What made you decide to pursue this type of Art?

For over twenty years, I have been involved in art and design. Color and emotion are deeply rooted in all my creations, which are very personal and unique. My desire to touch life has become a reality as I bring children into a new and enjoyable light for their parents and others. I take great pride in my work and personally create each portrait as if it were of my own child. I have been told that my pieces reflect abstract expressionism, enhancing life as never before.

How did you get started?

I lost a baby to a miscarriage in 1996. When I got pregnant again, I had a sonogram while 10 weeks pregnant with my daughter, Sydney, to make sure everything was all right. At that moment, I realized the emotional power of a sonogram. Ecstatically, I made copies of Sydney’s 10-week sonogram and sent them to my family.

My aunt, Kathie, enlarged the sonogram and framed it for me as a birthday gift. It was a very personal and emotional gift for me. I took that idea and did the same with the sonogram of my second child, Samantha. After friends saw our babies hanging on the “family” wall, I got the idea to do the same for others.

I began to explore the possibilities of painting on the sonograms directly. My husband, George, challenged me to try to create images using computer software. The first sonogram I ever manipulated, I created as a gift for a friend who was just about to give birth. When the newly expectant parents received it, they cried, as did the grandparents. I created several others for friends and found their reactions encouraging. Shortly thereafter, ArtInUtero was born.

How old can the Sonogram could be?

I believe that there is a misconception about the time to have a portrait created. As long as you have a sonogram of your child, whether you are currently pregnant or your child has already been born, I can create a portrait from what is provided. The portrait of the twins, “Derek and Danielle”, was created when they were both 16 years old in 2000. That remains my “oldest” portrait to date.

How do you know what to make each portrait look like?

I rely on momentary inspiration during the creation process of each portrait and works in the giclee’ medium that utilizes the highest resolution digital printers and permits a remarkable array of colors. I begin every portrait with a simple black and white sonogram, from paper or video, remaining sensitive to each baby and the poses and characteristics shown.

How do you begin each portrait?

First I scan the sonogram, or capture a still shot from a video, if necessary. I retouch every image, similarly to how a photographer would, and bring out the features/poses of each baby, always remaining open to changes as they being to show their own character. Then, using a graphic tablet and stylus, I create the portrait by adding color and texture. I finalize the piece by either cropping or increasing the inherent distortion of the scanned photograph. Once completed, the portrait is printed on canvas, watercolor paper, or photo paper using an industrial printer.

I sign each finished ArtInUtero portrait. In addition, I also include a personalized certificate that shows a copy of the original sonogram, a thumbnail of the finished portrait, the statistics of the baby (if known), along with a personal message of your choice. The certificate is affixed to the back of a framed portrait, if we assist you in the framing. Every portrait is a true original, just as God intended.

What exactly is Gicleé?

Gicleé is a French word meaning “to squirt or spurt.” The Gicleé printers squirt approximately 4 million microscopic droplets of ink, per second, onto various media types. The four Gicleé printing colors (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) can produce up to 16 million colors.

What are your goals for Artinutero? 

My goals for this company are similar to those of Anne Geddes. I want my portraits to become enduring symbols celebrating life and birth. I want to see them grace greeting cards, calendars, books, stationery, photo albums, who knows what else. We have been receiving worldwide attention through our web site. I would be blessed to have the international success that Anne Geddes has achieved. My most important goal is to touch life, however that may happen.

As our company grows, we have plans to set up a foundation to help prevent the neglect and abuse of children.
In addition to that, I would love to have that opportunity to meet Anne and Oprah, two women who I admire deeply.

Where does inspiration comes from? 

My inspiration comes from the miracles of life. God blessed me with three beautiful children. And if it hadn’t been for them, I doubt this company would have come to be.

Are you available for Interviews?

Yes, I am available for interviews. And if interested, I am also willing to be photographed while working on my ArtInUtero pieces.

To schedule an interview, please contact Lisa Jennett Wood at (828) 277-8584.

Where have been your portraits been featured?

We have many articles come out in newspapers, magazines and on-line wires. In addition to that, my work has been shown in local galleries and coffee houses. I was also featured on Ripley’s Believe It or Not, which aired October, 2003 on TBS. We had a great laugh as they segued into our segment following the amazingly talented 3-legged dog. Not many artists get that kind of recognition and on such a unique show.