loaded up to paint live at the coffeehouse

loaded up for a trip to the coffeehouse

I am an artist that has left the studio. I paint people from life.  Most of the time,my subjects do not know that they are being painted. I travel light, and usually by bike.

I stare at people.  I trace them with my finger in under the table.  It took a long time for me to actually put the years of engraphing to the test.  There was always an excuse: “I don’t have a good, portable easel; I don’t want to get caught; I can’t relax enough if people are watching…”.  Slowly, I whittled away at the excuses.  I got the good easel, and I went to Epoch Coffeehouse, which is close to my house.

It was easy; I was in my element.  All those years of wondering what to do with myself melted away.  I had found my addiction, if not my calling.  On that first day, I did about 9 paintings and was no longer fearful of painting in public.

You may view my oil sketches by using the navigation bar above.  Thank you~  LM


  1. trickylittleimp
    Posted October 13, 2008 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    I love this stuff!

  2. Posted October 13, 2008 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Hi, tricklylittleimp.

    Thank you so much for your enthusiasm!

    All of my friends can’t quite figure it out, but I am working hard and having fun.

    ~Lavanna Martin

  3. Posted November 6, 2008 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    Your work is so cool. Do you have a place that you sell it?

  4. Posted November 7, 2008 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Hi, Jen.

    Thank you – I’m working hard AND having a lot of fun.

    If you will use the chat dialog box (meebo) on my home page sidebar, I can give you information about gallery representation. If I am offline, you can still leave me a message, OK?

    ~Thank you,

    Lavanna Martin

  5. Posted November 9, 2008 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    just stopped by through a link on Facebook…you did a portrait of John Erik Metcalf…I met him through a friend in Dallas, TX…I’m a fellow artist living in Massachusetts. Great site

  6. Posted November 9, 2008 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    Hi, Carl.

    Thank you!

    Good to meet another friend of John Erik’s.

    If you are ever in Austin, look me up and we will go paint or sketch people “live” in some of our cool coffee houses.

    ~Thank you,

    Lavanna Martin

  7. amy
    Posted November 18, 2008 at 2:45 am | Permalink

    i just discovered your site and love your work.

    i swear i caught you painting me at halcyon on sept 29. was it you, was it me? if so, can i see?

  8. Posted November 18, 2008 at 3:04 am | Permalink

    Hi, Amy.

    I was there on that date. I keep an art journal on everything that I paint (see post entitled, “art journal”), so we can see if I have anything.

    You can go over to my Facebook account, under Lavanna Martin, I can accept you as a friend if you leave an invite. Then, you can either send me a private message or get on my chat box and give me a description of your appearance (hair color, height – perhaps what you were wearing), and we will see if I painted you.

    Thanks for stopping by!

    ~Lavanna Martin

  9. Posted November 20, 2008 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    These are really cool. You are an inspiration.

  10. Posted November 20, 2008 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Hi, wrjones.

    I am so glad that you found me; I just went over to your shared blog. You have so many good works here – my favorite by far is “Pippi”. Does that surprise you? I love everything about it – the color range, the pose, the model, the composition. My second favorite of the portraits will surprise you – it is “Navy”. It reminds me of the Russian Constructivist Movement in composition. Of the still-lifes, I love popcorn. Is it for sale?

    Let’s keep talking. If you are on facebook, we can communicate in that fashion.

    ~Lavanna Martin

  11. Christina
    Posted December 19, 2008 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    Great work, Lavanna!

  12. Posted December 22, 2008 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    Hi Lavanna

    this is great! Well done for breaking through and doing it. And thank you for sharing this with the world. Epoch Coffee house should give you free coffee.

    • Posted December 23, 2008 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      Hi, Stephen.

      I thought about doing it for almost 2 years, I was so fearful of starting! But, instead of people becoming angry, they have been amazed (if I get caught, or if they are brave enough to peek). Truly, they want to sit down and talk. I have met people of all ages doing this. Honestly, not a single person has been mad – quite the contrary. Sometimes, I will have a chatty person that wants to hover over my shoulder and watch, and I get very nervous. I usually say, “I will show you when I’m almost done, OK?”

