16 paintings of Christ to lift your spirit.
For my whole life, the one painting that I wanted to create the most above anything else was a portrait of Jesus Christ. I worked on many different portraits of Christ through the years, but I was never quite satisfied with any of them until I painted "Light of the World". I have since based many paintings off of this one image. You may find it interesting that I painted this portrait during a very low point in my life. I had been really struggling to see any success as an artist, and after a few weeks of particularly trying circumstances, I was very close to making some major "career choice" changes. I believe that my Father in Heaven wanted me to stay the course. When I decided to use some new reference material to alter a previous similar looking portrait that just wasn't quite right, everything seemed to fall into place. I do believe that I had Divine help that day, because this was one of the easiest paintings that I have ever created. I feel that what sets this painting apart from any of my previous work, is the fact that I wasn't trying to paint what Christ looks like, but I was trying to paint what He feels like, because although I have never seen Him, I have felt Him, and I believe if you can somehow capture that feeling into a work of art, then you can't go wrong. This is my way of sharing my testimony of Christ with others. He is real. He loves you. I want people to look at this painting and know it.
While painting “Resurrection and the Life”, my main goal was to portray a Jesus Christ who I could relate to as a real person. Although I based His face on my earlier "Light of the World" image, I did want to portray Him against a familiar looking background, wearing clothes similar to what He may have worn during His mortality. I also used less saturated, earthy tones. I want the viewer to understand that He actually does exist, and that He is not just a man from ancient stories. Jesus Christ truly has overcome all things, and He really has risen from the grave. He is real, I know that, and I’m hoping to share that knowledge with others through this painting.
After painting a portrait of Jesus Christ, the next logical step for me was to paint a picture of Christ with a child! God really is our Father. Christ really is our Spiritual Brother. Think about what that means for a minute! You have great potential within you! Sometimes we may forget because of this mortal state that we live in, but the Holy Ghost can comfort us, give us peace, and help us feel Christ's love. I want everyone to realize that WE are that child. I want people to look at this picture and see the love that Christ has for all of us. Although I was tempted to use my own daughter as a model for the little girl, I realized that the best way to show the love that I wanted to portray, was by using the daughter of the model I use for Christ. In a way, this is actually a painting of a real life father and daughter. This is how I was able to show the love that our Savior has for us.
I painted "Come, Follow Me" at the request of some now unknown fan. Somebody messaged me asking if I had any pictures of Christ reaching out to us. Although I didn't have one at the time, I knew I wanted one. In this painting, Christ is shown taking a momentary pause in His journey to gaze back towards us, with a hand outstretched in invitation, saying “Come, Follow Me”. Note that He is leaving the dark and dreary wilderness, and entering into a meadow full of light. All of our lives can be full of light if we but choose to follow Him.I purposely chose a North American background for the painting “Great Redeemer”. It was my way of stating the belief that Jesus Christ is our Universal Savior. He is the redeemer of the whole world. I can picture Him just as well teaching the people on the hillside of my small town in Idaho as I can see Him wondering the hills of Palestine. He loves us all. While working on this painting, my personal gospel studies were focused on the Atonement. My thoughts were filled with the ponderings of that most important event the whole time I was working on this painting. For me personally, that is what this painting is about, The Atonement. His stance, His gaze, His presence is stating: “I am the Great Redeemer”.
Pondering... That was the specific thought I had when I created this piece. During my personal study time on my mission for the LDS Church, I remember reading about Spencer W. Kimball, how he would get up early and walk around his property, just to be alone and ponder, He said that was one of the best times to feel the Spirit and receive revelation - early in the morning. I like to think that although Christ was very social, and loved other people, he also liked to be alone at times, so He could feel close to His Father... with just His own thoughts... pondering.
Jesus Christ stands majestically on the threshold of the middle court of the temple in His day. That location was chosen for the setting of this painting for a reason, because the steps He is standing on is located within the court of the gentiles, where all are welcome to enter, and the area through that door is known as the court of women. I can't think of a better place for the Prince of Peace to be seen by those seeking after peace. He also holds an olive branch, a symbol of peace while a white dove looks up at Him. Christ is wearing a purple sash, a color associated with royalty, a grey garment, symbolizing the poverty and modesty of many He associated Himself with, and a white robe, symbolizing the purity found in the temple. Christ is truly the Prince of Peace, and by living and sharing His Gospel we can include everyone in His blessings.
