The Moon, the Sea, and a Party of Three

Oil Painter and semi-professional musician, John Pompeo, strives to paint a visual chord in each piece.

John Pompeo in the studio.

Living in the same small town as artist, John Pompeo, I've gotten to know him and his artwork well. I was interested to learn more about the relationship between his music and his art and how they influence each other. I was also struck by a story he shared about how his work helped a woman grieving the loss of her husband.

John Pompeo threads a 25 year music career and life as a professional artist to create a unique voice. Image used with permission.

Pompeo shares, "I've been a semi-professional musician for over 25 years. I feel that music finds its way into all of my work. I try to paint a visual "chord" in each piece, having a definite "key" and 3-4 harmonious "notes". I even approach my presentation [at outdoor art shows] as if I'm arranging songs on an album.

Pompeo is an oil painter primarily focusing on impressionist nature-scapes. The commonality in his subjects is a sense of serenity, and he finds the countryside surrounding his studio in Chester County, PA the perfect place for inspiration, sighting endless points of exploration in the woods, creeks, rolling hills and farmland.

In his words, "Each new painting starts with a walk, bike ride or drive. Eventually something makes me stop in my tracks as I enthusiastically try to capture a feeling with photos, sketches and sometimes a plein-air study. I consider these “notes” that I then take back to my studio to play with. My intention is always to produce pieces that inspire, awaken, and soothe, whether they are briefly being viewed in a gallery, or contributing to the harmonious energy of a client’s living room."

"Painting is part of a life-long search for peace. It’s why I paint, what I paint, and the energy I want to put out into the world. While so much is demanding our attention in our daily life I want to help create a calm space where my collectors can relax, read or drink a glass of wine."

When I asked John to share about a time his artwork made a difference for someone, what he said left me with goosebumps and a feeling of such gratitude that we, as artists, can help make people's lives better through our work.

"A few summers ago I was sitting at my booth at the Rehoboth Art Show. A woman approached a painting and was studying the texture and walking around to see it from different angles and distances. I gave her a few minutes to connect with it and made my way over to talk to her. “I’m fine thank you...just thinking”, she said. “No problem “, I said. She looked a little more and then walked away. “Hmmmm”, I thought...”maybe she’ll be back” About 20 minutes later I saw her looking at my booth from about 4-5 booths away, as if thinking about it. Then gone again. 10 minutes later I saw her again looking at it from an entire row away, then gone again. She didn’t come back."

"It was as if the painting was made through me for her. It came to me so quickly and clearly that I felt like I was simply the conduit."

"Three weeks later I got a call from her. She told me one of my paintings had been “haunting her thoughts” and she decided to treat herself. She went on to tell me that she recently lost her husband to illness and she just moved to Lewes to start a new job, along with her two daughters. She had no artwork in her new place and wanted something for over her couch in her main room. The painting was the perfect size and colors for that space...and most importantly, she saw the three figures on the beach as her and her two the sea, and the empty lifeguard chair representing her the moon watching over them. I was speechless. It was as if the painting was made through me for her. It came to me so quickly and clearly that I felt like I was simply the conduit. And the title that haunted her… “The Moon, The Sea, and a Party of Three”.

To learn more about John Pompeo, you can find him at:

You'll find John Pompeo in Space #90 at the Rittenhouse Square Fine Art Show this June 7-9, along with 142 other artists ready to inspire you.

Written by Teresa Haag

Marketing Director Rittenhouse Square Fine Art Association

& Cityscape Painter