  13. Posted December 30, 2008 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    Hi Lavanna,
    Wow, what awesome work. Beautiful. Sure, I’d love to be painted. I’m doing an event at BookPeople Jan 9th at 7 if you want to paint me in public. Or just email me: spike@spikeg.com and we’ll figure something out.

    • Posted December 30, 2008 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      Hi, Spike.

      Thanks for the response!

      I will get in touch by email.


  14. Posted January 2, 2009 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    I really like the work you do. Please contact me by email about possibly doing a story.
    (I’m a reporter at KTBC FOX7 in Austin)

  15. Rebecca
    Posted January 6, 2009 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    Hi Lavanna, thought I would check in since you decided to quit FB today. Love the pics, and love your bike. Looking forward to seeing you more in 2009. ~ Rebecca S.

    • Posted January 6, 2009 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

      Hey, Rebecca.

      I am so glad to hear from you. Jimmy brought home ya’lls “year in review”. Kelsey, our daughter plays cello, and just got through reading “Reading Lolita in Tehran”. She wants to go to Turkey w/ the yesprogram, that gives scholarships to Middle Eastern universities. Hope to see you soon.

  16. Posted January 20, 2009 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Hello Lavanna,
    I wanted to drop you a note and thank you for coming over and introducing yourself last night at the wordpress meet. I couldnt find an email address for you so I thought I would use your blog. You do some mighty interesting work!
    Drop me a note sometime, I do the coffeehouse writing thing several times a week. It would be cool to see you creating.

    • Posted January 20, 2009 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      Hi, Wayne.

      It’s a pleasure to hear from you – what a surprise!

      Oh, you have no idea what you have done to yourself, offering to hang out with me at the coffeehouse! Hah! I am always trying to get my friends to go with me. Interested in seeing what you are writing…

      Thank you,


  17. Posted February 10, 2009 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    Where are you located?

  18. Posted February 20, 2009 at 1:43 am | Permalink

    Hi and welcome in my life, thank you for your comment on my blog…no I haven’t a representation, please tell me about it…sound good! I want to add your blog. Interesting painting…your ‘move hands’ is interesting and so the ambients. I want to talk about art with you. Ciao from Italy, Stef

  19. Karen
    Posted March 2, 2009 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    Just found your art. . . great. Where do you show it?


    • Posted March 3, 2009 at 6:43 am | Permalink

      Hi, Karen.

      I used to be at the Davis Gallery in Austin and the Alex Danyiel Gallery in Houston. Now, I am being represented by FolioBonino.
      I have a show coming up at TASTE wine in Austin. I will provide information on this blog as the date for the show closes in (April 4th).

      Thank you for stopping by, and for commenting!

      ~Lavanna Martin

  20. Posted March 19, 2009 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    I love your work. I have been drawing at Starbucks for the past year and a half. I have thought about painting, but I could never figure out how to do it. If you don’t mind sharing secrets, how do you carry your material and set it up in a coffee shop without complaints from establishment and people concerned about getting paint on things, taking up space, smells, etc.

    • Posted March 20, 2009 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      Hi, Glen.

      Starbucks, huh? In what city?

      I’m not a secret-keeper; I want to be helpful! I am in the process of writing a small “blue paper” on the process, which will have the answers to all of your questions. In the mean-time, I would suggest trying to find a locally-owned coffee house, where they will be more friendly to funkiness.

      These are great questions, and I will set to work to answer them clearly as soon as my show is over (April 4th)! In the mean-time, I wish you the best in your drawing and painting life, and please, let’s stay in touch. I appreciate your comments. I will have to look you up at the urban group when I come up for air.

      Thank you,

      ~Lavanna Martin

  21. glen greenwalt
    Posted April 19, 2009 at 12:32 am | Permalink

    I had lost track of your site, and then found it by chance. I draw mostly in the Main Street Starbucks in Walla Walla WA.

