Dana Forrester is an automotive artist from Independence, Missouri. He was elected a member of both the American Watercolor Society and the National Watercolor Society in the early 1980’s and gained a national reputation for his watercolors featuring studies of brick walls with faded advertising signs and storefronts with plate glass window reflections and neon signs. Dana has painted professionally since 1973 and was a teacher of advanced art until 1987 when he began to paint on a full-time basis. He has exhibited in and won awards in most national watercolor and museum juried exhibitions and major art festivals in the United States.
Dana refers to his work as photorealism. Though he uses photographs as a beginning for many of his watercolors, he most frequently prefers to delete some items and add others to enhance his painting. He believes that photography should serve as reference for authenticity of detail and not as a crutch which limits an artist’s creativity.
Having been a gearhead since college, Dana’s love for the sculptural lines of Larry Shinoda’s ‘63 Stingray coupe design led to the purchase of his own 1966 coupe in 1987. While the image of this car easily crept into Dana’s brick wall art, other Corvettes and automotive subjects eventually became important features in his art as well. More recently, Dana’s automotive subjects have stepped to the forefront of his painting, thus emphasizing the contrast of textures in his work. Dana is an active participant in the automotive hobby, having served as chair of Kansas City’s NCRS chapter as well as organizing and leading various Corvette road tours.
Each year Dana creates a limited number of custom original watercolors for collectors as well as ten to twelve new original watercolors of his own. Dana publishes seven to ten new limited editions each year as well. Most of the new original watercolors are pre-sold. His paintings are included in hundreds of private and corporate collections worldwide as well as in the permanent collection of the National Corvette Museum, the Wichita Art Museum, and the Butler Institute of American Art.
In July of 2005 Dana received the NCRS President’s Award and led the Midwest National Road Tour to the NCRS Convention. Two of his cars, the 2003 Milestone Edition Z06 and the 1994 Callaway SuperNatural, were included in the Bloomington Gold Special Collection in 2005 and 2004 respectively and his 1965 396 Coupe was featured in Bloomington Gold’s 1998 Celebration of “Roar to Zora.” In 2008, Dana become a Master Judge in the National Corvette Restorer’s Society. In 2009, an 11’ x 21’ reproduction of “Stingers,” one of Dana’s watercolors, was installed on a wall in the National Corvette Museum’s new Archives addition. He recently
retired as a Member of the Board of directors of both the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and the National Corvette Restorer’s Society.
Dana also served in the Vietnam War with the 1st Air Cavalry Division.
Dana is currently working on a series of commissioned paintings for two major Automotive Collectors as well as the beginning of his second book of his painting career. The first book, The Automotive and Architectural Art of Dana Forrester, which is sold out.