I recently received a very nice email from a woman who works with insurance-selling dynamo and Real Housewife of Orange County cast member- Vicki Gunvalson. She asked if I would be interested in doing a group portrait of Vicki and the eight people who work with her as a surprise birthday gift. Yes was my answer. Or I probably said HELL YEA!!! If you're at all familiar with my site, then you know I have a thorough fascination with her show and a serious fondness for Vicki. Everything was agreed upon, I was sent some photos, and away I went. I knew today was delivery day but I thought that I'd just be dropping off the painting in their parking lot and presented to her later tonight at a belated birthday dinner. Shortly before I left home I got an email that the painting would be presented to Vicki in her conference room with me present. Gulp! When I draw people from these shows, I take a dab of reality and then blow it up to crazy levels so I had no idea how Vicki would respond to me. I was a bit nervous when I arrived but all the people who work for her are so unbelievably nice and warm that they put me at ease. Then Vicki arrived and I was nervous all over again. She came in, I introduced myself, and then into the conference she was ushered to her awaiting painting. And, well--- she was amazing. Truly. She hugged me and told me she loved the painting. I felt like I'd been knighted.
Here's Vicki and me.
And here's the group with the painting.
I worked from a collection of small photos and as such I figured I might have to make some on-site adjustments- alter an eye color here, add some freckles there. So I took over her conference room, busted out some paints, and spent the next few hours chatting and laughing with everyone, sipping wine, taking pictures, and adding dabs of paints here and there. A very fun afternoon. I swear Bravo cameras should have been rolling because that office is a beehive of humorous activity. And I don't know what the editing does to Vicki on that show, but in person- she is hilarious, warm, very friendly, and clearly appreciative of her hard working staff. I've always been a Vicki fan and today it was cemented.
Vicki calls those that work with her, "my people." So after the painting was hung she asked if I'd write that with pencil above.
Here are a few more photos.
A GIANT thanks to Heidi (who put this together), Rees, Doug, Sue, Mike, Danielle, Brandon, David, and Vicki. It was a true pleasure!
Vicki autographed her book More Than A Housewife for me.
This was a total Field of Dreams- if you build it, they will come- moment. :)
Back to regular posting soon.