Immerse yourself in dazzling, intergalactic experiences through the entrancing art of Dave and Forrester Archer. Their paintings both honor and utilize science, with real inspirations and electric techniques. His art is inspired by astronomy, namely wondrous photos from the Hubble telescope of outer space.

Dave Archer uses a process he calls “art storms,” electrocuting acrylic and resin paint with a Tesla coil to produce lightning shocks of color. He then paints over the art storms to create miniature fantasy universes that are utterly awe-inspiring. His paintings have been featured in movies and shows like Star Trek, and now Marcus Ashley Gallery offers the opportunity to purchase them for your own collection.

Upcoming Events

Meet The Artist ~ Forrester Archer – June 21 & 22


About Archer

Dave & Forrester Archer

Dave Archer

Dave Archer was born in San Luis Obispo, California, in 1941. After graduating from high school, he received a scholarship to study art at the California Watercolor School. Archer began painting under the name Dave Archer in San Francisco during the Beat Generation when nonconformist artists and writers were all the rage. To fuel his passion, Archer also worked as a doorman at a coffeehouse between odd jobs.

In 1970, Archer was introduced to Ron Russell and the world of reverse glass painting. Together, they created the ‘reclusive’ painter Russell Archer—a combination of their middle names that allowed them to create art together. Their work was met with great success at festivals and exhibitions. In 1991, the duo came together again to showcase their evocative Russell Archer exhibit. The reunion was met with great enthusiasm and support by fans.

What kickstarted such a profound series of events between Ron Russell and Dave Archer was a meeting with Lee Bryd. He had been experimenting with electricity and built a Tesla coil of his own. This ‘sparked’ the artists’ imagination. They invited Bryd to perform experiments with their glass paintings. After several trials and failed attempts, the trio developed an art process that Archer relies on to this day.

Later, Archer required larger and finer Tesla coils to create his works. It was the late Mr. Bill Wysock (a Tesla coil engineer) who helped build and design Archer’s painting machines. Wysock is known for his notable work in creating special lighting effects for many Hollywood movies.

Archer’s method of painting involves using a handheld wand that generates a million volts of electrically charged arcs onto conductive water paints and glass. Much like a magician who’s about to perform a great magic trick, Archer’s process reveals what he calls ‘art storms’. Unreal, abstract cloudy forms appear on the glass that he develops by hand into comets, planets, and other celestial objects. Archer describes his work as ‘21st century, high-tech folk art’.

Dave Archer is no longer with us as of 2023 and the artist has passed on his legacy to his son Forrester, to continue his work.

Forrester Archer

While some artists come into the art world later in life, Forrester Archer was raised in it. Working in Dave’s studio throughout his life Forrester did his first paintings when he was 8 years old. He painted the things every boy loves like tanks, helicopters, and of course paintings for his mom for her birthdays(Which still hang in her house to this day.)

When Dave saw his son’s early ambitions in the art world, he began to stoke the flames of inspiration by getting Forrester into things like glass art, leather craft, and woodworking. All of which are still things he does today along with lamp work, a style of glass art involving molding glass with the help of a torch. Eventually, this would lead to Forrester managing Dave’s massive art studio for more than 20 years and even living in it for a time.

About 25 years ago when Dave had an impromptu show at the studio, Forrester brought 13 of his own originals to sell. To Forrester’s surprise, all 13 had flown off the walls by the end of the night. This was his awakening that he could make something of himself in the world of art and from this point on began apprenticing under Dave to further understand the intricacies of the work that he had perfected over a lifetime.

Through not only the apprenticeship but also from the vast collection of knowledge he had gained from growing up in the art world and being surrounded by Dave’s library of art history books, Forrester began to bring the electrifying glass paintings to new horizons. You can often tell a Forrester Archer original, by the mystifying shine created by Alpha Jewels added to the galaxies, the cryptic silhouettes in the foreground, and the use of hidden UV paint that changes the entire perspective of the painting. We invite you to join in on this elevation of the space work you have all come to know and love, and embrace the experimentation that will become the future of Archer works.

Photo & Video Gallery

Questions Answered

Dave and Forrester Archer use a handheld wand to manipulate wet paints on the backside of a piece of clear glass using up to two million volts of radio-frequency electricity emitted from a Tesla coil. The “cosmic cloud” this produces inspires the placement of moons and planets, which they then paint by hand.
Dave and Forrester Archer use Acrylic resin: acrylic is a water-based paint that attracts high voltage electricity, and thick resin bonds the acrylic to the glass.
In 1970 a serendipity came to pass. An artist friend of Dave Archer had built a Tesla coil and mentioned to him one day, “You should try painting on glass with my coil.” So he did! Then we hobbled about the studio chanting, “It’s alive! It’s alive!”. Now he has passed down the mystifying process to his son Forrester who has been painting since he was a kid.
Nature and the Hubble telescope photographs are key to Dave and Forrester Archer’s inspiration. The most inspiring is the actual electric paintings themselves, as they offer up ideas for new works.

Yes Dave Archers works have been included in various films. In Star Trek: The Next Generation (the TV show), plus two Star Trek movies, one being Generations.

His works can also be seen in Lucas Films’ Howard the Duck and many documentaries such as Eye to Eye with Connie Chung and the German doc, Lightning of the Gods

All paints are on the backside of the glass. Just wash with Windex, then polish with a dry paper towel to keep your Dave or Forrester Archer original looking clean.

Purchase a Dave Archer Original at Marcus Ashley Gallery

Dave Archer art is truly incomparable. He has an incredible ability to create depth and mystery with a medium as volatile as electricity, and it’s no wonder he’s achieved fame and recognition throughout his decades-long career. Dave Archer pours his passion for both art and science into his work, and his gift is evident in every unique piece.

Dave Archer Originals

Forrester Archer Originals

Archer Collaborations

Limited Editions

Find Dave Archer Artwork at Marcus Ashley Gallery

Marcus Ashley Gallery’s range of gallery services is world-class. We offer the highest quality custom framing for any artwork you may purchase here as well as fully insured international shipping, financing options, and certificates of replacement value. If you live near our South Lake Tahoe gallery, we even offer private home shows and previews upon request. You’ll be able to see what a Dave Archer painting looks like in your own collection! Contact us with any questions.