Brian Olsen and Denny Dent show us that creativity is a process.

Denny Dent Performance PainterIn the 1980’s, Denny Dent invented a new form of performance-based art. No fancy props were needed. Nor was the pretense of knowing anything about art. Just an over-sized canvas, a half-dozen buckets of brightly colored paint, loud music and the rest was pure Denny Dent. The art world took notice. And for over two decades, audiences couldn’t look away.

His portraits of famous people, sports icons and historic figures captured the imagination of the art world. The efficiency with which he could fill a canvas was something no one had ever seen before. And, after Dent’s untimely death in 2004, something they thought they’d never see again.

Enter Brian Olsen, Denny Dent’s solitary protégé. Brian already had a knack for art. He had several stops along the way in other creative fields before meeting Dent. But it was Dent who helped him find his true calling. The talent was already there. Dent just helped bring it out.

There were struggles and challenges throughout the apprenticeship. But ultimately, Brian became, perhaps, Dent’s greatest work. Ensuring Dent’s legacy lives on beyond the thousands of paintings. And instead, the creative process, the showmanship and sheer entertainment value, continues to bring joy to new generations of audiences.

Now Brian performs around the world. Sharing what he’s learned. Teaching the value of creativity in the process of his performances. And he’s broken out, becoming a master in his own right.

On July 4th, 2004, Brian Olsen paid tribute to his mentor Denny Dent with a performance that would have made his master proud. Tears and cheers greeted the creation of the Dent’s portrait by his only student. Brian Olsen, meanwhile paid the greatest compliment possible to Dent. By humbly, respectfully and expertly walking in his footsteps.

Brian Olsen and Denny Dent show us that creativity is a process. The final result is a painting but the lessons happen along the way. Visit to learn more.