    • Posted May 20, 2009 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      Hi there, Glen.

      Sorry that it took me so long to respond – I have not been on the internet lately, except to update posts.

      Walla Walla is supposed to be beautiful! Would you like to paste some links to your best sketches in a comment? I’m happy for you to do that!


  22. Posted May 14, 2009 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    I just created my blog (a few hours ago), but I’m new to this “blogging” thing, so I decided to browse through a few to get a “feel” for it when I came across yours.

    I loving writing (thats why I made my blog, to showcase my work), but artistic ability is hereditary on my father’s side of the family, so I know a thing or two about art as well & also enjoy drawing and painting.

    You have some great pieces! Very nice work, I think its pretty amazing you’re able to create them live! I’m good, but not that good! Best to ya!

    P.S. In case this blog don’t go well, you can see some of my work at my website; http://www.illwriteforyou.webs.com, let me know what you think!

    • Posted May 20, 2009 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      Hey, there.

      Sorry that it has taken me so long to reply to you, Kenneth – but I haven’t been on the internet much lately, except to update postings. I also try to look at what folks are up to on their own blogs before I reply.

      I am so impressed by you, Kenneth. You may not feel it now, but just keep writing, and developing, and keeping it honest. That is your best asset, and it shows.

      What I like: I love the picture on the “about” page. What you have to say about yourself if very strong.

      If I were you: I looked at both your writing excerpts, and your poetry. In my opinion, the poetry is much stronger. I loved the simplicity, and the opinion-as-statement. I felt like “I write” was your strongest, and would love to see you develop more in this line.

      I clicked on the “mybeautifulwife” link, and saw that it is “under construction”. Do not get discouraged; this is sheer brilliance. Every women’s Bibles study does Proverbs 31. It’s not because we are striving for virtue as much as it is to just hear such wonderful things about the wife, woman, and mother! We are hungry; bring it on! We want some humor in there (personal anecdote),some recipes, and some pictures of real women in real life situations. If you need people to bounce the deveopment off of, I’m happy to help!

      And now that I’ve blabbed on, this is for your appreciation:

      This is a clip of Craig Bazan, an African American kid that loves Shakespeare, performing a soliloquy from Hamlet in the ghettos of Camden, NJ.

      Keep writing,

      Lavanna Martin

      • marsha
        Posted July 12, 2009 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

        Alana gave me the location of the website. I love your work. I still have the oil that you gave me hanging in my home, the water bearer.
        Marsha from Andrews

  23. Posted August 14, 2009 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    I stumbled on your site via Jean’s Paintings. Nice. I’m very interested in portraiture and have been drawing in graphite from photos although I like live models much better. I’m going to start working in colored pencil soon. Your life painting in public intrigues me. It looks very Impressionist. Keep on keepin’ on.

    • Posted August 14, 2009 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

      Hi, Pierre.

      I always try and look at folk’s blogs when they leave comments. Kudos on the rendering skills! Very nice. If I may be so bold, why don’t you continue in pencil, it is a much more fluid medium than colored pencil, and your work is lovely. You could try some broad-side massing in along with the linear work that you are doing now, and it will be superior!


  24. नास्तिक
    Posted August 26, 2009 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Hey, I loved the concept you are working with, I mean painting someone without letting him/her know he/she is being painted.
    Will go through all your paintings as soon as i’ve got some time.

    Keep Going!



    • Posted August 26, 2009 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      Hello to INDIA!

      Awww, that’s so nice.

      Mumbai is in the news a lot these days. Seems that India is developing a burgeoning middle class. It would be fun to paint there!



      • Posted August 26, 2009 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

        Hi, forgot to type my name, which is not India, it’s Sandeep and I live in India.

  25. Alyssa
    Posted August 29, 2009 at 1:40 am | Permalink

    I cant remember when it was a little while ago, but i was reading emily dickinson and felt inspired to see art, so i went on the very little art blogs that i do know and somehow found yours. i just wanted to say bravo, i truly mean it. you have a great talent, and i hope for the world, you will remain an eye and actual proof that life can be a beautiful thing.

    thank you once again.

