I happened upon an article today about the website My Little Sweet Pea, where Carrie Preston, a 27-year-old artist from Cornwall, showcases the “belly bump” paintings she does on the bellies of pregnant women.
According to the Daily Mail, in only two years the artist has completed more than 130 intricate belly paintings to help pregnant women celebrate pregnancy and impending birth.
Because a big canvas allows for the best artwork, she prefers to paint mothers when they are 32 to 36 weeks pregnant.
The idea for the “belly bump art” came as Preston was considering a career as a teacher; but when she had two children of her own, it became important to her to follow her dream, to pursue an art career and find a way to express herself that allowed her the freedom to enjoy her young family.
The first task was to learn how to paint. Then, at first she painted murals for children’s rooms. That led to face painting and, finally, this niche. Preston has held several “Bumpathons”–raising funds for charity and her local neonatal unit.
The unique celebration of motherhood via stomach art actually had its start here in the United States, where several Hollywood personalities have taken to showing off their ample bodies during pregnancy. Here (right) is a shot of Holly Madison, former girlfriend to Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, with her bump painting. (Her painting, though, is simpler and less dramatic than Preston’s fanciful animal, cartoon, and fairy tale sketches.)