Forty-nine of us, forty-eight men and one woman, lay on the green waiting for the spike to open. We were too tired to talk much.
The Emergence of Northwest Art Seattle: University of Washington Press, All quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from Deloris Tarzan Ament's interview with William Cumming on December 8, William Cumming died on November 22, In his memoir, Sketchbook, he writes: Within that muted field, splashes or shapes or calligraphs of pure color sing out with astonishing brilliance.
All of the Northwest School painters have made use of this at one time or another" Sketchbook, Cumming was born in Montana on March 24, His difficult birth, he writes, "was bonded into the family mythology.
Forever I would be the strange one, the wayward one, the marked child, lad touched by the finger of Faery, touched by the wee ones. Lad marked for greatness, marked for strangeness.
Of all this my grandfather was certain. It came with our blood" Sketchbook, In Scotland, his Calvinist family had been followers of John Knox. His father, James Rutherford Cumming, sold chinaware for a mercantile company. His mother, Helen "Missy" Edmiston, was a Christian Scientist whose family moved into Kentucky at the time of Daniel Boone, owned slaves, and eventually migrated to Missouri, where the Jayhawk militia known to the family as Federal "bluebellies" burned out the family when his grandmother was a child.
A story in Sketchbook from that period illustrates how a traumatic event in early life can permanently imprint the psyche. An unknown woman receding down the sidewalk a block away appeared to him to be his mother, leaving him.
The tear-clouded vision that burned itself into his memory was transformed in later life into a prominent motif in his paintings: His Oregon memories include hunting rattlesnakes in creek bottoms, digging up arrowheads, picking pears, and swimming in the Rogue River. His mother recalled him as a child of sunny disposition.
Tukwila's present shopping malls, warehouses, and light industry were, in those days, a patchwork of farms. His father designed and built a gazebo that still stands in the Tukwila City Park.
Student of Art Cumming had already decided that he would be an artistor -- more precisely -- that he was an artist. A family friend bought him an art course in the International Correspondence Schools.
He got no further than the section on drawing the human figure. He recalled spending hours sitting in front of plaster casts furnished by the school, charcoal in hand, drawing and toning, and hating the process of academic drawing.
But then, academic drawing is mediocre," he proclaimed. He learned art history during hours spent at the Seattle Public Library in the late s and early s.
He mowed the lawn of a dour elderly couple in exchange for a weekly ride into town. Without a job or money for college, he stayed home and drew, listened to music, read poetry, and dreamed of a studio in Paris with a skylight and a mistress.
He worked as a kitchen drudge in a boarding house in Wallingford in order to live in town. The school was a disappointment, since Cumming felt he was already more accomplished at drawing the figure than his teacher, Ernest Norling. He dropped out and returned home intaking out the remainder of his scholarship in weekly life-drawing sessions.
He has recalled that in his first life-drawing class, the model collapsed from hunger after the first five minutes. Making Connections He wrote a fan letter to Stuart Morris, head of The Seattle Times art department, who invited Cumming to visit the newspaper, and gave him an original editorial cartoon.
Hager, who played cello in an amateur string quartet and shared Cumming's dreams of being a painter, took him to countless lunches. Hager was Cumming's introduction to the world of commercial art. Cumming played classical piano tolerably well. Ziegler was a pictorial painter esteemed for his heavily impastoed oils of Alaskan panoramas and Indian scenes.
The "Indian" model posing in costume for Ziegler that day was aspiring artist Guy Anderson. Ziegler looked through Cumming's sketchbooks, calling his work "damn good," marveling that he had done it without formal instruction, and dismissed him with the admonition to "Keep it up!
The pleasure of seeing his words in print was assumed to be sufficient pay. He wrote a lengthy review of the Northwest Annual Exhibition in the Town Crier June 23, -- an issue in which he also wrote about musicdeclaring Callahan "one of the finest artists in the Northwest," and defending the work of Graves and Anderson as the avant-garde in the Northwest.
Graves had come under fire from Ziegler for poor craftsmanship.Find this Pin and more on Limbo: Blue Collar Roots, White Collar Dreams by Alfred Lubrano by Bryce Forrestier. This education article shares simple strategies to integrate century skills into everyday instruction, starting with the science classroom.
THE SPIKE. It was late-afternoon. Forty-nine of us, forty-eight men and one woman, lay on the green waiting for the spike to open. We were too tired to talk much. Founded in , Princeton University Press is an independent publisher with close connections, both formal and informal, to Princeton University.
A Question of Class. Blue-Collar Roots, White-Collar Dreams—was published this year by John Wiley & Sons Inc. Essays on judicial independence. William Cumming, a leading artist in the Pacific Northwest School, called himself "The Willie Nelson of Northwest Painting." His brilliant career as a painter was interwined with politics and interrupted by tuberculosis, only to re-emerge into a mainstream of recognition and renewed productivity.
Misc thoughts, memories, proto-essays, musings, etc. And on that dread day, the Ineffable One will summon the artificers and makers of graven images, and He will command them to give life to their creations, and failing, they and their creations will be dedicated to the flames.