Detail of the Girl with the French Haircut at Flightpath Coffee

French Haircut detail

Would you like to hear a little about technique and decisions that I made as I did this painting? The walls at Flighpath Coffee are sunflower yellow. Why did I not portray this? Well, when I painted the man with dreadlocks the day before, I added in a subdued yellow background, and just hated the way that it competed with the figure. I really am not the type of painter that can deal with a lot of screaming color. In fact, I have a theory that television, and computers with their oversaturated color has actually desensitized us. We think that we need more and more color!

Aerial perspective teaches us that colors gray as an object recedes into the background plane. So, if I paint her as she is, in muted colors and shape wedges, why would I paint the walls in mustard? Well, I could have  chosen to do this, but, it’s just not me. And, I don’t think that it would have done this beautiful girl justice.

I never go back in to the paintings when I get home, so there are always imperfections. I simply try and take a sample from the social petri dish.


  1. Posted August 24, 2009 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    I think the dreadlock guy looks great with the yellow background it pulls the eye in to look at him. Sort of like the seeds of a sunflower. It is the yellow first that catches us but it is the center that pulls us in.

    I know personal opinion… everybody has at least one and some too many.

    Love your work!

    • Posted August 24, 2009 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      Hi, Paige.

      Thank you for your input – such a wonderful critique on the color yellow and it’s natural pull! My, my you have a way with words. I see from your blog that you also live in this great state of Texas – yes, we do love our state. I hope that people don’t hate us for that.



  2. rushmonkeys
    Posted August 25, 2009 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    awesome! Now if you could only paint while hang gliding!!

    • Posted August 25, 2009 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      Hi, rushmonkeys!

      Ooooo, that would probably be my final painting 🙂


  3. Posted August 26, 2009 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Hi, I come here through the link on WorldPress Homepage. Love your blog, your art works are amazing!

    • Posted August 26, 2009 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      Hello to q9y8!

      I don’t have a clue what that means, but I went over and looked at your blog. I thought that your architectural/tourist shots were pretty good. Then, I looked at your Fashion portfolio, and you are very good! I could really see you pursuing a photography job in product design, or photo styling. I really like the opening shot of the Hermes toilet waters and the Hermes grosgrain ribbon. And then, the use of vines and florals to introduce shoes or other products was just luscious! I wish you the best.

      Thank you,


  4. babyblizz
    Posted August 26, 2009 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Great paintings! Sometimes I would like to take pics of people but I don’t think they’ll like it 😦

    • Posted August 26, 2009 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      Hi, babyblizz.

      It’s true that folks don’t like being photographed, for the most part. I was pleasantly surprised to find that they love being painted. Thanks for coming by, and stay creative.



  5. Posted August 29, 2009 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    Great painting – yet again. Lavanna, thanks for sharing the thoughts and considerations that shape your paintings. I always want to know how a painter is THINKING as he/she works. Of course, painters must choose whether to reproduce what is there, or take whatever liberties and fantasies they choose, for whatever reason.
    . Question: Were those frames on the wall behind the woman or were they added for the composition too?

    • Posted August 30, 2009 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      Hi, Leroy!

      Thanks for stopping by – please do periodically, because it prompts me to go over and see what my blogging friends are up to. I spend as little time blogging as possible, so it is good to have a comment as a reminder to support the community.

      I really appreciate the feedback. I am thinking about starting a second blog, where I talk about technique.

      Yes, there were posters and a framed triptych on the walls. I don’t make things up – ever. I may eliminate objects, or add objects in the composition, but they are always present in the setting – in another words, I am simply moving existing furniture/decor. Sometimes, if I am doing a group setting, I will move the figures in close proximity to get them to fit the canvas.

      Thank you,


  6. Posted September 9, 2009 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    This is such a fabulous picture. It’s distorted in such a telling way, the angularity of the legs in contra-posture to the girl’s head — the loopy, expressive brushwork — there are competing moods of repose and nervous energy. You write of “imperfections” but honestly I think that the many subtle departures from “reality” give this image so much punch.


    Looking at it, one really sees more and more. The downward gaze is almost like a Renaissance Madonna and yet it modern and “everyday.”

    The vague picture within a picture is very intriguing also — complements the dynamism of the figure’s pose.

    You were very wise not to touch it further. You’re subconscious did everything perfectly!

  7. Posted November 21, 2009 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    your work is really intriguing. do people mind if you paint them? knowing someone was painting you has a very different feeling to me then if someone was taking your picture. painting is much less stalkerish. 🙂

    • Posted November 23, 2009 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

      Hi, Melanie.

      No one has been mad at me, yet. In fact, when I do get caught, they love it. I, too think that photography is invasive and rude. I don’t know why painters are given wider latitude, but I’m happy for that.

      Thank you so much,


  8. Posted January 21, 2010 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Wow..that’s beautiful. I also like the code girl. You’re really talented.

    • Posted January 21, 2010 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      Hi, Deborah.
      Thank you – I see that you have a daily thoughts site. My nephew has one called “WeeklyThoughts”.


  9. Posted April 2, 2010 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    What was your first serious relationship?

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