Johnson, local Mesquite resident and artist, was inspired to do a color painting image of the famous picture during a Veterans’ Day shopping trip to an art store in Arizona with his son two years ago.
“When we got to the artists’ paint section, a blank 3 foot by 4 foot canvas kinda called out to me. I immediately had the image in my mind and I transferred it to canvas. I spent a total of 18 months doing the painting,” Johnson explained.
He added that “the Iwo Jima photo was captured on black and white film. In doing my painting in color, I researched other color photos from Iwo Jima during that battle in my attempt to make it as authentic as I could in homage to the soldiers. It was on exhibit for one month at the Mesquite Fine Arts gallery.”
Johnson’s father served in France during WWI and two brothers served in WWII. He served in the active Naval Reserves from 1954 to 1962.