    • Posted August 29, 2009 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      Hi, Alyssa.

      Of course, I remember you. What a blessing you are to me today. Like any artist, I get discouraged. I certainly don’t make any money doing this, and if it weren’t for the indulgence of my hard-working husband, I couldn’t do this. But, he knew when we married many years ago that this was the only thing that I can really do, and he thought that I would become famous – hah!

      I wish you well with your writing. Keep doing it. You know, it is hard, but not doing it is worse.

      Thank you so much,


  26. Posted August 30, 2009 at 3:49 am | Permalink

    I Lavanna,

    Why don’t you share some nice, touching, itching, erring experiences you’ve had, while sketching people in a guerrilla warfare style. 🙂


    • Posted August 30, 2009 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      Hi, Sandeep.

      I keep an art journal on every subject that I paint, and the notes are glued to the back of each panel.
      I will take your advice, and publish some of the more interesting notes.

      Thank you,


  27. Dena
    Posted September 10, 2009 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    I love your work!

    • Posted September 11, 2009 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      Hi, Dena.

      I looked at your blog, and I really like what you are up to. Your site works as a cultural organizer/catalog for designers and artists. Plus, it is really nice to see some of your own work. I love the japanese paper cut influence on your design work. And that masthead on your blog is fantastic!

      Thank you,


  28. Posted October 1, 2009 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Love the paintings. Very cool. Me next. tT

    • Posted October 1, 2009 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

      Hi, Tim.

      Thanks. I’ll be back in the coffee houses next week. Maybe I’ll run into you. I think that I will be at SpiderHouse.



  29. TheRebecca
    Posted October 27, 2009 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Hello Lavanna,

    I did not see an email address for how to contact you, but I wanted to let you know I wrote about your beautiful work and your blog today on my blog about entertaining in Austin, TheRebeccammendations! You can check out the post at http://www.Rebeccammendations.com.

    Furthermore, this post was promoted to the home page of WordPress.com! You can see a thumnail of your image of the military man from Epoch by going to http://www.Wordpress.com, clicking on Freshly Pressed, and you’ll see the post as the first on the left.

    I was thrilled, so I hope you are too, and wanted to be sure to share!


    • Posted October 27, 2009 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      Hi, Rebecca.

      So nice that you received recognition from the WordPress crew – congratulations!
      I suppose that you know about AmberDivine, and AustinEavesdropper? They are both tied into the Austin culture/entertainment scene, and are very nice girls.

      Good luck, and I hope to hear from you again. I usually don’t look at other sites (time restraints) unless they leave a comment. Once a blogger does this, I try to pop over from time-to-time to see what they are up to. So glad to know about you, and thank you for the sweet coverage.


  30. Manami
    Posted October 27, 2009 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Keep doing what you’re doing! Your work is truly beautiful. I’m so happy to have stumbled across this site . . .

    • Posted October 27, 2009 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      Hi, Manami.

      Thank you for saying that. Some days, you just want to toss in the towel. But, it’s the only thing that I can do, besides cook. 🙂

  31. skyekilaen
    Posted November 24, 2009 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    Hi Lavanna,

    Don’t know if you’re familiar with BlogHer, but we’re helping them organize a little holiday get-together in Austin at Central Market on December 3rd.

    If you don’t have a login on BlogHer.com to comment on that post but you plan to stop by, just let us know, a rough headcount would be helpful. And please feel free to pass it on to other Austin (and nearby) bloggers, blog readers, and tweeters!

    Any Qs, please ask, we’d love to see you there.

