Quincy resident Zoe Stancer didn’t like a picture that she painted so she left it behind. If she thought that would be the last time she would see it, she was wrong.
Her friend and coworker at the Plumas County Sheriff’s Office, Johnny Cervantes, took it home with him and began photographing the painting at various locations around town and posting them to social media.
The saga began last February at a Sip and Paint party to celebrate Loni Beck’s and Emma Miravalle Hood’s birthdays. According to friend Joni Moore, “Of course most of the paintings were terrible, but Zoe’s took the cake.”
That’s why she didn’t take the flower painting home with her at the end of the evening and Cervantes decided he could have some fun with it. At first it made the rounds of the sheriff’s office and then it sort of took on a life of its own.
It popped up in art shows and became a featured cookie at Bell Lane Baked Goods. The flower painting was reproduced on T-shirts and onesies.
Along the way it was dubbed “Spankin by LaFaun.” According to Moore, Spankin referred to a favorite saying of Stancer and LaFaun is her middle name.
The painting grew in popularity with its image being copied and posted in areas as far away as New York City. That’s when Moore decided to make hats featuring the famed piece of art and sell them to raise money for the Plumas County Sheriff’s Department Needy Children’s Program, a program that Stancer volunteers with each year. The effort generated $353.54.
In turn, the hats generated even more selfies that also were posted to social media.
Then Cervantes had another idea — LaFaun on the Shelf — and partnered the painting with a little red elf, partly because Stancer was never a fan of the popular Elf on the Shelf.
The duo popped up seemingly everywhere — the basketball court at Quincy High, Plumas District Hospital, Oakland Camp, Healthy Bodies Gym, Grey’s Flower Garden, the courthouse, the probation department, Molly June, Midtown Coffee and Pangaea to name just some of their appearances. The duo even stopped by this newspaper office to be questioned about a recent brush with the law.
As the one-year anniversary of the painting’s birth approaches, who knows what’s in store? Will Cervantes call it a wrap, or will he find another way to flaunt LaFaun?