June 2010 “Running Down The Road”
Newsletter from Dana Forrester Automotive Art, 7th Edition, June 2010
It’s about 6:30 in the morning and I’ve just come in to the studio from reading the newspaper on the deck, one of my favorite things to do this time of year. I enjoy reading the paper in the coolest air of the day, listening to the city awaken and drive to work. I savor the sound of the Harleys accelerating up the hill on the interstate, spreading the sound of freedom for miles. What a great way to begin the day!
And now to catch you up on what I’ve been doing lately. I was glued to the television broadcast of the 24 Hours of LeMans last weekend, and was crushed when I awakened Sunday morning to find that both of the Corvette team cars were out of the race. Lance Miller had invited me to join his group taking their Cunningham LeMans Corvette back to LeMans to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of its Class Win in 1960. I planned to join them, but a heavy load of Custom Painting commitments and a Calendar of conflicting exhibition dates caused me to withdraw. I knew I’d regret the opportunity, and I do. What a great time it would’ve been to wave the American Flag in Europe!
This year’s 24 Hours of LeMans was the 50th Anniversary of the Briggs Cunningham 1960 Corvette #3 car that won its class in 1960. The Chip Miller Family, the current owner of the Corvette, mounted an unheard of dream project of returning the car to LeMans to celebrate that 50th Anniversary. Chip passed away in 2004, but his family, led by his son Lance, toiled to make Chip’s dream a reality. The Corvette was shipped to LeMans and driven on the track by Corvette Racing Driver Johnny O’Connell and on the street by Lance Miller. That same Corvette is the subject of one of my new paintings commissioned by the National Corvette Restorer’s Society as the Official Art and Photo Banner for the 2010 NCRS National Convention in Charlotte. That image, titled “Charlotte and LeMans,” is included here in the New Release section of this website. Prints on paper, canvas, and wallpaper are available to the public. This Original Painting will be auctioned at the NCRS Convention in Charlotte, the proceeds going to the NCRS Foundation.
“Charlotte and LeMans”
Another Official Event Art watercolor I created this year was for the 2010 Grand National Cadillac Convention in Kansas City. The event staff commissioned me to paint a significant 1960 red Cadillac Convertible in front of a brick wall sign that displays three logos of the Convention and the Cadillac LaSalle Club. Prints on paper, canvas, and wallpaper are available to the public. The Original Painting of “Jenning’s Cadillac” will be auctioned a tthe Grand National Convention.
I’ve created a special painting for the 20th Anniversary of the Eureka Springs Corvette Weekend. “Cruising Eureka” features nine Corvettes of varying generations, including all three of our Corvettes and a yellow one we’d like to own. I wanted to create a feeling of the Corvette enthusiasts cruising the main downtown street of that small Arkansas town, and I feel I’ve done that. The featured Corvette is the blue 1989 in the foreground known as the DR1. This is the only C4 ZR1 built as a convertible specifically for GM Executive Don Runkle, hence the name of DR1.
I just completed a larger watercolor of a trio of new Camaros, all of them Berger Stage III Camaros. Berger Chevrolet, famous for its series of High Performance cars from the 1960s, has a new building front which provided the setting for these three Masterpieces. Also included are a 1967 Corvette and a 1969 Camaro inside the dealership. The glass in the dealership building proved to be a real challenge, but I feel the painting was a great success. Its title is “Berger Stage III Camaros,” and it will debut the last weekend of June at the GM Carlisle event. Prints on paper, canvas, and wallpaper are available to the public.
“Berger Stage III Camaros”
I’ve also just completed two new watercolors that will debut at the Bloomington Gold Corvettes event in late June. “Tiger Paws” features a pair of Tuxedo Black 1967 Corvettes parked beside a wall advertising the tires mounted on the cars, US Royal Red Line Tiger Paws. The ad on the wall is a combination of ideas of various ads from the ’60s. Originally, the Corvette on the right was to be Rally Red with a black Stinger, but a number of Corvette friends talked me into two black Corvettes. This Watercolor Painting is still available.
The final new watercolor is a celebration of Motorama Concept cars. At the Greater Kansas City Auto Show I photographed the 2009 Concept Sting Ray (known as Sideswipe in the movie “Transformers II”) and agonized about the appropriate background for it. As often happens, an early-morning vision inspired me to create a wall sign advertising the 1953 Motorama at the Waldorf Astoria in New York. That event featured the debut of Corvette and also exhibited the Harley Earl Masterpiece “LeSabre.” What a monumental event that was! My intent was to create a feeling that this historic sign has just been uncovered, protected for 50 years by the wall of an adjacent building. The Watercolor Painting is still available.
Finally, I’ve completed plans to lead another NCRS Midwest Road Tour to the National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. We’re viewing a pair of Automotive Collections in St. Louis, attending the National Corvette Museum in Bowling Green and the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina, then cruising on into Charlotte. Initially we’d planned to drive the “Tail of the Dragon,” but rock slides have rendered that highway impassible.
That completes my news update for now. I plan the next issue to report on all my summer adventures.
Dana Forrester, A.W.S., N.W.S.
17611 48th Terrace Court South
Independence, MO 64055
Signature Member, American Watercolor Society