SHENANDOAH NATIONAL PARK, Va- This is not a slight on all my various tribes/communities (runners, canoeists, climbers, cyclists, etc.) but I have never, NEVER, experienced such an instant bond and comradeship with Appalachian Trail thru-hikers.
Since March, I have met and spoken with dozens of thru-hikers and when I asked “How’s your hike going?”, each responded with a blissful, far away look and a resounding ‘GREAT! INCREDIBLE! BEYOND MY EXPECTATIONS,!” etc.
Friday, June 16, 8:30 p.m.: Shenandoah River valley: It appeared I had the entire park to myself. This scene took my breath away and moved me to tears.
72 MARIETTA ST., ATLANTA, GA, 2005-08: Here are more of my live journal entries. Some are borderline caricatures but my intentions are more endearing that ridicule. This is my record or an historic time at the Atlanta-Journal Constitution.
“De tout les mensonges, l’art est le moins faux” – Flaubert
72 MARIETTA ST., ATLANTA, GA. 2006-2008. The final days of the downtown newsroom was a time of historic tumult, anxiety, and desperate action in all newspapers as well as the editors and reporters at the AJC.
I sketched daily what I witnessed as the drama unfolded and the readership shifted from print to the internet. None of my subjects new they were being sketched. Here a just a few of the hundreds of pencil and watercolor drawings I made in my daily journal during that time. Stay tuned for more!
Here’s a live page entry from my journal yesterday.. Spent Saturday night with about fifty thru hikers, soaking wet and very happy to be sitting out a storm in a Motel on the AT in Grose Close VA. Stay tuned…
Above, Tanook is chilin with wet but happy thru hikers from all over the world in Groseclose VA , Saturday night.
ATLANTA, GA. 72 MARIETTA ST. These are live, unedited, page entries from my journal in 2005-2008. I saw it. I drew it. I do miss the excitement of the newsroom and 72 Marietta Street. (I Don’t miss the commute.)
COMING SOON! My art book “The Art of New: Select illustrations of Walter Cumming published 1980-2008”
DAMASCUS, VA. Yesterday, I met Outside Magazine reporter Kathryn Miles and two photographers at the 31st annual celebration “Trail days”. A record 3,000 plus thru-hikers set out from Springer mountain this year and in Damascus thousands of thru-hikers and other visitors met for this celebration. I brought ice-cold beer and watermelon for the grateful thru-hikers.
I have never felt a more instant bond and brotherhood with a group of fellow human beings. Typical exchanges on the trail go like this:
ME: “Hey, you Katahdin bound?”
THRU-HIKER: “”That’s the plan”
ME” Hey you want a cold beer or watermelon? I’m trail magic, class of ’95 ” Frenchman”. (extending my fist for a “trail bump”)
THRU-HIKER: “Far out. Oh my God! Yes! watermelon! We’re “Lady and the Tramp”. (we bump fist, and so on… )
Here are a couple of live entries from my journal…
These were sketched and shot live from the trail yesterday, hence the poor reproduction. Demain- Montreal!
Above, the Potomac River sketched from Jefferson Rock in Harpers Ferry
Below, the trail crosses over a four-lane near Hagerstown , MD.
Here are three journal entries from the past two days on this solo trek I’m calling “National Park Sketchbook II: THE EAST”
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).
“Our feet are in the morning brook and its clear parable of time”
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.
Left to right: Julie Rooks Cumming, Lucy Schuller, Woody Schuller, David Connolly, Alston Cumming