC since 1980 and I picked them for their news value. Also, the France travel story is my first published story written and illustrated by me in 1995.

4. WayneWilliams copy

When I travel abroad and tell foreigners that I’m an artist and sketched the Wayne Williams trial, I get a blank look. When I mention the Gold Club trial, most people have heard of it. Above is a live sketch of accused child murderer Wayne Williams on the witness stand in 1981.

Gold Club trial

Below is a photo of my journal that I carried with me on 21 day solo bike trek exploring Southern France in October 1994. My story was edited by Scott Thurston and designed by the gifted D.W. Pine (art director for Time Magazine since then)

France sketch by sketch

Stay tuned for day 3 tomorrow!


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A new pastel; third in a series

Just finished this third pastel of the series of the beaux art mansion in Lake Forest Illinois.

East terrace sunrise 1

These are the first two of the series…

La Claire fontaine 72dpi

Shadowpond one 72dpi


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SHOCKING new pastel!! (“Il y a long temps que je t’aime”)

Just finished this pastel, the second in a series, of an enchanting beaux art style mansion in Lake Shore Illinois.

“À la claire fontaine”, Pastel, 14″x11″ (inspired by a haunting, bitter-sweet  French folk song of the same title)

La Claire fontaine 72dpiCorrection on this, the first pastel of the series, is the south terrace (not the west) at sunrise.

Shadowpond one 72dpi

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Hot off the easel… Panther Creek, N.C.

Just finished this commission; a 11″x14″ pastel based on Panthers Creek near Fontana Lake, North Carolina…

Panter Creek 72dpi

Panther Creek sketch

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Embo’s letter to the Latimers and two new pastels

Below is a letter my mother sent to Eddie Latimer via email (there may be some bad type breaks. sorry). She said I could share this but It's not going on Facebook, just wordpress.
Lat and Lane sketch

Eddie and Family,  
the Heavens sing:"Hallelujah!"  Welcome dear Lane!" We are thankful and relieved, as you must be, that our Lane is free of her worn out mortal part, and Free at Last in her spirit journey to be with he Lord.  She knows the way.  After all, she taught all us 
Wrights and Cummings in those Bible study lessons at Tate on the 
felt board.  And has been steadfastly faithful in showing every life  she touched the Way.
   I will miss her calls she would make (until late in the year), to just check in and find out how things were going in the family.
I'm glad her memory was still sharp last summer, when she and I were sitting at the Grandma's dock laughing over the babies in the 
Baby Pool, with her asking:"'Embo, which of these babies is your 
great-grandchild and which mine?  Mine all look like Lat"

    She will always be my actual sister.  I spent the night 
so much in her bunk beds, I thought my name was Winship!  THen it was Lane who was my mentor, not just horseback riding, but helping
me get dates for dances during high school, when she was the most popular girl, after Lil, at North Fulton.  Then it was Lane whom
followed to Hollins College.  We share more memories than any 
other friends in my life, loving each others children as our own!   She will always be vividly alive in my heart-of-hearts.     
Love to you all from me, Joe and the family.     Embo

Here are 2 new pastel commissions:
Robert 3

Peg's pastel
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Selma interview part 2

Joe Cumming leaving theatre\
Last Friday, I interviewed my Father about his experience in 1965 as a Newsweek reporter in Selma Alabama.
The next day, at my urging, we watched the Ava Duvarnay’s film “Selma”. Here is my follow up interview with him immediately after the viewing:
Me- “So Daddy, as a work of art, how was the movie to you?”
Joe- “Well see, I’m of a different generation. In truth, having been there, as you say, it was very dramatic. But this over did the drama from my point of view. But that doesn’t speak for a generation that would get a lot out of it.
There was no falsehood but that LBJ thing did give him a bad rap.”
Me- “You interviewed George Wallace right?”
Joe – “Oh yeah, I knew him real well…”
Me- “What did you think of his portrayal in the movie (by UK actor Tim Roth)?”
Joe-“I didn’t know that was Wallace. How did you know that was Wallace? (my mother Embo giggles at this) The real Wallace was more colorful than that guy (Roth) was. Wallace was a piece of work. He was a real tacky fella…”
Me- “The southern rock band Drive by Truckers have a song that sort of debunks the myth stereotype of Wallace as the  southern racist when, in the end, he got the black vote.”
Joe- “Well the myth is simple. He was a segregationist then he saw which way the thing was moving, that the blacks were getting their power and he said “We were wrong” (in 1971). You know what he did, he couldn’t run a third term so he ran his wife who had tuberculosis! He was a tacky fella! (laughing).”
Me – “Do you think Marshal Frady wrote a more accurate portrait of Wallace than this director?
Joe- “The movie making was first rate. But when they said Johnson wanted to help the poor with the war on poverty but turn away from the blacks…he wouldn’t have done that, his heart was in that thing (the civil rights movement). Now he was a liar about that gunboat thing ….”
Me- “Oh, the Gulf of Tonkin in Vietnam?”
Joe- “Yes, a lot of Americans died”
Me – “Back to the movie Daddy, the director told Terry Grose that she was more interested in truth than in facts. But when Hoover suggested to Johnson that he could break up King’s marriage by revealing tapes of his infidelity, was that inaccurate ?”
Joe- “No, they were pushing that on the reporters and we thought that was none of their business. No, that was good movie making, there’s no question about that. But to me, it overdramatized what was already dramatic. This kind of went over the top. The trouble with movie making and reality is they don’t use the same rules.
Now what you gawn to do with this interview, you gawn do this with the AJC, they gawn pay you?”
Me – “Well I’m gonna pitch it. If they don’t want it, I’m going to put it on my blog.”
Joe – “Yeah ok.”
Here’s a shot of my father on assignment for Newsweek in Cuba in 1957 during the Cuban revolution
Cumming on assignment in Cuba 1957
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