BREAKING NEWS! My coolest assignment ever!

The National Park Service has just commissioned me to paint a huge panorama (five feet wide) of the Chattahoochee River to hang in the park headquarters. It will be a centerpiece of an exhibit celebrating the National Park Centennial. Unveiling will be at park headquarters this fall! (Preview unveiling on July 4th weekend at the Cumming/Preston house). Stay tuned!

Here are the paintings that impressed the National Park Service and got me the job.

Sycamore at Jones Bridge

“Sycamores at Jones Bridge”, pastel, 16″x20″ SOLD

Jones Bridge

“Jones Bridge October glare”, pastel 14″x11″ SOLD

Settles bridge

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TEN DAYS on the GRAND TETON with PAUL PETZOLDT

Just finished these two new illustrations for my Paul Petzoldt story to be published in the NOLS alumni summer edition. My account of “the real” Paul Petzoldt on a 10 day winter climb in 1975 is pending approval by NOLS before publication. Stay tuned…

 

The 120 foot rappel

A mountain man of epic proportions, Paul Petzoldt (1908-1999) was America’s most important Mountaineer. Those of us who knew him and climbed with him, loved him because of his contradictory personality. I always thought of him as an iconoclastic, nonconformist, an “outlaw” in the best sense of western rugged individualism; a ‘Merle Haggard” of American Alpinism if you like.

Petzoldt warning students

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SHOCKING PHOTOS! Life imitates art! A new record!

Saturday afternoon set a new record for my career (since I left the AJC). I sold fourteen paintings (of 22 available) and got two new commissions (yay!). Here are a couple of shots of happy art patrons. THANK YOU all who showed up and GRANDE MERCI ! for those who bought art.

photo-6

Eddie Latimer and his fiancé Barbara with their painting

Winship house January 23 72Their painting is of the same scene of the photo but in winter!

John and painting

John Martin (son of AJC legend Harold Martin) and his portrait at his 1929 home Tate.

Stay tuned info for an upcoming exhibit of my courtroom art 1978-2012 at the Acworth Cultural Arts C onenter opening in June.

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Celebrate Spring with art! Tomorrow at Tate

For those who are on the mountain tomorrow, stop by the Cumming/Preston house to visit and see live art in person! Half the paintings sold already via Facebook but if you’re a serious art collector, get there at 3:00 for first choice.

Winter Largo email 72

Kenneth72 Deux canôts froid72

 

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Climbing the Grand Teton with Paul Petzoldt – Part l

Lower saddle 72

CLIMBING THE GRAND TETON WITH PAUL PETZOLDT

THE 1976 NEW YEARS DAY CLIMB

By Walter Cumming

Late May, 1975 found me as a recent graduate of the NOLS spring semester, 21 years old, penniless, homeless, jobless, a “starving artist” in Lander Wyoming. My burning obsession, besides training for the Boston Marathon, was to continue my NOLS education by participating in the New Years Day climb with Paul Petzoldt.

”Hell yeah!“ Paul bellowed as his beefy, bear-paw hand swallowed my hand in an enthusiastic  agreement in the Noble Hotel bar in Lander in June 1975. The agreement was my art in exchange for tuition for the 1976 New Years Day Climb. The mood in the room was relaxed and casual but I was quite nervous about approaching Paul (who was like a God) with my art proposition. Paul also, agreed I could stay in the Noble Hotel bunk room to finish my art work as part of the agreement.

Paul and I never made the summit on that climb. I made the upper saddle and waited with Andy Carson while Tom Warren led about 10 students to the ice-covered summit in horrific conditions. Still, after 40 years, the summit of the Grand Teton haunts my dreams today.

The New Years Day climb was an annual event for qualified NOLS graduates by invitation from Paul Petzoldt. I was qualified only in the sense that Paul offered free tuition in exchange for my artwork, a nine-foot wide painting of my classmates on the 1975 Spring Semester.

