I painted John Erik Metcalf working at Conjunctured last night

This is a quick painting that I did of John Erik at Conjunctured last night.  The light was failing, so it was tricky to execute.  I want to paint him again, because in a few years, I probably won’t have such easy access to him.  This guy is nice, capable, smart, and going places.  I’m providing a link right here if you want to know more about John Erik.

Do you know what a “jelly” is?  I didn’t know until a couple of months ago.   Cesar’s blog,, does a great job of describing this international phenomena.  I found out about the coworking movement as I was researching online for coffeeshops where I could paint.

As a studio artist, I shared some of the same problems of someone who works from home: isolation, boredom, creativity slumps, and laziness.  Getting out of the studio and painting live has opened up new territories.

Dusty Reagan working at Conjunctured

Dusty Reagan working at Conjunctured

Here is a fairly quick oil sketch portrait of Dusty, cofounder of Conjunctured.  I painted Dusty on the same night that I painted John Erik, and the light was failing (I try and paint by ambient or overhead incandescent light).  I hope that they will indulge me and let me paint them again.

Painting people from life allows the artist to stare at their subject, and usually the model understands the necessity of this deep scrutiny.  I know that a painting is successful when I capture something of their personality.  Here we have a Dusty that just came out while I was painting him.  This is Dusty, ” The Mini-Viking”.  I’m not kidding.  It’s there, deep inside of him.  See the hint of redness in coloring, the manly facial structure, and the shirt that looks like fur!  This is what came out while I was painting him, and I was surprised!

Dusty is conquering new internet territory, exploring new realms, and venturing into unknown seas.  AND, he has a dog.  Let’s just hope that he doesn’t take on some of the nasty habits of those Vikings.  That would make the workplace at Conjunctured kind of difficult!

If you want to know more about Dusty Reagan, you should look at his bio.  He is really smart!

I have two more cofounders of Conjunctured to paint: David H. Walker and Cesar Torres.  We will see what happens… 🙂

Please leave comments – I need to know what ya’ll like to see/talk about!


  1. Posted September 27, 2008 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    great to see you talking about coworking on your blog! Hope you have a great weekend!

  2. Posted October 10, 2008 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    Hi, David.

    I looked at your site. May I put your blog in my blogroll?

    I love those T-shirts.

    Thank you,


  3. trickylittleimp
    Posted October 13, 2008 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Superb – you have just brought Jelly to my part of the UK!

  4. Posted October 13, 2008 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Hi, trickylittleimp.

    Wow. Please explain. My friends over at Conjunctured will be really interested. Sorry, can’t send you the link, because I haven’t learned how to do that, yet.

    Thanks for commenting,

    ~Lavanna Martin

  5. trickylittleimp
    Posted October 20, 2008 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Sorry for the delay, Lavanna! I’d never heard of it before, so I shared the link with friends, who were interested! Now, someone just has to open their home! 😉

  6. Posted October 21, 2008 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    Hi, imp.

    Good to have you back.

    By the way, the “jelly” started in coffee shops. I would start there, first.

    Thank you,

    ~Lavanna Martin

  7. trickylittleimp
    Posted October 22, 2008 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    That’s so useful – I might know a place….! Thanks!

  8. Posted October 23, 2008 at 9:30 pm | Permalink


    i’m so impressed. you did this so fast and it’s so good. i loe having your hang out with us at Conjunctured. see you soon!


  9. Posted October 23, 2008 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    Hi, je.

    Just got home and downloaded a better pix of your portrait. The nose was too red. That is what happens when an artist paints in the dark – they can’t judge values!

    I hope to paint you again with better lighting conditions. I could go back in and amend it, although I usually don’t.


    ~Lavanna Martin

  10. merbrat
    Posted October 23, 2008 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    That looks great!

    Kick-Butt Coffee has Open Mic night (music) on Thursdays.
    Or do they have to sit still? ;o)

    Might be some interesting subjects.
    Heading there, now, for a visting friend!

    (twitterfriend of johnerik)

  11. Posted October 23, 2008 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    I love your interpretation of John Erik. It was nice meeting you today.

    – joe

  12. Posted October 23, 2008 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    Hi, Merbrat.

    I just downloaded a better pix of John Erik, which took some of the red out.

    AWWWH, I’ve been wanting to go to KickButt Coffee! I can’t go tonight because my husband is feeling neglected, and I want to stay married!

    Merbrat – you are one step ahead of me – I am going to use this blog to let people know when I have painted them, and to let them know where I will be painting next.

    ~Lavanna Martin

  13. Posted October 23, 2008 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    Hi, Joe.

    Thanks, and the same. I will have to spend some time on your website. I’m glad that all of you Conjunctured folks are so busy.

    Thanks again,

    ~Lavanna Martin

  14. Posted October 23, 2008 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

    Likewise, wow!

    Looking forward to seeing more of Lavanna’s work…

  15. Posted October 23, 2008 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    Hi, Prentiss.

    I have a commission to do, and will be stuck in the studio for a couple of days. Stay tuned, and thanks for dropping by.

    Do you know John Erik?

    Thank you,

    ~Lavanna Martin

  16. Mark M.
    Posted January 7, 2009 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    Hey Lavanna,
    Trying to contact you. Been busy last few days. Is your facebook down? I don’t have your #. Email me if you feel so inclined.

