Not too many churches in the Memphis area do live painting regularly. I'd say that the Stirring is the only one that I'm aware of (please correct me if I'm wrong). So when a church wants to have an artist paint at their service, I usually get a call. Usually they have seen an artist like Mike the Jesus painter at a conference or event.
Mike Lewis is a professional. He's been doing this since 1998 and can do a large 4ft x 5ft painting in 10-20 minutes. He's unreal. He's also got a DVD, journal, prints, etc. He's got a booking agent and licensing stuff. He's serious. In one interview back in 2007, he said he was doing about six bookings a month. I bet he's upped that by now. I really admire his work and want to buy his OneWay DVD. Needless to say, if this is the only example a local church has seen, it's a hard act to follow. I don't think most churches realize the amount of planning and practice that must have gone into those 10 minute paintings.
I think it's great that churches can bring in someone special like Mike to do a worship painting, but I really wish churches would consider finding an artist in their church or local area. More churches should strive to incorporate fine art into their worship experience regularly. Maybe not every Sunday but quarterly. Art can be an integral part of worship. If God can provide you with a great worship leader and band, He can provide you great artists too. I like this article from the York Daily Record about a local artist and her church that are starting to use art. http://ydr.inyork.com/ci_11386423
I think artists are eager to get involved. Once they've seen someone do it, it doesn't take much to overcome the fear of painting on stage. I've been so blessed that we've got 4 different artists lined up from now through April. Two have never painted at The Stirring before. If I want to live paint anytime soon, I'd need to go to another church. I'm not complaining. I just think that's astounding. After this artists' gathering I'm hosting next month, I'll probably have most of the year booked.