Colorblind artist feels drawn to draw Christ

Texas artist Lance Brown spreads the gospel with paint and visual storytelling.

By Tyler Agnew

Colorblind artist Lance Brown spreads the gospel with paint.

“I shouldn’t be able to excel in the field of art, but God has allowed me to,” said Brown, who calls his ministry Painted Christ. “This is part of my testimony.”

But Brown always seeks to redirect attention away from himself, guiding his audience to focus on Jesus.

A band provides background music while he uses a canvas to create large-scale Jesus paintings that tell a visual story about Christ’s victory over sin and death.

“I feel like God uses these paintings to speak to everyone individually,” Brown said. “It may mean something different to you than it does to me.”

As a child, Brown loved to draw. His mom was an artist, and the craft came naturally to him in spite of his colorblindness as he learned to compensate for his difficulty in distinguishing shades of color.

lance brown mural600

“I used to hide from it, because who wants an ‘artist with colorblindness’ on his resume?” he acknowledged.

He graduated from the Art Institute of Dallas in 1999 but didn’t utilize his talent. About 10 years later, his congregation, Fielder Church in Arlington, Texas, held a series called “Vintage Jesus,” in which members were encouraged to submit art that depicted Jesus.

Jim Parks, worship minister at Fielder Church, saw Brown’s painting and asked if he would consider visual storytelling during a worship service.

Although initially reluctant, Brown prayed about it and decided, “This is an amazing opportunity to share the talent God gave me.”

When he started, Brown didn’t know what to expect. He stood with his canvas, center stage in front of the church.

All eyes focused on the painting as Calvary appeared. Christ took his place on the cross, and then darkness followed. After a pause, Brown used blue paint to illuminate one word — “RISE.” He proceeded to make his finishing touches, and on the left side of the canvas, an image of Jesus looking out into the crowd. It was finished. 

“I was not prepared for how it would affect me,” Brown said. “It was very moving. It was a worship experience for me.”

And the congregation responded similarly.

Since then, Brown has used his talent in churches across the state and in Oklahoma and Mississippi, and he will travel to Norway this summer to present the gospel visually at a church camp.

Brown hopes he can work full-time within his ministry one day.

“That’s part of my goal,” he said.

But for now, he’s open to going whenever, wherever, as long as God draws him.