Michael Dickson

Michael Ligon Dickson

Michael is an artist, architect, designer and illustrator.

As an architect, Dickson is a former senior principal and director of design of one of New Mexico's largest and oldest architectural firms.

As an artist, Michael loves all painting and drawing media. He consequently works in a broad variety of styles from realism to abstract.

Michael first met Chef Eddie Adams in the 1980s when Eddie hired Mike's architectural firm to design the Vieux Carre Restaurant. Since then, they have worked together on a number of different projects. As inspiration for the design of the Vieux Carre, they traveled to New Orleans to visit all the great restaurants and places that have influenced Chef Eddie's life and cuisine.

The Nawlins Mardi Gras Cafe music, interior design and paintings were specifically selected and designed to make customers feel like they have been transported to the French Quarter of New Orleans.

Michael enjoys doing commissioned art (original paintings requested by customers). He can work in most painting and drawing media and loves a wide range of subjects from abstracts to portraits to landscapes. He can also design paintings to fit most budgets. For inquiries contact him by email at: todo123@comcast.net. All of the Nawlins Mardi Gras Cafe design and paintings were created specifically for the Cafe and every piece has its story


Exterior Building Color

The muddy green color of the building exterior symbolizes the hue of the “Mighty Mississippi as it flows along the banks of the French Quarter. This river is the "mother" of this beautiful city. Without her, New Orleans would not have become the great city that it is today.

Interior Wall Colors

Green, gold and purple are the official Mardi Gras colors. Green is symbolic of faith. Gold is power. Purple represents Justice. The official colors are a little raw for use in a small interior space. Accordingly, our color pallet has been tempered to create a more relaxing and enjoyable environment for our customers. The checker tablecloths are homage to the well-known Acme Oyster House in New Orleans.

Fine Art Watercolor Giclees for Sale!

Prints from the following original paintings may be purchased here.  All prints are on Decor Textured Fine Art Paper; A bright white, water-resistant textured matte paper made from the highest quality acid free and lignin free alpha cellulose (wood fibers).  Decor textured paper is positioned as a high quality, lower cost alternative to100% cotton rag fine art papers.  Contains optical brighteners.  Light fastness rating of 70 years.  Decor Textured is a 300 gsm cold press paper.

10" x 10" fine art print- $45* each
11" x14" fine art print- $60* each

*Plus NMGRT and shipping.
Please allow 2 weeks for printing and shipping.

The Jester

10" x 10"

This 4' x 4' original painting was done using a mixed-media technique; roughly 90% pastel chalk and 10% acrylic. Normally, pastel chalk is a brilliant, but fragile media that is has been resigned to small scale drawings that can be protected with glass. Accordingly, it is seldom used on large scale works because it typically loses its brilliance when it is sprayed with fixative. Over the last year, Michael has experimented with pastels on large scale paintings and developed a proprietary process that allows the pastels to be fixed and protected.

The subject of “The Jester” painting is inspired by the Mardi Gras floats created by Blaine Kern, “Mr. Mardi Gras”. The painting is intended to pay homage to Mr. Kern. Blaine Kern hired Eddie when he was a young kid growing up in New Orleans. In addition to teaching Eddie how to build floats, Blaine became one of Eddie’s early supporters and helped him get his first career break with restaurateur, Ella Brennen.

Cafe Du Monde

14"x11" Horizontal

Print from watercolor. This painting depicts a picturesque fountain that no longer exists.


14"x11" Horizontal

Print from watercolor. The Vieux Carre has a wealth of beautiful and secluded courtyards. Courtyards are a lush, verdant and “cool” way to escape the hot summers and escape from the bustling city.

NOLA Rainbow

10" x 10"

This 4' x 4' original acrylic painting is inspired by the colorful city of New Orleans. The colors used in this painting are symbolic of the people places and things that make the city a vibrant force; from the traditional gold, green and purple to the black of night, the white walls of the St. Louis Cathedral and even to the red lipstick of the hoochie-coochie girls that dance inside open air bars on Bourbon Street. The violent diagonal slashes of color are symbolic of Hurricane Katrina and NOLA resilient spirit which helped them to rise from ruin a stronger and greater city.

Canal Street Car

14"x11" Horizontal

Print from watercolor. Canal forms the upriver boundary of the French Quarter and acts as a dividing line between the old French/Spanish part of the city and the newer modern part of the business district. The streetcars started operations there in 1861.

Houmas Plantation

14"x11" Horizontal

Print from watercolor. This estate is known as the Crown Jewel of Louisiana's River Road.  The first owner of this land was the Houmas Indians. They sold it to Maurice Conway and Alexander Latril in the mid-1700s. The main structure or Sugar Palace as it is known was not started until 1810 by General Wade Hampton. However, the house really took its present shape in 1825 under the watchful eye of Hampton's daughter, Caroline and her husband Col. John Preston.

