Kevin Cummins
Etchinginsights.com

PERSONAL HISTORY

I have always drawn. All kids draw but most stop as they get older. I never stopped.

My first drawings were dramatic pictures of bombers, explosions and things like that. I spent hours doing coloring books, always neatly and never straying outside the lines. Top Cat was my favorite. In the third grade I started drawing proportionally and in perspective - only years later and only after I had two daughters of my own did I realize how unusual this was and how it marked a milepost on the journey I’m still on.

It was a short jump from coloring books to paint-by-number sets but I always knew I could do better. I started calculating how to use just enough of the paint-by-number colors so there would be some left over to work on my own pictures, which quickly turned into pestering my Dad to buy paints and canvas panels. I found there were great art books on the bargain tables of every bookstore, committing the pictures of the Impressionists and Cezanne to memory. I had some great teachers along the way and by the time I was a senior in high school, I was a pretty darn good oil painter.

I didn’t paint during college but I picked things up afterwards. I painted some very nice stuff over the next few years but I found oil painting to be tedious and could only finish a few successful projects a year. I needed more.

Silk screening seemed like a great option with the added advantage of being able to produce multiple images. My Dad is a bit of a handyman, and I inherited his knack for doing things, so the actual process of silkscreening just added to its appeal. It was art plus mechanics. I signed up for a printmaking class that taught silkscreening (or so the course description said!), only to be quickly told “No, no, no, we only do etching here. Come on, give it a try….” That’s how I was reluctantly introduced to etching – certainly a happy accident and certainly perfect for the way I do things.

I’d like to give special thanks to:

• My friend Marigold in Mrs. Jones third grade class, who smiled when I drew my pictures and always asked me to do another,
• Mr. Willard and his fabulous paint store in West Chester, with it’s neatly displayed rows of Grumbacher oils and boxes of art supplies,
• My high school art teachers, Isabel Bly and Betty Wright, and to Ethel Regan, who bought pictures when I didn’t expect it,
• Joan McClure, who refused to let me walk out of my first silk screening, er, etching class,
• Tony Rosati at the Abington Art Center and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, a truly fine teacher,
• Susan Land and the Artists House,
• My wife Joyce and daughters Christine and Susan, for their unwavering support, and to all my family and friends who have encouraged me along the way. I hope I can give back what you've given me.

For those who want a more formal resume, click here.