  17. Posted August 3, 2009 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Lavonna – I called AMSET and found out you were here already! I walked over from the newspaper office and missed you by 30 minutes! Seems that Sarah had the same idea I had by taking you over to the Barking Dog! I hope you had a pleasant visit and a safe return. Keep enjoying your art as much as we enjoy the outcome!

    • Posted August 5, 2009 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      Hi, Ellen.

      I can’t believe that we missed each other. Wahhhh!

      Golly, a reporter and everything. I suck at marketing. Oh well,… 🙂



  18. Ray Reese
    Posted August 5, 2009 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Hi! I was one of the managers that you spoke with in Liberty, TX at Chili’s while trying to make it to Clear Lake. I hope you found your way! Your work is amazing. I love it! Looking forward to following your work at would love to be informed as to shows where your works would be available…

    Thanks so much!

    • Posted August 5, 2009 at 5:07 pm | Permalink


      You guys TOTALLY saved my butt! I did exactly what you said.BUT when you said “You’ll go over a bridge”, I was thinking “overpass”. I almost had a heart attack when I went over that suspension bridge crossing the Houston ship channel in LaPorte!

      I’ll be at AMSET in Beaumont until November 1st. I’ll try and swing by and say hello, maybe do some painting for ya. I’m also having a show at HOUSE wine in Austin in Nov/Dec. I’ll let ya’ll know.

      Thanks again – truly!


  19. Posted January 19, 2010 at 12:08 pm | Permalink


    You are so very talented…something I knew immediately when I first saw your work, five years ago. I so love the new portraiture (Hannah is phenomenal) and the coffee shop works. Keep painting and writing!



    • Posted January 19, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      Hi, Lovely Susan.

      Seeing you comment here makes me want to cry.
      Can’t wait to see your book, “Walking in the Deep End”. Love the cover.


  20. Steve Mattingly
    Posted January 19, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Permalink


    What a delight to see you on the front page! And yet a greater one to discover your current work and how much you and others enjoy it. Time and your creative talent have clearly become fast friends.



    • Posted January 19, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      Hi, Steve.

      Gosh, what a pleasant surprise. I hope that you are doing well. Good to hear from you.


  21. Barbara Silva
    Posted January 20, 2010 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Hello Lavanna,
    I was looking at sites to get ideas for one for myself. I’m very new at this whole thing, the computer language, how to navigate where I’m going and where Ive been and how to get back. I’m 61, need I say more?
    Anyway I happened onto your site, I love your painting style!!!
    I read how you took so long to do what is obviously your gift.
    I to make lots of excuses for what I want to do.
    I just wanted to tell you how excellent your paintings are and
    someday when I have some money and I can remember how to get back here, commission you to paint a portrait for me.
    Keep painting.
    maybe soon I will have a whatever you call this site and you can see what I do. “Binka” is going to be my business name, my young web designer friend is going to help me get it all together.
    Binka is the nickname I gave my grand daughter, she is 3.
    I make one of a kind headbands of various designs.

    • Posted January 21, 2010 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      Hey, Barbara.
      Your personality just shimmers through your comment;I wish you well on any good endeavor that you undertake.
      As a beginner on the computer, you might want to find yourself a coworking group, or “jelly” (computer geeks that meet at coffee houses). These folks can help you out a lot.
      You know how to bookmark, right? That will help.
      Binka is such a good name for those headbands. Have you done a domain search to see if it is available? Have your filed for a DBA? It’s not overwhelming, although it may seem that way.
      Everybody needs headbands. I’ve got one one right now!


  22. Griffin
    Posted January 21, 2010 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    I like your paintings – my and I read about younthe San Antonio Newspaper. I am 12 and like to paint – I thought it was interesting how fast you can do a the painting – very cool – I like the 1/18/10 painting

    • Posted January 21, 2010 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      Oh, Griffin!
      You have made my evening.
      I’m sitting here eating vegetable curry with my husband. You must be eating supper now, too.
      I decided to reply before I eat my supper. I’m so happy to hear that you like to paint. Keep painting. Here’s a tip: when painting, start out with a big brush, and broadly suggest everything that will be in your painting. Oh, and start out w/ a toned surface. Then, go down to a smaller brush. Paint your darks, and your lights will appear.


  23. Posted March 16, 2010 at 9:45 pm | Permalink


    I recently had a friend send me your website with a note:

    “It seems she does what you do, but with you, they know it.”

    First off, your work is incredible. I’ve stared at your painting and I love the depth and dimension to them. I’m a photographer myself and checking out how you capture people is truly inspiring. Much more “fly on the wall” than the “in your face” style of headshot photography.

    Second off, I started a project about two months ago that’s as simple as it can be: tell me a story. It can be about anything and I’d love to have you on the site (Specifically, describing your favorite painting experience [either a memory or your current favorite setup.]). Or anything, really.

    I’ll be in the Austin area for SXSW (Thursday – Saturday) and I’d love to meet up during that time, during the day.

    Anyway, I hope you’re doing great and I’m truly rocked by your paintings.

    (No pressure, I TOTALLY understand if you don’t have time, etc. but if you are down, it would make my week! I’d love to have your on the site, so other people can find you too!)

    Live forever,
    Tyler Core

  24. vicky
    Posted April 15, 2010 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    This morning i did not have the time to enjoy each work of art and read your comments. I am blown away. When you go to a coffee sho,p do you complete one work of art there? How long does one take??? I am so impressed!!!vicky

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