Forty-three Years on the Appalachian trail: A love affair 1974-2017

A recovering 2:35 Boston Marathoner / courtroom sketch artist goes on a six month project this past spring and summer,  sketching, offering cold beer and watermelon, and interviewing thru-hikers from Georgia to Maine. What he found was not at all what he expected. Everything and nothing had changed since 1974

By WALTER CUMMING

I did the math, in my head today. Since 1974, I had hiked, sketched and run an average of  20 miles a week on the Appalachian trail, mostly repeat runs on my favorite sections in Georgia and North Carolina but including every state except New York. So 1,000 miles a year is 43,000 miles on the Appalachian Trail. That’s enough miles to hike (or run) from Georgia to Maine twenty times. Why? I was in love. Still am.

(More to come)

 

 

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Hot off the easel!

Just finished this portrait commission (pending final approval)

“Danny and Pat and “Dizzy”, pastel on paper, 16″x20″

Detail

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Celebrate Art! (AND help protect the North Georgia Mountains!)

 

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Solo benefit exhibit of new paintings by WALTER CUMMING

Included in the exhibit are new paintings from Croatia, Ireland, New England, and North Georgia. Also, including prints of the National Park Mural hanging in park headquarters at Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. Proceeds benefit the Mountain Conservation Trust of Georgia. Stay tuned for details or go to http://www.mctga.org for tickets.

november-cloud-study-72

“November cloud study”, 22″x33″, pastel on paper

May moon rising 72

“May moon rising” 11″x14″, pastel on paper

chattahoochee-poster-72dpi

Above: National Park fine art, limited edition prints (21.5″x33″)

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Three records shattered on the Appalachian Trail !

 MONSON, MAINE-September 4, 2017- I spent the night at Shaw’s Hiker Hostel and met these thru-hikers among about 20 others.  I learned from them that three records were being set this season by thru-hikers that most of the hikers here in the hostel had met on the trail.

1. Joe “Stringbean” McConaughy had demolished both the self-supported and the supported records in 45 days, 12 hours, 15 minutes (that’s over 50 miles a day average for 2190 miles!)

2. An 82-year-old hiker  named “Greybeard” was setting a new age record.

3. A record 2,700 thru hikers registered at Springer mountain. I have something to say about that in my next blog “THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL-A Love Story 1974-2017″

Of all the sports communities I have been involved with over the years: (runners, canoeists, cyclists, climbers) I found the thru-hikers I met this year since March are the friendliest and the most deeply happy of all. These sketches were scanned directly from my sketchbook. 

 

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Trumpgansers and NOLS team Ireland

Here are a few more pages from my sketchbook in Ireland and the Allagash River in Maine. These are the first four sketches of our NOLS hiking team in Ireland. The Trump-like merganser was in Maine.

NOLS team sketch1

NOLS team sketch2

Trumpganser

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Live sketchbook of Ireland

These were posted on Facebook last week but I just got back in my studio and scanned them from my journal. Stay tuned for finished pastels of Ireland, North Georgia and Maine for upcoming solo exhibits in October 2017 and March 2018.

Ireland NOLS map

Ireland sketch1

Ireland sketch2

Ireland sketch4

ireland sketch5

Ireland sketch6

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Glen Campbell 1936-2017

A giant among country music giants. I drew this group caricature ( including Campbell among others) in 1994 for a story by Miriam Longino published in the AJC.

“Who’s gonna fill their shoes?” George Jones

Glen Campbell detail

Glen Campbell bw

Glen Campbell color

 

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My last* exhibit at Tate Mountain yesterday! RECORD TURNOUT! Thanks everyone and au revoire!

Yesterday at the Cumming/Preston house, a record number of guests showed up. A big “thank you” to all who bought paintings and ordered commissioned work!

Tomorrow, I depart for four weeks of adventure travel: including a week canoeing the Allagash River in Maine with long-time friend Mckay Jenkins, visiting a friend in Portland, six days hiking the Irish coast with NOLS, and finally solo exploring regions of Ireland  and France for a solo show of new work at Sacred Heart Cultural Center in Augusta, GA. early next year. Stay tuned!

I’m calling yesterday’s show my official first annual “last show at Tate”. (Nest summer of course will be my “Second Annual Last Show at Tate”.

november-cloud-study-72

Above: “November cloud study”, pastel n paper, 19″x24″

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Hot off the easel!

May moon rising 72

“May moon rising”, pastel on paper, 11″x15″

Last month the full moon caught my eye as it was rising in the lake. The mountain was empty and peaceful. I wanted to capture the moment and I finally got around to finishing this pastel today.

It will be included in a one man exhibit this Saturday at the Cumming/Preston Tate house, 3:00=6:00. Also included will be new work from Croatia and two National Park limited edition prints. Stop by if you’re on the mountain!

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