Dave Archer's Profile

About

If you are interested in my Star Trek® The Next Generation space paintings I am moving them to a new Etsy location at "davearcher.com."

I made the upgrade to make it easier for my commission clients and collectors to see what is available and compare pieces. I hope this helps you.

Dave Archer, 76, was born in 1941, in San Luis Obispo, California, graduating high school with a scholarship to study art with nationally known painter and founding member of the California Watercolor School, the late Phil Paradise.

Beginning in 1970, Archer partnered with artist, Ron Russell, exploring “reverse glass painting.” By serendipity, the two artists were soon inspired by a third artist, and Tesla coil builder, Lee Byrd, who suggested they experiment with high voltage glass painting, then loaned…

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  • Male
  • Born on January 15
  • Joined July 1, 2010

Favorite materials

reverse glass painting, millions of volts of electricity

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DaveArcherArtistShop
Dave Archer Artist Shop

About

If you are interested in my Star Trek® The Next Generation space paintings I am moving them to a new Etsy location at "davearcher.com."

I made the upgrade to make it easier for my commission clients and collectors to see what is available and compare pieces. I hope this helps you.

Dave Archer, 76, was born in 1941, in San Luis Obispo, California, graduating high school with a scholarship to study art with nationally known painter and founding member of the California Watercolor School, the late Phil Paradise.

Beginning in 1970, Archer partnered with artist, Ron Russell, exploring “reverse glass painting.” By serendipity, the two artists were soon inspired by a third artist, and Tesla coil builder, Lee Byrd, who suggested they experiment with high voltage glass painting, then loaned them one of his Tesla coils. Lee Byrd also developed the world’s first “lightning brush,” or, hand-held, grounded-rod that Archer uses today. The three artists eventually took individual paths, with Dave Archer focusing on the high voltage aspect of space painting on glass. Electric painting became Archer’s life’s work.

Spurred on by fans and friends alike asking one simple question, “Who are you teaching?,” in 2009, Dave Archer took on full-time art student Brent Durand, born and raised in Roseburg, Oregon. Over that time Archer has been teaching his electric glass painting techniques and secrets to the now 24 year old protégé. Together they have performed million volt lightning painting at the “Elements” Gallery in Cannon Beach, Oregon. The two have also been the VIP guests in Hollywood for singer and performer, Sophie B. Hawkins, starring in: Room 501 - The Highs and Lows of Janis Joplin, about the life and times of Archer’s ‘60’s friend, the late Janis Joplin. Archer contributed his memories, art, and love for the production. The artists also went on tour recently to many Oregon venues giving million volt painting demonstrations. Archer says: Teaching Brent (‘Kidboy’) Durand reconnected me to my Beat Generation painting soul in a way I had not anticipated. During six years working together, both of us have grown as artists. Amazing. Thank you teachers everywhere. Now I truly understand why you elder artists helped me so much when I a fledgeling boy painter.”

With a large sheet of clear glass lit from beneath, and lying flat on four industrial strength, waist-high, ceramic “table legs,” the artist uses a foot switch and a handheld rod to deliver enormous discharges of millions of volts of electricity into wet paints on glass. Water paints make a good electrical conductor, while glass makes a fine electrical insulator. Visual effects resulting from this interplay of high voltage arcs flashing through paints over glass produces uncanny similarities to Hubble Telescope images of multicolor interstellar dust clouds and galaxies.

Dave Archer enjoyed having his work decorate the Starship Enterprise set on Star Trek - The Next Generation, for nearly three seasons, and two Star Trek movies. His work was used in Lucasfilm’s, “Howard the Duck,” and in the latest Arnold Swartzenegger’s Terminator Genysis, among other films. Archer had a full pictorial in Omni Magazine, as well as being featured in National Geographic Magazine, and on many book covers for science fiction authors including ––– Isaac Asimov, Larry Niven and Jack Vance.

Dave Archer, chose painting as his profession in 1955 at the age of 14, subsequently graduating high school in 1959 with a scholarship to study with nationally known painter, Phil Paradise, a founding member of the "California Watercolor School," and master serigrapher.

When still working under the name, David Nelson, the artist lived and painted in San Francisco's bohemian underground art scene in the North Beach, San Francisco, in the Beat Generation. The ‘60’s included supporting his art by working as doorman of a folk era coffeehouse, which among others, featured entertainers Janis Joplin, Hoyt Axton, and Steve Martin at the very beginning of their professional careers.

During this period Archer studied with master of Chinese line painting, Rick Barton, (a pupil of Amédéé Ozenfant In 1939 in New York City, at the Ozenfant School of Fine Arts). Archer studied in Barton's painting school, "Academia Vinciana," producing hundreds of lino-block prints, including, in conjunction with Barton, a limited edition book of such work published by Beat Generation painter Harold La Vigne --- by Grabhorn Hoyem Press, and in the Library of Congress --- shown in its entirety of 48 block prints at the famous Beat hangout, "City Lights Bookstore" in San Francisco.

Over the years Archer's Tesla coils have grown both larger and finer. Since the late 70's the artist's painting machines were designed and built by the late Mr. Bill Wysock, noted master Tesla-coil engineer, builder and producer of special lightning effects for countless Hollywood movies. Archer's coils are unique in the world and specifically designed for his painting needs.

His work has been enjoyed by millions, on hundreds of television shows worldwide.







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