    Skye of lizardkingdom.org
    Maryann of tiedupwithablackvelvetband.blogspot.com

  32. Posted December 7, 2009 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    Wow! I really love your blog! I was fortunate enough to stumble onto you through http://twitter.com/lavannamartin. I also enjoy Austin Coffee shops, but do not have your skill set of painting. I think Austinites on Twitter would LOVE for you to post your “Stare at People” Art on twitter. I have a feeling each post would draw anticipation like coffee does in the morning. 😉 There is a perfect wordpress plug-in called ‘Twitter Tool’ which will automatically do this. Also I have written about a few Austin Coffee Shops around Austin, including, what appears to be your fav, Epoch at http://BradySmith.me.

    • Posted December 7, 2009 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

      Hi, Brady.
      Thanks so much for the nice words, and for letting me know about the Twitter plug-in. I’ll have to look into that – I’m not tech-savy!
      My, what a nice review that you wrote for Pacha; it’s in my hood!
      Maybe we will run into each other, huh? 🙂

  33. ohmywords
    Posted December 22, 2009 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    Hi, Lavanna.

    I don’t normally post randomly on people’s blogs, but I just have to say I love your paintings!

    I’m only just learning draw and paint (I’m 28 – I was scared off drawing when I was 7 by a bad teacher who said I was useless) and looking at your work inspires me to keep trying.

    Thanks for posting your paintings, they’re a real treat to look at.

    Best wishes,


    • Posted December 22, 2009 at 7:02 am | Permalink

      Hi, Siam.

      That is so sweet of you; I am really touched.
      Being told that we are useless is very damaging, isn’t it? Obviously, the teacher did not destroy your desire to draw and paint.
      Do not worry; you have not lost any time. One of my students is working on a portfolio now (from scratch) to get into art school, and she has not a single previous work.
      May I suggest that you read my posts on technique: The Difference Between Drawing and Painting, and A Smattering on Technique, and A Second Smattering on Technique. Then, set up 3 objects of 3 values (light, middle, dark) in a cardboard box at eye level. For example an apple (middle), a white cup or bowl, and a dark colored cup or bowl. Just line them up – don’t worry about composition. Light the still life at 3/4 and from above, Get some vine charcoal and newsprint. If you need help getting started, just leave another comment, and I’ll help you.


      • ohmywords
        Posted December 22, 2009 at 8:04 am | Permalink

        I took a drawing and painting class this year, so I learned a few things, but not enough to feel confident yet!

        I’ve printed off the posts you suggested, they will be my reading material for my commute home tonight. My boyfriend is buying me an easel for Christmas so I’m going to spend some time practising over the holidays.

        Thanks so much for your reply and your help, I’ll let you know how I get on 🙂

        Best wishes


  34. Anonymous
    Posted December 24, 2009 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    I don’t see a “navigation bar above” to use to view your paintings. Perhaps include a link? I’d love to see them.

  35. Posted January 19, 2010 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    Hey Lavanna, I read the great article about you in the statesman and decided to check out your site. I love your paintings. I try to be a bit of an artist also (part time hobby), and I love to go to Macaroni Grill and “guerrilla” draw people on the paper table clothes using the crayons that are provided ha ha. I’ve bookmarked your site and will be checking it out regularly now. (do you have any shows coming up?)
    anyway, keep up the great work… and maybe someday you’ll “catch me” in a coffee shop (I’ve been known to hang out at the Flightpath on occasion). if you are bored and want to checkout some of my stuff (I’m not nearly as prolific as you are) here’s my Photobucket link: http://s268.photobucket.com/albums/jj13/sir_boomme/myartscans/
    Take care and thanks for sharing, Terry

    • Posted January 19, 2010 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      Hi, Terry.

      It sounds as if you have the same affliction as me 🙂
      I just looked at your drawings. Very strong graphic style. You should try your hand at silk-screen or stencil printing.


  36. conradvisionquest
    Posted January 19, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    hmm, i stare at people, too. but nothing productive comes of it. certainly nothing like your amazing paintings! i do the occasional cartoonish sketch of the more outlandish people, but they are exaggerated. keep up the nice work!

  37. Erti Dhamo
    Posted January 19, 2010 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    Hi there,
    Congrats on the blog. I just wanted to know how did you move (or remove) the search box from your blog page?


