Virtual Iceland – Cafe with a View

Iceland, the land of ice and fire, of volcanoes and glaciers, fjords and lakes, hot baths and boiling mud pools. The land of four seasons in one day, where the sun, the wind and the clouds continuously provide a spectacular light show. The land where nature is the boss and where you are sometimes get stuck for a day because a ford is not so fordable for a while. The land on the edge of the world; and perhaps the most beautiful place on the entire planet.

I was in Iceland in the summers of 2005 and 2008, the winters of 2012 and 2019 and the spring of 2022. A more or less three-year frequency, with a noticeable hiatus around 2015.

Parts of four digital painting about Icelandic nature and culture, framed on a blue wall
Iceland framed

Impression Art

In 2015 I did make an interior impression of an imaginary Icelandic café, though. I make those kinds of pictures mainly for the sake of learning. Visualizations of interiors are one of the biggest challenges for an impression artist. The lighting, with both daylight and various artificial light sources, is usually much more complicated than with outdoor images. And there are more details that require attention. For example, look at the candles on the table, the glasses of beer on the bar and the reflection in the lamps.

Artist impression of a fictional Icelandic cafe
Iceland art in a fictional cafe

Icelandic impressions

Another reason to make this picture: I was looking for a place to exhibit some canvases from The Iceland collection. That’s a series of “paintifications” I made based on photos from one of the first three trips. Digital paintings that celebrate the beauty and diversity of the island.

The Iceland Collection
The impressions of 2005, 2008 and 2012


Those paintifications were born out of necessity. The cameras I carried with me on my early Icelandic travels were somewhat primitive by today’s standards. They were first generation digital cameras from the Canon IXUS series. But despite the low resolution, the photos were perfect for editing into picturesque impressions.

Impressions of Iceland
The impressions of 2019


The collection includes tourist attractions like the Hallgrímskirkja in Reykjavik, the ice lake Jökulsárlón and the waterfall Dettifoss. But also with some more mundane scenes like a local football match in the village of Djúpivogur, a snow shower in the harbour of Keflavik and the geothermal pipes near the “mosquito lake” of Myvatn.

Local materials

I have used typical Icelandic materials in this café: wood, concrete, corrugated iron. The tables have the colors of the Icelandic flag. Large windows provide a beautiful view of the snowy landscape, while hot water pumped up from hot springs ensures that it is comfortable inside. And one wall is completely devoted to the collection. It looks great, if I may say so myself…

New Icelandic impressions - Nieuwe IJslandse impressies - Nýjar Islenskar teikningarn
The impressions of 2022


On later trips I did bring a decent camera: my seemingly indestructible Nikon D5100. Yet I also edited many photos from those trips into paintifications. Often the landscapes and towns come into their own better in such a somewhat stylized form.

Living room with backpacks, camera and hiking boots and on the wall a framed painting of a snowy landscape in Iceland with a stream and a volcano
Somewhat stylized…


Of course I could have made a new rendering of the café and put those new impressions on the wall. But instead I looked for a new virtual location to exhibit the works digitally. And that turned out to a beautiful spacious lodge with a fantastic view of Lake Myvatn.

Triangular lodge with wooden floor and walls and a glass front facade with a stunning view of lake Myvatn in Iceland
View of lake Myvatn


It would also be a nice place to work, inspiring and peaceful. I’d love to be there as artist in residence for a few months. A perfect place to make even more paintifications, or to finally write that novel. Anyway, let me first think about the next trip to Iceland. In the meantime all the pieces in the Iceland collection can be admired below.

Digital painting of a mudflat hiker on a beach in Borganes, Iceland in a classic wooden frame
The mudflat hiker in Borgarnes

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1 Response

  1. says:

    Iceland is a unique country that struck me with its harsh and incredible beauty because nowhere else in the world will you see such beautiful landscapes.

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