Sunday, February 19, 2012

MURALS for a change of scenery!

Since my new website is under construction, and I have been asked about other things I have painted, I thought I'd show a series of murals. Beginning with restaurant murals. This is in George's Greek Cafe on the popular Second Street in Belmont Shore, Long Beach. Cali-- not New York.

Not only is the food absolutely delicious, the atmosphere is pretty tasty, too! Live music, dishes lit to the cheers of "opa!" and well, there is the fun wall decor to enhance your overall experience.

Here's a bit of language trivia:
opa! (ō`pä). interjection, opaa!, oopa!, oompa! are used in Turkish and Greek cultures to denote encouragement or approval, describe a jubilant time; or for us Americans can mean "let's party!" or "get down and dance!"

However you use it, "George's Greek Cafe" gives you a reason to say it.

As you enter the first dining room, the Athens scene greets you. The stone tablet resting on the fallen column appears as if carved by ancient artisans. It reads, "George's Greek Cafe, Est..."

You'll have to look at it for yourself to see the year the family restaurant was established. The walls further into the eatery contain framed articles describing the history of "George's" along with black & white family photos, giving a real sense of warmth and belonging. George treats everyone like family!

The wall across from the bar is as if you could walk right into a Santorini neighborhood, and discover it's brilliant blue and white buildings with their unique architectural details. I've never been to Greece, and Jimmy kept telling me, "More blue!" From what I understand, it really is that blue! If this is as close as I ever get to the real thing, every visit to George's helps me create a sense of seeing that glorious cerulean and cobalt blue. Sigh!

A wall map of Ancient Greece adorns the wall in the quiet back area, where diners can be seated for a more intimate (or romantic?) meal. The Island of Cyprus is accentuated. That is where George and Mama learned their authentic family recipies. Fortunately for those in the LBC/LA/OC and surrounding areas (and visitors), the family shares their culinary delights, each restaurant overseen by one of George's offspring.

Upstairs, the faux* finishing on the walls appear as aged plaster, and the trompe l'oeil** statues seem to be three-dimensional. The area can sometimes be used for private parties, as I did one year for my birthday.

When I was a child, with my first trip to Disneyland-- I saw the magic of what paint could do to completely change an environment. The magic of it all came alive in my mind's eye. Though I never got to work at Disneyland as one of their artists, it remains a fantasy on each subsequent visit!

Here's a little more language trivia for you:

* faux (French)
fō/adjective: artificial or imitation: "faux pearls," not real; fake or false: "the faux finish on that wall appears to have cracks in the plaster."

**trompe l'oeil (French)
1: a style of painting in which objects are depicted with photographically realistic detail; also: the use of similar technique in interior decorating 2: a trompe l'oeil painting or effect 3: something that misleads or deceives the senses : illusion

And what is illusion? MAGIC!!

Visit George's Greek Cafe at:

Tell 'em Karen Wall Garrison sent you!

Speaking of French... next blog will be about the murals at "La Creperie Cafe."

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