Mardi Gras in Your Mouth

10" x 10"

This 4' x 4' expressionist abstract acrylic painting was done to symbolize the explosion of flavors that is a big part of Cajun and Creole food.

Houmas Lilly Pads

14"x11" Horizontal

Print from watercolor. This plantation is rich with landscaped gardens. This pond reminded me of Monet’s famous paintings.

Houmas Wrought Iron

14"x11" Horizontal

Print from watercolor. The estate has a series of beautiful iron fences like this one.


14"x11" Horizontal

Print from watercolor. Tugboats have been the workhorse of our American waterways for the last 200 years. This particular tug was seen on the river at the edge near the French Quarter.

Island Hut 1


Print from oil pastel sketch of a fanciful island getaway.

Island Hut 2


Print from oil pastel sketch of another fanciful island retreat.



Print from oil pastel sketch of a tropical fantasy.



Print from 4' x 4' acrylic painting
of two chickens.



Print from 4' x 4' acrylic painting showing the remarkable color and beauty of a baboon's face.

Cattail Memories


Print from 4' x 4' acrylic painting
of wild cattails at the edge of
a small lake.

Mother Teresa


Print from 4' x 4' chalk pastel painting of Mother Teresa.



Print from 4' x 4' chalk pastel painting of Albert Einstein. 

These are from my personal hero series that pays tribute to people I admire.

Country Store

14"x11" Horizontal

Print from watercolor painting inside the Hillsboro General Store.

Lady Biker

14"x11" Horizontal

Print from 1976 marker sketch that I did for a couple of our friends.

Lincoln Justice

14"x11" Horizontal

Print from watercolor of the Courtroom at the Lincoln County Courthouse in New Mexico where they jailed Billy the Kid.

Mother Road Memories

14"x11" Horizontal

Print from oil pastel drawing of an old jalopy in Madrid, NM.


14"x11" Horizontal

Print from watercolor. Treme is one of the historic neighborhoods of New Orleans. It was featured in the TV show Treme which portrayed the struggles of the residents following Hurricane Katrina.

NOLA Crypts

14"x11" Horizontal

Print from watercolor. Due to a dangerously shallow water table, it is almost impossible to dig a grave in New Orleans. Consequently, above-ground family crypts became the solution for an eternal resting place. These places are as beautiful as they are disturbing.

Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop

14"x11" Horizontal

Print from watercolor of the Vieux Carre building owned by the famous privateer Jean Lafitte.

Air Waves

11"x14" Vertical

Print from Oil Pastel abstract.

Billie Holiday

11"x14" Vertical

Print from a sketch of one of the great jazz singers.

Hey Mr. Conductor

11"x14" Vertical

Print from watercolor. The Cumbres Toltec Train Conductor.

Pretty in Pink

11"x14" Vertical

Print from mixed media drawing of possible character for a
children's book.

Cafe Beignet on Royal

11"x14" Vertical

Print from watercolor of the cafe by the same name located at 311 Bourbon St. or 334 Royal Street. The location on Bourbon St. is a great place have coffee and listen to live Jazz outdoors.

Cafe Du Monde at Night

11"x14" Vertical

Print from watercolor. Located at 800 Decatur Street, this is an essential stop for anyone visiting New Orleans.

Acme Oyster

11"x14" Vertical

This is a print from watercolor painting of the famous Acme Oyster House located on Iberville St. in
New Orleans.

Marie Leveau's House of Voodoo

11"x14" Vertical

Print from watercolor. Located at 7389 Bourbon St. This shop is a place people can learn more about
Marie Leveau, the Voodoo Queen,
her spells and potions.

House with Green Shutters

11"x14" Vertical

Print from watercolor. Colorful shutters have become one of the key architectural elements in the French Quarter buildings.

Houmas Frieze

11"x14" Vertical

Print from watercolor. This antebellum home has many ornate architectural details.

Feather Masks

11"x14" Vertical

Print from watercolor. Masks on display in a French Quarter Market.

Uneeda Bisquit

11"x14" Vertical

Print from a mixed media sketch. I first saw this building when Chef Eddie & I toured the French Quarter in the 1980's.

Old Absinthe House

11"x14" Vertical

Print from watercolor.  This building, located in the heart of the French Quarter was built in 1806 to house an import business. In 1815 the first floor was converted into a saloon which was later named the Absinthe Room.  It is a building with a rich history that was frequented by many famous people from Mark Twain to President Franklin Roosevelt.

Painted Lady

11"x14" Vertical

Print from watercolor. Many of these Victorian style homes are scattered through the French Quarter. They feature ornate bracket, shutter, window and door details.

Hands of a King

11"x14" Vertical

Print from a small quick sketch of B.B. King and his guitar, Lucille.