Interview with Chlele Payne Gummer, Part 1

How are you making it though the pandemic? One day at a time. The pandemic has presented an opportunity to consider what is important in life and to discard unessential concerns. I find myself more focused on what I want to do next.

art by Chlele Payne Gummer

Are you taking any classes?  I think I’ve been studying art forever. My first class after high school was watercolor. I worked in watercolor for many years.  During a break from teaching I worked on and received a bachelor of two-dimensional art from Sacramento State University, in 1994. Since then I take art classes from Santa Rosa Junior College which include printmaking and acrylic painting.

What other jobs have you had in your life? For 25 years I taught school first in an elementary school, beginning as a fourth grade teacher, then I changed to Resource and Special Education instructor and worked with learning disabled students from elementary to high school for twenty years. When I retired from teaching I worked as an administrative assistant for Trivisual Services which served the blind community. 

Where are some of your favorite places? Bodega Bay at the head is my favorite place to be, especially after a bowl of clam chowder. Watching the waves and the birds never tires me. I take the trail as it wanders around and check out the wild flowers that happen to be blooming. And I enjoy the smell as I take in deep breaths.

What kind of music do you make percussion for? In the band I play the tambourine, the triangle, the bass drum and the bells to classical, marching band, and popular song music. Rhythm is the most important part of the music. I like banging on things to hear what tones they might make, such as a paper towel cardboard roll which has an actual musical tone when I bang it.   

What else would you like people to know about you? 

Basically I like to make things, pictures, cards, boxes, and music as in piano, ukulele, and drum.

I enjoy cooking for myself and trying all kinds of recipes. I enjoy good conversation with family and friends especially while sharing a well-cooked meal. And I love dancing to the old favorites, by myself if necessary.

How did you get such an unusual first name?  Dad like the song “Chloe,” and wanted it to be my name. Mom changed the spelling to Chlele. And every time I meet someone new, they ask, ” How do you spell it?” Surprisingly I kept it even after thinking I could easily change it.

Published by Chlele Gummer

I'm an artist, writer and author of nine children's books. Nature is my inspiration. Next project is a book of a hike with children. The pictures are created out of fabric scraps.

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