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

      Hi, Erti.

      Gosh, I didn’t know that it was missing, and I don’t have a clue how to fix that. Thanks for alerting me. I just repaired it.


  38. Posted January 20, 2010 at 2:12 am | Permalink

    Please keep doing what you’re doing. It’s beautiful.

    • Posted January 20, 2010 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      Hello, there.

      I really love your blog. It’s rare that I see a blog and want to know the blogger. We could be friends!
      Armenia is cold, huh?! I lived in Michigan and Montreal, once. The layering thang gets really old. I was just put things on the way they came off – so sometimes I would be wrong-side-out – too much trouble to fuss w/ it. 🙂

      Let’s be friends~

  39. Posted January 20, 2010 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Read of your work in the Austin American Statesman and wanted to invite you to visit our “Colorful” town “Deep in the Heart of Texas” (Dublin Dr Pepper nearby !) We have many “colorful” places and many “colorful” people and would love to host you in Brownwood in the future. Fresh Art, Fresh Coffee and Fresh Corn Pone is good !

    • Posted January 20, 2010 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      Hi, Steve.

      That is so nice of you to invite me to hang out and paint. I’ll have to see what I can do.
      I car-share one car with my husband, so it will take some figuring.
      Your deli looks like such a cute place – I’ll do my best.
      I do love Texas, so.


  40. Posted January 20, 2010 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    This blog is amazing, while I do spend time in coffee houses I only wish I could paint like that.

    Keep up the good work!

    Best wishes from Berlin, Germany

  41. Posted January 20, 2010 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    This blog is very interesting, especially with me spending a lot of time in coffee houses. There is a coffee house where I go to school in which every wall has some kind of art work, and you’ll also find pieces such as antiques and the occasional musician. I look forward to reading more.

    • Posted January 21, 2010 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      Hi, Aaron.

      Yes, there are a lot of students in the coffeehouses.
      I would really like to see a coffeehouse filled with antiques other than myself.

      ~Lavanna 🙂

  42. Posted January 21, 2010 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    This is super-enjoyable to read. I hope you don’t mind…I’m adding it to my blogroll.

    • Posted January 21, 2010 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      Hi, there.
      Of course, I would be honored to be added to your blogroll.
      I just love that photo of your snowshoe outing over at anothercraftblog.wordpress.com


  43. Enej
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Please don’t stop what you are doing and thanks for sharing your artwork.

  44. lster921
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Found you. Love you. Thanks.

  45. Caroline
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Are your paintings available for purchase anywhere? 🙂

    • Posted January 23, 2010 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      Hi, Caroline.

      At this time, I am not selling the cafe paintings. But, you can download a jpg and print it – I don’t mind.
      Thank you for asking –


  46. Posted January 24, 2010 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    Stunning and mesmerising your works are, Lavanna! I had your blog as my facebook status message. What a treasure. I have little (if any) painting skills and can only relish and envy what you have.

    May your easel never dry.

    – Gurdas

    • Posted January 24, 2010 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      Hi, Gurdas.

      That is so nice of you. If you “friend” me on FB, I will respond in kind.
      Thank you


  47. Susan
    Posted January 24, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Your website was mentioned in the American-Statesman so I looked you up and enjoyed seeing your paintings and reading about the people. The coffee shops you frequent are great settings and have also been destinations for Plein Air Austin painters. Not many people know about Plein Air Austin, but a schedule of painting destinations is published each month at http://www.pleinairaustin.org and anyone can join in the fun, and that includes you!

    Capturing subjects quickly–especially people–is not my strength, but I am inspired to try again.

    • Posted January 25, 2010 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      Hi, Susan.

      So glad that you commented. Several years ago, I tried to join pleinairaustin, and they told me that there was a 6 month waiting list! What a popular group!


  48. Philip Hardin
    Posted February 6, 2010 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    Hi Lavanna,

    I was browsing Google News page, and was quite surprised to see an article that contained a familiar name!

