Man in Black and White" Portrait of Johnny Cash by Bill Foss
Original Painting acrylics on etched aluminum. 24" x 30"©2009-2014 Bill Foss all rights reserved 'Original Works' and 'Derivative Works' (an artistic
rendition of a recognizeable classic) copyright(s) held with the Library of Congress. Original painting comes with a Certificate of Authenticity
up in a small town in Oklahoma, my father played a lot of Johnny Cash songs around the house on his guitar. Johnny appeared in a
dream 15 years ago and we were walking down the middle of a street in
Oswego, Kansas, virtually a ghost town from the mining days. Several small store fronts along a highway, early morning
, the wind was blowing,and as we walked along slowly down the middle of the highway, Johnny looked
over and said, " I want you to be in my band, will you play guitar
for me?" I turned my head looking back and answered "Sure,
Johnny, of course" we continued walking and talking, that's all
Several months ago, I had decided to do a JC portrait on a large canvas I
patterned out the sketch. That night Johnny again showed up in a dream,
this time at the Oklahoma studio, walking through saying "Hello,
it's good to see you!" Smiling and shaking my hand. There was a peace
and love in his eyes and a joyous smile on his lips. I felt that he was
happy now and at peace to be on the other side, and when I awoke I had the feeling that I'd had a
true visitation. As we walked around the studio talking and laughing,
on his way out I pointed to the portrait which I'd drawn out on canvas.
He was excited and smiled saying "Very nice, thank you!" as he left.
During a Johnny Cash tribute at the Coleman Theatre, in Miami, OK, I started
another painting in Black & White, on etched metal. As
I painted and painted, I stepped back deep in thought, looking on, I sat down at the
easil once more and zoomed in on his face. I started to see and paint
all of the scars, wrinkles and lines on his face. There was an incredible
road map of experiences on his face. It was like a collection of stories, songs, and life's experiences. So I painted late and not feeling finished with it, left the
gallery. Upon returning in the morning to what looked so completely strikingly
finished I couldn't touch it again! Not another stroke. The eyes were so peaceful,
strong and compassionate, that it brought tears to my eyes. And I could
hear his voice. There was definitely a presence in the room. And for
the next 2 days, if I really listened, I heard a voice when I looked
at the painting.
That's the story behind the painting of "The Man
in Black...and White."