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Unique McDavid painting 'Connor McPortrait' goes viral

Artist's work that took over 70 hours to complete will raise money for charity

by Pat Pickens @Pat_Pickens / Staff Writer

We all recognize Connor McDavid in his hockey uniform, but fans now know how he'd look in old-school military attire thanks to Lauren Hunter.

Hunter's painting, called "Connor McPortrait," shows the Edmonton Oilers captain clad in a 19th-century military uniform. McDavid took notice as it spread across the internet.

Tweet from @HunterAtHome: After 70hrs, BEHOLD The #ConnorMcPortrait! @cmcdavid97@EdmontonOilers won't get back to us, but hoping he'll sign it for charity! @YESSorg

"A hockey captain is a different type of captain," Hunter told of her unique artistic choice. "I thought it would be fun to paint Connor in a way you don't normally see him, since he's always either in a suit or a hockey jersey. ... I like the idea that if you never watched hockey, and knew nothing about Connor, it would just look like a portrait from the 1800s on your wall."

The painting took Hunter more than 70 hours over the course of two months to complete. The self-described creative type and Oilers fan who works as a radio host in Edmonton has become a McDavid superfan, and her picture started as a passion project to "make something unique."

"I just hacked away in my spare time," she said. "Near the end, I was getting really excited to finish it, so I was painting every day after work. It was like eat, sleep, paint, repeat."

Instagram from @hunterathome: So I'm in the process of painting.... a Connor McPortrait. (Here's about 20-25 hours of work so far).

Instagram from @hunterathome: I've spent about 40-50 hours working on this portrait painting. And I'm almost done. And I can't friggin' WAIT!!! show it to you. #CONNORISCOMING

But her boss at the radio station took notice after seeing the painting's progress, and they thought of a way to turn the portrait into a way to raise money for charity. Hunter had prints of 'McPortrait' made, with the hopes of selling them and sending the proceeds to YESS, an organization that provides shelter, guidance and hope to at-risk youth in Edmonton.

The picture has been met with near-universal praise online, and McDavid himself even stamped his endorsement by liking it on Hunter's Instagram on Friday.

The artist would like McDavid to sign the original, and the prints, to auction them off for YESS but thus far no plan for that has been set.

"The charity we chose I know is a great cause," Hunter said. "It would be great to turn this into something that could really benefit and help a lot of youth in Edmonton."

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