    “Hey, I used to know a Lavanna Martin,” I think to myself, “and that’s not a common name!” I don’t know if you remember me that well, but about 10 years ago we were in a study together with Stephen and Christie Carl. To see your name in the news was a little blast from the past!

    Congratulations on your talent and the publicity! Hope your painting continues to go well for you. Say hello to Jimmy for me.

    • Posted February 9, 2010 at 7:37 am | Permalink

      Hi, Philip.

      I certainly remember you. I hope that you are doing well. Jimmy says “hello, back”. He’s still in the same book club that he was in back then(I don’t know if you remember that); They are reading “Life in the Time of Cholera”.

  49. bw worley
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Hello LV,

    we love your work. we are artists in metallurgy–really “redux refuse/rough lux/industrial chic” so to speak.

    do you take commissions?

    we are in the dfw area but would come to austin for you to do a “live” portrait.

    this would be a bit “staged” but we’d find it fun and a way to have a piece of your work.

    thanks for responding!


    • Posted February 10, 2010 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

      Hey, there, bw.

      Metallurgists – now that is really cool. I never got past “snot welding”. So many questions for you guys, about your craft…
      Would love to see a website, or jpgs of your “redux” work.

      I used to take commissions, and I still do, with children’s pastel portraiture. But, you are asking about the guerrilla painting, the cafe paintings.
      I’m just an old lady that likes to paint “live”. I don’t sell these, and I don’t give them away. Not even my bestest friends have the portraits that I did of them!
      Now, you could follow me on Twitter – I always post where I am going to be, and you could show up with a hat or cap on, and sit 8 feet away from me, and you’ll probably get painted!
      I would really like to come up your way, and paint in the coffeehouses there. In March, I have been invited to Salado, to the Texas Wine Festival. I’m still entertaining the thought.
      So sweet of you to contact me – I really appreciate that.
      ps:Oh, and by the way! There was a great article in the WSJ from yesterday (2.9.10), that was about these guys in a small community in Kansas. They do “found object” sculptures, and welded pieces – and display them on the side of the highway in the prairies. You would love this article!

  50. William Gunkel
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Are there any upcoming shows in the Austin area? Are you represented by a specific gallery or lone wolfing it? I really enjoy they style of your work. All the best.


    • Posted February 10, 2010 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

      Hi, there, flywhguy.
      Does that stand for flywheel? What are you doing w/ those? Rebuilding VW bugs, or potting, or riding a stationary bike? :). Really curious about that email address.
      I used to be at the Davis Gallery, but I went solo about 5 years ago. I haven’t been inside of a gallery in 5 years. I attempted organizing some shows, and then, you know – I just got timid. So, I’m just doing the only thing that I’m good at – besides cooking.
      Thanks for the sweet words. Maybe one day, I’ll get a marketing hat. Until then, I just paint.
      ps: you comment made me feel so good.

  51. bw worley
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    Hey LV…great to get such a quick and warm response. Disappointing not to be able to get a commissioned piece but understand.

    We, too, have not been “commercial”–doing the work for personal fulfillment, with just a few personal placements. But we decided in 2010 to start having one or two very small, private shows and so up production. To that end we are putting up a web site. I’ll let you know when it’s up and share some photos of our unique work.

    You are so kind to express an interest in our work.

    I”ll look forward to seeing more of your work and interesting comments about the process.


  52. Frederick
    Posted April 25, 2010 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

    Great art and expression! If interested would like to commission a sketch done by you.

    Let me know,



  53. lauren
    Posted August 8, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Hi Lavanna, I’d like to show you a rawing that I did y esterday of a guy at Genuine Joes. I don’t think that I can attach it here, but I’ll try. Send me your regular email so that I can show it to you.

  54. Dara
    Posted August 25, 2011 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    I was looking up an image of a girl in a cafe for a project when your paintings popped up in a search. I like them very much and while I don’t have time to browse your site right now as I must get back to work, I’d love to know where you’re located, how I can view all your work and if your cafe paintings are for sale. Thanks.

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