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Johnny Cash Original Painting
The Man In Black & White

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"The 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

Growing 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 I remember.

Then 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."


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