"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." - Isaiah 9:6
My wife and I came up with the idea for “House of the Lord” while I was working on "Prince of Peace". To this day we still can't remember whose idea it was, but we think it's a good one, a fitting place to imagine our Lord. Ultimately, I wanted to create this image to help remind myself the importance of the work done inside His holy temple. It is His work to be done, and He wants us to enjoy the blessings we receive in His House.
HOLINESS TO THE LORD - THE HOUSE OF THE LORD
"Let the hearts of all my people rejoice, who have, with their might, built this house to my name. For behold, I have accepted this house, and my name shall be here; and I will manifest myself to my people in mercy in this house." - D&C 110:7-8
This painting was originally inspired by a photograph that was hanging in my grandfather's home titled "Grace". Although I've always loved the reminder for gratitude and humility that the original picture taught, I don't think that the outdated picture of an old man praying is one that most people would have hanging in their home today. I painted my own version using Jesus Christ, to help remind us the importance of giving thanks. I imagine this as a picture to be hung in a kitchen or dining room, to be seen by growing families everyday, to be an influence on them, as the original "Grace" was an influence on me.
I chose a darkened corner on the back streets of Jerusalem to be the backdrop of this painting. Our Savior kneels down in the dirt and reaches out to touch the head of a downcast and humbled sinner who is asking for forgiveness. My original plan was for this scene to take place among the bustling crowds of an open market, but as I dwelt on the idea of forgiveness, I wanted to portray the fact that it is personal and sacred, between me and the Lord. I say "between ME and the Lord", because in this context, that is the only type that should matter to me, "between YOU and the Lord", "between HIM and the Lord" or "between HER and the Lord" is really none of my business. My own standing before the Lord is of the upmost importance. For this reason, I chose to include only two people in this painting. Me... and the Lord. Some people may not know this, but I myself am the model for most of the bodies and clothes you see in my paintings. In this particular piece, I also chose to be the model for the face of the sinner.
These two paintings were created at the same time. I originally planned on painting just one, but because of a difference of opinion between myself and my publisher, I started over on a new piece, but not without finishing the first. I was asked specifically to paint Christ holding a black sheep. This is to symbolize the fact that sometimes we may all feel like we are different than those around us, and that we don't fit in. Christ knows us, He understands us, He loves us.
As with most of my paintings, I used photos from my own small town of Preston, Idaho for reference for the background of this painting. It means a little more to me thinking about Him being seen here. As I look at this painting, It's obvious to me that my inspiration relied heavily on the "Second Coming" picture by Harry Anderson that many of us grew up with. I wanted one major difference with mine however, being the coloring of His clothes.
"And he clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God." - Rev 19:13
In this painting, I wanted to portray Christ at night, to be symbolic of Him being there in the dark times of our lives, ever watchful over His flock. I believe that Christ truly understands us and never turns His back on us, even when we do on Him. He will always be there for us, and our Heavenly Father wants us to look to Him and be blessed. He is there during the dark times of our life... LOOK TO HIM.
I wanted to create a piece of artwork that ties the New Testament with the Old Testament. Jesus Christ is central to both. It was important to me to show the Temple and the sacrifices being performed, but in a way that somebody wouldn't mind having it on their wall, hence the smoke. We should always remember that Jesus Christ is central to all of the teachings of the prophets through the ages. Sometimes it may be easy to forget why we do some of the ordinances and traditions that we do, but they are all based on remembrance of Him.
I believe that Jesus was a genuinely happy person, I think that He smiled a lot and laughed a lot. Why do I think this? Well, how do we feel when we have His Spirit with us? It just makes sense. Through the years I have seen a few pictures of Christ smiling, but to me, they always looked a little 'cheesy'. This picture is my attempt to portray a genuinely happy Christ. It is currently just a pencil sketch, not a finished painting, but I have decided to make it available because of the number of requests that I have had for such a picture.
You can purchase individual prints of these paintings in various sizes and framing options, and you can view more artwork, on Brent's website >HERE<
Brent has made available a package deal of 8 of these 11x14 prints for $79.99
You can link to this package deal >HERE<