If you're so kind to frequent and follow our little art gallery, you surely know Linda Mohan, our fabulous gallery manager. Linda - famous for her effervescent and bubbly personality, enormous and gorgeous smile and her limitless knowledge about our artists and their work - works her magic at the gallery. She (and Mackenzie Middleton, our gallery marketing manager) run the gallery on a daily basis. They're the ones hanging the art, communicating with artists and clients, sending tear sheets, packing and sending art and fielding the millions of calls and client drop-ins. They're a dynamic team after working together for seven years and they have a lot of fun together.
When it came time for our little (very little, this year) Huff Harrington end-of-year occasion, Mac filled us in on a surprise that she was planning for Linda. Mac had called Nancy Franke, one of our most perennially favorite artists at the gallery and one who excels in loose, spontaneous portraits, like these:
On My Way
Mac asked her to whip up a Nancy Franke-inspired painting of Linda, incorporating a few special things, like:
- Linda's famously amazing swoop of gorgeous thick hair that falls perfectly over one eye
- her sassy sense of style: big, flirtatious sleeves and trendy jeans. Always with a cute little shoe that screams Paris
- gotta add Mousse (short for Pamplemousse), Linda's cherished little Frenchie
The presentation and unveiling of the portrait would be at our tiny secret Santa celebration. The couple of us who knew about the painting (Ann and I) were tapping our toes in anticipation and we couldn't wait for Linda to open her surprise.
Nancy, of course, obliged in a big way. But first, here are some shots of Linda unwrapping and getting a first glimpse of her portrait:
Okay, so we know you're dying to know what the painting looks like - and we think you'll agree that it's pretty much perfect. Ta da!!
This is Linda, personified! Nancy got the hair, the flouncy sleeves, the cute little shoes and mais oui, even 'Mousse. Oh la la!
Here's Linda, a little overcome with happiness.
Mac and Linda with Mac's perfect gift of art
Here's Linda at the gallery the next day. Isn't this life imitating art - or the other way around?!
Mac and LInda showing off the portrait at the gallery.
The moral of the story? Art is always the most personal, perfect gift, especially when you can commission an artist to create something for your recipient. We're giving Mac and Nancy a huge round of applause for pulling off the gift (and the surprise) of the year.
Hope your season is full of lovely little surprises, too.
(PS: we have plenty of gorgeous little paintings that will tuck nicely under the tree - and we're open till 1:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve.)