Adding An Extra Element of Surprise To “Art In Action”

Published On: March 13, 2012By

Brian Olsen paints portraits. But he doesn’t sit in a studio, working tediously for hours. He does it in about 4 to 10 minutes… in front of a live audience.

Brian works in front of an oversized canvas, sometimes holding six brushes at once, other times using his bare hands, and in a theatrical display of showmanship accompanied by music, he paints portraits of famous individuals: athletes, movie stars, politicians, CEOs of major corporations, and other celebrities.

The effect is thrilling, and always wows audiences. But every now and then, he’ll throw in an extra element of surprise.

That’s where Wildfire comes in.

One of his signature effects is to paint an apparent black and white portrait, say of Jimi Hendrix (see photos) using Wildfire Invisible Paint… Then, once the painting is finished, he kicks on the blacklight to reveal a fluorescent display of vibrant color!

Since Wildfire Invisible Paint appears white under ordinary light, and only reveals its color under blacklight, Brian admits that “the biggest challenge is remembering what color is what!”

He says of Wildfire, “The invisible line of paints are awesome to work with. They have a consistent texture that works well for layering colors without running or blending together. The luminosity under the black light is surprisingly vibrant and consistent among each color.  The paints have allowed me to execute my vision perfectly…

“Using the Wildfire Effects Master black light fixtures provide an even throw and a consistent wash of light. I work on large canvases and the lights don’t fade out. Using the fixtures on stage provides a great result without being obtrusive to the audience. The fixtures are sturdy and the floor stands allow me to position each light in a key location.”

Brian has been performing live art onstage since 1998, following in the footsteps of his late mentor Denny Dent. But it wasn’t until a couple of years ago, when he was actively looking for a way to take his work to another level, that he discovered the black light effect.

His desire is to take people out of their everyday life and give them an experience of the creative process happening in a very short amount of time. His focus is on illustrating and teaching about the creative process and how it can benefit everyone, whether artists, sales professionals, parents, or business executives.

To learn more about Brian Olsen and see examples of his work, visit his website at

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