Earl Cunningham most known for his imaginary landscapes of the New England Coast, Florida Swamps and his fascination of Seminole Indians wearing elaborate headdresses, his paintings depict a make believe world that is nostalgic of a simpler time void of modern extremities. He is also very well known for his daring thirst for color. The coral, blue, pink and saffron yellow colors mixed with lavender, rust and olive green are used to bring intensity to the people, events and landscapes of his paintings and therefore what I find most beautiful and inspiring about them.
If you’re not familiar with his work, Cunningham was born in 1893 in Maine and left home at 13. After various stints as a peddler and working on a fisherman’s shack, he began painting boats and farms on scavenged wood. In 1915 while driving a truck for a naval yard, he visited Florida for the first time. He spent the many years traveling up and down the eastern seaboard before finally settling down in St. Augustine, Florida in 1949 and opened the Old Fork Gallery. Like most artist of his time he suffered from severe depression and paranoia and took his life in 1977.
Blue Sail Fleet Returns, 1949
Plantation, somewhere between 1955-1965
Red Sky Over Folly Beach, South Carolina, about 1975
The Twenty One, around 1977