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Portraits of Jesus provide comfort to families who have lost loved ones

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Posted at 11:05 PM, Nov 24, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-25 01:05:09-05

SALT LAKE CITY - The holidays often bring smiles and excitement, but they can also bring tears, and emotions.  An artist living in St. George is hoping her work will result in a combination of all of those.

"They've told me that these photos help heal their families," said Dorothy Durtschi, artist for Your Portraits to Remember.

Durtschi draws portraits of people who have passed away standing in the arms of Jesus.  The people are the mothers, the fathers, the loved ones of customers.

"I was ready to cry," said Utahna Babcock, whose daughter-in-law had a portrait made of her husband and brother who had passed away.

"It was beautiful," she said.

Durtschi has been an artist for over 20 years, but it had only been a part-time hobby until about three years ago, when she walked away from a marketing job.

"I'm a single mom with three kids, and couldn't handle all the stress. Mom said, ‘why don't you do portraits full time,’" Durtschi said.

At her mom's nudging, Durtschi committed to drawing full time.  Now, less than three years later, her portraits are in such high demand that customers have to order them two months early, despite the fact she's making nearly one a day.

The mother of three admits business is great, but she says the best part, is seeing people's reactions on Facebook when they open her portraits for the first time.

“I just cry every time I watch them," Dirtschi said.  "Giving them that kind of peace is amazing. I get to do something that really changes people’s lives. How many people get to say they do that?”

For more on Dirtschi’s work and to see people's full reactions, visit https://www.facebook.com/Your-Portraits-to-Remember-162963317075394/