SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – A New Mexico artist’s love for the band Queen runs from her head down to her toes, and Tuesday night she’s gonna have herself a real good time when she meets the band and gives them something she made in their honor.
Santa Fe artist Victoria De Almeida says she’s living a longtime dream. “They were saying Brian May would be happy for you to present it to him,” Almeida says.
The Queen superfan spent 375 hours over the past seven months painting an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ themed portrait of the band queen. “Freddy is off to the side to the left, and there’s an aura around him because he’s gone on to a better place, and his bandmates are sort of sitting there just left,” Almeida says.
Tuesday, she’ll give copies of the portrait to the band at their concert in Phoenix. “I just feel blessed, really really blessed,” Almeida says.
But the painting almost didn’t happen. Two years ago, she put down her paintbrush when her now 19-year-old son was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. “I didn’t want to paint anymore,” Almeida says.
The artist says that changed after she watched the movie Bohemian Rhapsody. “I felt joy again for the first time in my life, and better yet, I felt inspired,” Almeida says.
She says the movie reignited her love for the band and their music. “Using Queen’s music and Bohemian Rhapsody has been a very strong coping mechanism for me,” Almeida says.
She says even though her son isn’t cancer-free, Queen has given her the strength to fight. “Freddie was telling me, hold on. You hold on because there is something better coming for you, you just hold on,” Almeida says.
The painting will be on display this October at the 34th annual Queen Convention in England. De Almeida plans to donate the proceeds of copies sold to Freddie Mercury’s Phoenix Trust that focuses on AIDS research.
PHOTOS: Queen in photos and on film