WILD MIND PAINTINGS
Tame mind side, like farmer’s
field, is disciplined and cultivated
to produce a desired yield, useful
but limited. Wild mind is larger
deeper: planets, sun, mountains,
forests, flora, ocean waves,
gods, ancient creatures, collective
memory, rain, myths, folktales;
tricksters patrol – coyote, raven
Wander wild mind under
dark matter sky, cry for
vision. Discover mirror
reflects actual form reveals
truth. Embrace compassion,
know, feel folks pain, delight.
Seize brush, paint vermillion
truth, ochre delight, turquoise
pain, sienna creatures, weave
wild braid, sacred and profane.
– Cam Cunningham 4/07
Born in Detroit, 1939, Five Star Paper Trooper during WWII; raised up in Lubbock, Texas. Played football; no poetry or painting. First car, ’50 Ford, ’53 Mercury engine, lowered with glass packs. Saved by rhythm and blues, Big Joe Turner, the Crows, Chuck, Little Richard, Fats and Bo.
Buddy Holly was a year ahead in high school; danced to the Crickets at the roller rink; Crickett’s drummer, Jerry I. Allison’s girlfriend, Peggy Sue, a year behind. Eagle Scout, Outstanding Young Citizen (OYC) in ’55, frequenter of local bootleggers.
Texas Tech, economics major. Radicalized in the U.S. Army by friends, C. Wright Mills, The Power Elite, Mao Zedong, Ta, Ta, Tan, Tan (run, run, fight, fight).
After law school, LSD, mushrooms and mescalito, left the OYC plaque in a tree at the West Texas Freak Festival in Austin.
Spiritual Grapes of Wrath, Texas-California trek, studied and taught meditation, Tarot, breathwork, Enneagram, experienced Vision Fasts and Huichol Shamanism.
People’s lawyer for 40 years – on the Navajo Rez, in an Austin law commune (defended CO’s, dopers, draft dodgers and political activists); East Palo Alto, taught at New College of California Law School in San Francisco; (Marxist perspective, Karl and Groucho), and for the last 20 years, successfully represented workers with harassment, discrimination and wage claims.
Many years ago, Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way, opened the doorway, plunged into poetry and painting – birds, whimsy, shamanism. Often paint outside on a hilltop near Sebastopol, California, use images from meditation, intuition, journeys and nature. Scarlet, cobalt, ochre, and orange images of the profane and sacred twirl together in humor and play.
Like poets Mary Oliver, Gary Snyder, Bob Dylan, Seamus Heaney, Billy Collins, and have published some work.
Live outside Sebastopol, CA, and on land near Pt. Arena, with Sylvia Marie for twenty seven years. Feed seven cats, tend a large organic garden. Bicycle trips to San Juan Islands, Maine, France, Canada, Denmark. Ran SF Marathon, NYC Marathon, and Catalina Island Marathon.
**Cam’s physical life left the planet in 2012. His presence remains through the bold energies that express through his paintings.