Posts Tagged art

Artist BK Dennis

When you choose to live this creative life (or rather – when it chooses you) inspiration can come in many forms. Sometimes inspiration is something that starts as a little spark inside of you.

But sometimes, someone else’s creativity is a tremendous inspiration.

Our longtime family friend BK Dennis is a painter, and her work inspires me. That word doesn’t even encompass enough. Awes. Floors. Whammos! Some people are so very talented in their fields. When a person like that is kind enough to share his or her work and stories and inspirations, then that has the effect of elevating us all.

BK has a new webpage.

Sometimes as she paints, she shares a snapshot with me of her current project. Below is a snapshot (not a full professional photo as would be on her webpage) of a scene from the cattle drive movie that we recently produced.

For the last twenty years, I have been the proud owner of one of BK’s paintings. It hangs on my wall in the dining room, where I can see it every day.

In addition to being a talented painter, BK (and her husband and family) are longtime family friends of ours. We met when we lived in West Texas. BK and her husband have been as good of friends throughout my entire creative journey as one could ever hope to find. They celebrate my highs (and listen to me complain about the lows). Their support has been consistent and strong. It really makes a difference when you think “Why did I ever think it was a good idea to do this?”  — no matter what the “this” might be.

Creativity begets creativity.

Thank you, BK, for sharing your work with the rest of us.


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So, I was talking to my Mom on the phone yesterday. She is a brilliant and talented artist (she does my book covers).

An artist friend of hers was visiting her yesterday, and saw this painting:


I had painted this in an art class some years back. The friend, a respected artist whose opinion I greatly trust, said that “If Amanda can paint like that, she should be spending her time painting and not doing all that other stuff.”

To say that I am floored by her reaction is an understatement.

I like art. I dabble in art, but it’s soooo far down my priority list, and who has the time? On occasion, Mom and I paint together. One one such occasion, I painted this painting, which I named “Genesis”


So, I’ve spent a good portion of the last few hours thinking about art. I photographed a few of the paintings I’ve done.



I don’t consider myself an artist. Yesterday, as Mom was telling me what the friend had said, I said, “Well, when I get to the point when I don’t have to have a day job, then I’ll be able to spend time painting. Besides,” I told her, “I don’t have the next twenty years to train to be an artist.”

Her attitude (love it!) was, “Phooey! It won’t take twenty years, and besides a lot of artists don’t start until they are in their sixties.”

FWIW: Mom’s webpage.

I have an ‘art table’ in my house, which right now is gathering dust at a momentous rate. The most art I’ve done this year is to sketch out work for one of our book covers (which will probably be published in 2013, sometime).

Can I reasonably work art into everything else? Right now, my free time is spent focusing on my recording sessions. I’ve been able to have a session about every two weeks. So, during the two-week build-up, you plan what you are going to do; you rehearse; you play it; you perform it; you sing it. Then on the day, every single fiber of your being is focused on what you are doing. It’s an enormous amount of concentration. I usually last a maximum of 7 hours before I’m a quivering pile of jello who can’t focus. Then you come home with your recorded work, and you listen and listen and listen some more. Then you figure out what to tweak and change and what to redo.

Right now, I’ve got about fifteen good, clean demos done. I have maybe five in various stages of “in works”, so hopefully that total can be about twenty soon. If I can finish the year with 25 or 28, that’d be awesome. It’s been years that I’ve been trying to have good recorded music, so now…finally, it’s happening.

But, this takes an enormous amount of effort and concentration. Most of my demo work is via piano. But, I’m up to wanting to lay in guitar. I can play guitar. At least I thought I could until I get to the studio and I don’t play well! Argh!

So, I tell myself to practice, and practice some more. I came home from that session, and the next day or so, I picked up the guitar for the one song I’m working on, and played it straight thru, EXACTLY as I wanted it, no errors. So, that doesn’t add up. I guess I’ve got a version of “mike fright” when it comes to recording guitar. I’ll have to figure out how to work my way thru that problem, along with the hundreds of other computations going on in my head.

It’s all good. It’s all fun and such a dream come true. It’s great when recording leads to passion for creativity and filling the wellspring and looking forward to future sessions and future work. Up till now, (while fighting this problem in my own studio), recorded music would lead to frustration and anger.

Thank goodness I’m now on the flip side.

So, back to art. How do you work it in? I have enough interest in it, that I have a good number of art supplies. And for that matter, up until this year, photography was one of those “someday” dreams, and look how much I’ve learned so far. So, I managed to work photography into the rotation. It’s working well, so I don’t feel like I’m wasting my time.

Time is the most precious commodity we have. How do you spend your minutes? How do you make that division? Adding in art to the mix, slices up the pie even more.

Is it worth it? From a creative standpoint it is: all creativity is valuable.

From a financial standpoint…??? My music is the most viable and commercial thing I have. My books are viable and commercial. If I manage to make those work, (it’s happening in books), then I have more resources and am closer to that dream of being able to focus on the creative arts all the time and not have a day job.

What happens next? Damn! Ain’t life interesting…

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