Reading Proust and Duras at Epoch Coffee

He was discussing Marguerite Duras and Proust with two classmates

He looked very smart, and I just love sentimentalists. I myself have a thing for John Singer Sargent, who was a contemporary of Proust, so I can understand the attraction to certain artist of the Victorian era who weren’t particularly Victorian. Of Proust, I know very little.  This young man could probably tell you a lot.

I loved his long coat, and barbered sideburns. He was talking with two friends about the author Marguerite Duras, a French colonialist reared in Viet Nam. I don’t know which book it was…sorry.


  1. Posted December 30, 2009 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    that is a great capture lavanna!!I can imagine him speaking as I type 😉
    cheers and happy new year 2010 /meli

  2. Posted December 31, 2009 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Hi Lavanna,
    I found your site somehow while looking thru the internet at oil painting artists. I love your paintings of people in the cafes. I think it would be great if you would share your “kit” with us artists. What easel and palette do you use to keep everything so “unnoticed”? I think these are oils, right?

    Anyway, keep it up, they look great. This is my first post on someone’s blog so I guess you can look up my website from the info above if you’re interested.


    • Posted January 1, 2010 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      Hi, Melinda.

      Please see link above for a picture of my painting kit. Feel free to contact me again if you have any questions. All of my gear fits into a milk crate that is attached to my bicycle. Here in Austin, (and it would be the same in San Francisco), the coffeehouse scene is a permissive one. In another words, I can paint out in full display, and no one bothers to notice. I usually have my back to a wall, so that there are no onlookers. People can’t imagine that I am actually painting them; they think that I am “making things up”. I try and be very sneaky, and avoid eye contact of my subject so that they don’t catch on that they are being painted.

      It amazes me that I am still incognito for the most part.

      I always look at other’s blog when they leave comments at I Stare at People. I just love your San Francisco street scenes. My favorite is “Baybridge”. The colors are wonderful, and I just want to skateboard down the hill. Exquisite.

      So glad to know that you are out there. Let’s be blogging friends, huh?


  3. Posted January 3, 2010 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Here in Hamburg or, I´m sure, anywhere else in Germany you´d get problems with the people. They hate staring you at them.
    I wish you a pefect new year, whatever this means.

    • Posted January 3, 2010 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      Hi, Max.

      You are probably correct. One needs to be careful who they stare at.


  4. Posted January 4, 2010 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Lavanna. Your painting is wonderful. I was just talking to my friend and fellow artist about painting in taverns and such. It warms my heart to see and hear of artists who get out there in the world and paint. I’m just a beginner myself and will be out there soon enough. I love being engaged in life like this. There is nothing that warms my heart more. CMagellen

    • Posted January 4, 2010 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      Thank you. I am basically a fearful, timid person. But, I have a passion for “guerrilla painting”.
      Yes, you should try it. Let’s keep in touch.
      You might enjoy looking at the post, “Dr Pepper and The Human Heart”.


  5. Posted January 19, 2010 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    Can see that you have a thing from John Singer Sargent! You have a similar style. I read about you in the Statesman – we need someone like you in DC, where I live.

    • Posted January 19, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

      Hi, Joe.
      I will have to pop over and see what you are up to, later this week.
      Thanks for stopping by. I do love Sargent.


  6. miles
    Posted March 4, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    The book was most likely The Lover…. The only one (to my knowledge translated into English)…

  7. jaybastian
    Posted March 31, 2010 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    I love your work! Your bold brushwork moves my eye around each subject. Do you varnish your oil sketches?

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