The visual impact of modern civilization onto the landscape has grown exponentially since the development of the railroads and factories of 1880s France. As John Paul Marcelo painted around in the urban decay of Chicago streets, he could only imagine the opposite realm of natural grandeur in far away lands. As a recent college graduate who studied graphic design and advertising, it was a sudden choice to reject modern technological mediums, paint exclusively en plein air, and migrate to the majestic California coastline. Residing in the Bay Area for eight years, he has also blended social and environmental awareness into his work. Although very content with painting existing idyllic scenes like Big Sur and Marin, past expeditions have brought him to places like post Katrina New Orleans and Cabrini Green housing projects. While traveling with Dreamtime Circus, he painted all over India, including the Union Carbide factory in Bhopal. Some influences include Claude Monet, James Nachtwey, and Ai Wei Wei.

He is independently represented, and can often be found painting on the scenic streets of San Francisco and the East Bay.