Bill Cumming, Artist 1917-2010

William Cumming died this morning of congestive heart failure.  He was 93 - born in 1917.  These six "in process" photographs were taken by Victor Lydgman in the mid-1960.  Bill got prints as one of the presents for his 93rd birthday.   Lydgman died earlier this year at the younger age of 81.

Bill Cumming, age 93, died this morning of congestive heart failure.  He held his last painting class at his home last Monday.  On Thursday his friend Margaret Margason serenaded Bill.  She brought with her high romantic music for Soprano by Robert Schumann and a Beatles songbook.  This time Bill chose the Beatles – for a sing-along.  The six portraits of the artist “in process” were photographed in the mid-60s by Victor Lygdman, who died earlier this year of the relatively “mere” age of 83.  Victor was born ten years after Bill.

4 thoughts on “Bill Cumming, Artist 1917-2010”

  1. Bill was a gifted and generous teacher. Anyone who had the good fortune to engage him in a conversation would have found a sharp mind and lively exchanges. He will be greatly missed

  2. I was honored to be able to study with Bill. His wisdom and wit was quick as ever ’til his last days. If, in my 90s, I can be half as feisty and create a fraction of the work he did, I’ll know who to thank.

    Thank you for posting this in remembrance of such an important figure in our local art and cultural history.

  3. He was my drawing instructor at the Burnly School in the early 60s.
    I got such great support and information from him.
    He is a master in my mind.

  4. I was 18 years old when I had Bill Cummings as a drawing instructor in 1971-1972 at The Burnley School of Professional Art (located across from Edison Technical School on Capitol Hill Sea. Wn). My high school art instructor, Gail McDonnell had opened my eyes to seeing negative space as positive. Upon arriving at Burnley I was aware that the work I turned in for my assignments were “different” than my classmates. My classmates brought crisp, clean, sharp lines to class that clearly looked professional. My work had rounded corners and in my mind did not fit into what I perceived I “should be doing”. Bill nicknamed me “The Contour Kid”. He has remained strong in my memory as an influence in my conviction to trust in the intuitive direction the work wants/needs to take us. He will always be missed in the way one hopes to see a friend again…and never forgotten.

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