Bart Forbes’ career as a painter spans over thirty years as an illustrator and fine artist. Though most well known for his golf landscapes and sports illustrations, Forbes has recently begun painting for himself. His still-life paintings as well as his Scottish landscapes reflect a much more personal viewpoint and have allowed him more freedom to explore his own vision. Through his still life and landscape paintings, he has found an opportunity to explore both texture and light in new ways. Created in oils, his paintings are done in glazes—layering simple, familiar subject matter over abstract textural patterns. The result is one of subtle color and depth that involve the viewer on many different levels.
Born in Oklahoma, Forbes graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1961. After a stint in the Army, he began his art career by attending the Art Center School in Los Angeles, California. Since that time, his work has not only appeared in a collection of the more popular magazines, but has garnered commercial clients that include Georgia Pacific, General Electric, Eastman Kodak, Exxon, Pepsi Cola, Miller Brewing, RCA, and NBC. He has also designed more than 20 commemorative postage stamps for the U.S. Postal Service.
From the beginning, Forbes' strong interest in the world of sport has allowed him to be recognized as one of the leading sport artists of his day. An avid golfer, he has covered many PGA golf tournaments, including Pebble Beach, The Players Championship and the Ryders Cup, as well as nearly every major sport, including most of the recent important boxing matches - Ali vs. Holmes, Leonard vs. Hearns, Hagler vs. Hearns. Other major sporting events that he has designed official posters of include the Boston Marathon, New York Marathon, America's Cup, and the Indianapolis 500. In 1988 Forbes was named the Official Artist of the Olympic Games for Seoul Korea and in 1986 The United States Sports Academy named him Sports Artist of the Year.
His work for the National Football League has spanned more than 15 years culminating his theme art for Super Bowl IX. He has also done numerous watercolors for World Championship Tennis and posters for the Byron Nelson Golf Tournament.
Because of his unique talent in portraying a wide variety of sports, Forbes took a special interest with the Olympic movement. He was selected by the Korean National Olympic Committee as the official artist for the 1988 Summer Olympic Games in Seoul and produced official art for the U.S. Olympic Committee for both the Barcelona and Atlanta Games. Budweiser and Proctor & Gamble have commissioned Forbes' illustrations for Olympic Games advertising as well.