I Painted the Two Lovely Brothers at Spider House

These two brothers were so simpatico.

My brother and I had a horrible relationship growing up. We fought constantly. We had dirt clod fights (they hurt), grass spur fights, and we broke each other’s things (I stuck my finger through the wings of his radio-controlled airplane). The fights escalated after my dad died to such a level that the neighbors called the police after I chased him down the street with…well, I won’t tell you.

When you see harmony and brotherly love right in front of you, it is as if God chose that opportunity to smack you in the face with the beam in your own eye. Sometimes, we just can’t get over ourselves to get along, can we? Not the case here – these two brothers, five years apart, liked each other! They could chill with each other. The younger one had a deck of “magic cards”, that he was sharing with his brother. At one point, the little one reached over and hugged his brother. The teenager patted his little brother on the head. It was so touching and so real that tears came. I felt a true longing and vacancy. Relationship. What else is there?

As most of you know, I usually do my “guerrilla painting” on the spot in a freehand fashion. I don’t go back in later and pretty things up. But, this particular painting, although started “live”, was completed in the studio. Here’s why:

I have never accepted a commission on my “guerrilla” style, cafe paintings. In fact, I won’t sell them, or give them away, either.

So, when Leslie Langee got a hold of me on Twitter, and asked me to do a commission of her 2 boys, I thought that she was enquiring about my children’s pastel portraiture work (commissioned work from photographs). My agent contacted Leslie, and found out that she wanted a “live” painting at a coffeehouse of her two boys, ages 11 and 16. They worked out all of the details together. The boys would not be told that they were going to be painted. We chose the Spider House. Since the painting was 16×20 instead of my usual 9×12, and the mom wanted to be able to see the faces of both boys, I completed the painting in the studio, with the aid of a photograph.


  1. Posted June 3, 2010 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    hi lavanna
    these boys look great! I’m happy that you have been getting commisionned for work, as you truly deserve it – you are so talented
    cheers from SF
    meli ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. sheralyn jones
    Posted June 4, 2010 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    Lavanna, you totally captured their faces as you always do.
    you’ve got it down, girl. this is an exact snapshot in time, I know I was there and lucky to be ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Barb Martin
    Posted June 8, 2010 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    This painting is so alive -not just with the spirit of these boys, but also the love connection between them. This is something I have been very interested in trying to paint for a long time- the connections or “bridges” that exist between
    people, thoughts, realities etc..
    LOVE IT!

  4. Lori
    Posted June 11, 2010 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    So lovely. I know their family will treasure it.

  5. Posted June 16, 2010 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    I love the look on the older boy’s face. It’s somehow passive, yet interested in what’s going on around him.

  6. Posted May 19, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Really cool paintings. I always go to epoch so it was cool to see one done there. And removing the yellow from the painting was definitely a good decision

    • Posted May 29, 2011 at 10:24 am | Permalink


      Thank you. Fahrenheitmarketing looks like an interesting group.

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