Tiger Whitehead (Self Portrait)

I’m working on a painting based on the song “Tiger Whitehead” from the Johnny Cash children’s album that’s also a loose fantasy self-portrait of Caitlin and I. The lyrics to the song continue above. I have a really nicely prepped canvas I’m doing it on — here it is sketched out roughly in marker. Click to zoom in.

tiger-whitehead.jpg

Wild blackberries bloomin’ in the thickest on the mountain
Sheep shire and water cress are growin’ round the fountain
Where a big black bear is drinkin’ lappin’ water like a dog
Tiger Whitehead’s in the bed sleepin’ like a log
Tomorrow he’ll see bear tracks seven intches wide
And by sundown he’ll be bringin’ in the hide

Pretty Sally Garland comin’ down the mountain side
Where Tiger Whitehead’s tryin’ to nap a mill at the mill
She sits down on a bearskin and she says you’ll be my man
I’ll have me the best bearhunter in the hills
A wild child was Tiger Whitehead and they say he killed
Ninety-nine bears before he went to rest went to rest
Once he left two bearcubs orphaned but he brought ’em right on home
And Sally nursed the two bearcubs upon her breast

Tiger now is eighty-five and he lay upon his bed
And the bears he killed now numbered ninety-nine ninety-nine
Some fellers trapped the bears but Tiger said just let him go
If he ain’t running wild he won’t be mine
But at night when the wind howls cross eastern hills of Tennessee
And when the lightnin’ flashes there’s the strange thing that the people say they see
An old grey headed ghost runnin’ through the mountains there
It’s Tiger Whitehead after his one hundredth bear
Wild blackberries bloomin’ in the thickest on the mountain
Sheep shire and water cress are growin’ round the fountain
Where a big black bear is drinkin’ lappin’ water like a dog
Tiger Whitehead’s in the bed sleepin’ like a log
Tomorrow he’ll see bear tracks seven inches wide
And by sundown he’ll be bringin’ in the hide

4 Responses to “Tiger Whitehead (Self Portrait)”

  1. Isabel Says:

    Ya know it looks pretty awesome just like that.

  2. cirrin Says:

    That’s going to look fantastic!

  3. lauren Says:

    That looks amazing… I wish you guys would do a how to draw/how to compose lesson for all us that wish we could create that well.

  4. Robert Says:

    Tiger Whitehead was one of my ancestors.

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