To my knowledge, I am the first and only art student from the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design to become a NOLS alumni. In retrospect, I may have been the least qualified climber on that climb. I was less like expert climber/journalist Jon Krakauer and more like like George Plimpton posing as a pro football player in his book “Out of My League”

Four-day ascent to the lower saddle:

My tent mate, John Atticus Keeler, was one of my best friends on the 1975 Spring Semester. I learned just recently that John had passed away since the climb. He was perhaps the most intelligent, adventurous, and worldly student on our course – an impeccably competent climber with a clear head. John summited on January 1, 1976. I didn’t. So, when John returned to the lower saddle and reported a tail of terror about what had happened on the summit assault and descent, it burned an impression in my brain; a combination of relief followed by survivor’s guilt in  that, after forty years, reoccurs in my dreams.

The 1976 climb was like a “who’s who” of world class American Alpinists of the 1970s. Not only Paul Petzoldt, Tom Warren and Andy Carson of NOLS, but the renowned Jeff Lowe and Alex Lowe, among other celebrities.

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Coming soon! My climb with Paul Petzoldt in 1975

The Belly Roll72

CLIMBING THE GRAND TETON WITH PAUL PETZOLDT
THE 1976 NEW YEARS DAY CLIMB
By Walter Cumming
”HELL YEAH!“ Paul bellowed as his beefy, bear-paw hand swallowed my hand in a beer-inhanced agreement in the Noble Hotel bar in Lander in June 1975. The agreement was my art in exchange for tuition for the 1976 New Years Day Climb (unbeknownst to NOLS admissions people).
Full disclosure: Paul Petzoldt and I never made the summit on that climb. I made the upper saddle and waited with Andy Carson while Tom Warren led about 10 students to the ice-covered summit in horrific conditions. Still, after 40 years, the summit of the Grand Teton haunts my dreams today.
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Hot off the easel! My biggest painting ever!

November cloud study 72

“November cloud study”, 21/5″x31/5″, pastel on paper

 

This is the largest painting I’ve ever done. (30″x40″ matted). It’s based on another smaller cloud study that Bo Emerson bought . It looks more impressive in person. It is included in my show at the Cumming/Preston house on April 23. Stay tuned…

Answers to Monday’s “puzzler” (the 8 Olympic runners in the 1977 Peachtree Road Race) : left to right, Jeff Galloway, Frank Shorter, Neil Kussack, Don Kardong, Ed Leddy, Lasse Viren, Kenny Moore, Bill Rodgers. Only track nuts would care about that one.

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Can you name these 8 Olympic runners from the 1977 Peachtree Road Race?

Peachtree Olympians 72

This drawing was a commission for an Atlanta dentist/runner in 1977 . These were the 8 Olympians who competed in the 1977  Peachtree Road Race. One clue; the runner on the left is Atlanta’s own Jeff Galloway.

My son and I discovered this fading print yesterday while editing thousands of original paintings and drawings in boxes (for my upcoming book “The Art of News”). Answers  to come on my next blog post. Anybody who can name even half of these famous Olympians qualifies as a certified track and field fanatic of the 1970s.

Alston and art

 

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Almost live! From the studio of Atlanta illustrator extraordinaire

Trevor72

Trevor and I have lived through illustration history in Atlanta since the late 1970s. We both experienced working as artists at CNN at it’s beginning in 1980. Yesterday we caught up and recollected the good-old days of print media. Checkout his website at www.irvinproductions.com

Also, coming soon, I’m editing 28 years of original paintings and drawings published in the AJC for an art book /retrospective of my illustrated news images from 1980 to 2008. STAY TUNED!

Art of Newws cover mockup

 

 

 

 

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Just finished this one… another Tate Icon

Kenneth72

“Kenneth”, pastel on paper, 14″x11″

Arguably the most competent man on the mountain, the gestalt of Tate Mountain.

Sans lui, tout s’arrête .

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