Cafe Paintings and Restaurant Paintings

I opened the envelope, then the second one, and then the third.  And surprise surprise, all three letters contained the same greeting card image! Was this a conspiracy or some peculiar plot hatched by my sisters? 
What are the chances, receiving exactly the same greeting card of Van Gogh's Cafe At Night three times as a birthday greeting, especially when they were the only cards I had received that year. 
As a painter I took this as a sign and decided my next project should be a cafe style painting.

There is something intriguingly engaging about a cafe and restaurant setting for a painting. The aim to capture the atmosphere and charm of people gathering together for food and drink in a public place, has inspired many artists over the centuries. 
Enjoy the featured cafe and restaurant paintings.
Paintings to fall in love with, paintings you will want to live with.

Cafe painting by Theo Michael and oil painting depicting The Art Cafe 1900 in Larnaca Cyprus

Cafe At Night

After having received the three afore-mentioned greeting cards in the post, I took this as a sign and decided my next painting project should be a Cafe style painting.
And I knew exactly where to look for my subject.

Every evening on my daily walk I would pass the attractive entrance of a restaurant and bar, the Art Cafe 1900. I was convinced this was it, and I began to take photos in different lighting situations.
The magnificently lit bougainvillea and the arched doorway were the exact qualities I needed, but something was lacking, the human factor.
One evening, after the restaurant had closed, I took some folding tables and chairs and posed them outside the entrance to take more photos.
It was a narrow road, and the passing traffic wasn’t happy, but now I had the ambience and character I was looking for, and my version of the painting Cafe At Night was born.

Cafe painting by Theo Michael an oil painting showing The Art Cafe 1900 in Larnaca Cyprus

Cafe At Night Revisited

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I was so grateful that the painting Cafe At Night became very popular. Not only selling hundreds of fine art prints, but also the original oil painting was sold to a client in Pennsylvania America.
It also made a splendid cover to our book Every Wall Needs A Story

But I couldn’t understand why the owners of The Art Cafe restaurant wouldn’t hang a canvas print in their establishment. The print I gave them was hiding on the floor behind a wall in the corner. It finally occurred to me that I had gone overboard with the original design, showing tables and chairs taking over the street. In reality traffic would be obstructed, and the owners regretted the impossible, as the street was too narrow for tables and chairs.

I decided to create a new painting, this time using less artistic liberty. I reworked the setting exactly as you would see it most evenings in the street for real.
The arch, the wrought iron detail, the protruding signs, all warmly lit with an array of varying cast shadows. The open door and the dimly lit stairs are all saying welcome.

restaurant painting featuring the bar of the Art Cafe in Larnaca, a painting by Theo Michael

Nightlife, got a light...

Being a fan of film noir movies the charismatic hero with the seductive femme fatale was the inspiration for this painting. Just to the left of this painting Nightlife is an old movie projector, and the walls in this place are covered with movie posters and memorabilia. Our femme fatale is accepting a light from her companion, her face beautifully illuminated by the striking match. They are here most nights, but tonight is different, our unsuspecting hero is about to discover the truth.
''I don't know Joe, living a lie is better than living a life alone...''
Read a fictional short story about the characters here.

Read the story Nightlife
restaurant painting, Marzano restaurant in Larnaca Cyprus an oil painting by Theo Michel

Marzano, here's looking at you...

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A few years back, this excellent Italian restaurant opened in town and I received a phone call from my sister who was on vacation here from England.
I am sitting in this new restaurant, Marzano, she said, the food is excellent. It’s a brand new place, the decor is contemporary but all I see are too many white walls demanding to have pictures hanging.
A subsequent visit, a couple of emails later, and finally a meeting with the management, my paintings are now proudly adorning the walls in this restaurant.
The management insisted though on paintings that promote discussion and encourage conversation and I hope, and I have heard from many of the customers, that my paintings do just that.

The painting itself captures the up lighting from the floor and the red neon Marzano sign from outside the entrance. The aqua green on the left, and the violet from the right, frame the spot lit area and the main character standing in the doorway. His pose and dinner jacket loosely inspired by the bar owner Rick Blaine from the film noir classic Casablanca, standing outside his bar Cafe Americain. 

restaurant painting an oil painting by Theo Michael featuring Militzis restaurant in Larnaca Cyprus

Sunset Proposal, Militzis

This dramatic windmill reaching into the sky, half visible, half covered by the sprawling bougainvillea was the start of this painting idea.
The steps leading up to the stone arched entrance are framed by the sky and the sea, making this painting idea irresistible. A couple arriving in their classic motor car completes the setting.
We ran a competition for the painting's title, and out of the numerous entries, Sunset Proposal was chosen. For us it ticked all the boxes.

restaurant painting, an oil painting by Theo Michael titled The Anniversary featuring the Arxontikon restaurant in Larnaca Cyprus

The Anniversary

This painting features a listed building that has been charmingly renovated with great attention to detail. A large sprawling court yard with lit trees, beautifully greets you as you walk in.

Today our couple is celebrating their anniversary as they enter arm in arm, through the main entrance. A lit canopy, art deco windows and large glass doors are all visible.
You can see and feel the elegance of the restaurant and you know you are entering something special.

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cafe painting, seafront promenade oil painting by Theo Michael featuring the Hobo cafe in Larnaca Cyprus

Cafe With A View

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Mediterranean culture of Greek men idling their time away and gazing at beautiful women walking by is the focus of this painting. A young lady holding a parasol, shielding her face from the sun, with beautiful cast shadows warming her face, is strolling by.
This Cafe and restaurant, with its ideal location facing Larnaca's seafront promenade, has been around for many years. It is very popular with locals and tourists alike.
I decided to add a little humour by adding my Irish Setter into the painting, a sight you would usually not see in Cyprus. He has long passed away, but lives on in this short story about the painting. You can read it here.

Read the short story