John Van Pelt

Art that Communicates and Surprises



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ceiling overview

Hanover, PA

Every aspect of this 450 sq. ft. ceiling mural was personalized for the owners. This view shows the false skylight which seems to be raised above the true plane of the ceiling.

ceiling orrery view

Alternate angle of Hanover ceiling

A fantasy orrery "hangs" in the bay window area. Seven detail images follow, or see the complete album on flickr.

dragon skeleton

Ceiling dragon

Many special details reflect the owner's interests. Here, crypto-science blends with fantasy.

moon phase


The ceiling has multiple astronomy references. Here, it looks as if a paper print has been glued into a panel, and torn away a bit. The print, molding, and torn edge are all simulated on the flat ceiling.

Greek gryphon bowl


A Greek platter looks as if it has been repaired.

orrery closeup

Fantasy orrery closeup

The brass globes are rendered with the appropriate reflections of the room and windows below.

voyager spacecraft

Voyager craft and plaque



Any room would look great with this kind of antique treatment, for any of the signs of the Zodiac -- or myths, legends, fairy tales, Middle Earth, explorers' maps.... Let your imagination run!

books and fantasy globe

Books and globe

blue willow plate

Blue willow plate stool

blue willow plate

Personalized 'cabinet of wonders'

Acrylic on a flat wood panel, this is designed to look like a partially opened cabinet filled with meaningful mementoes of the client, who is a music, chess, and gardening enthusiast.

blue willow plate

Painted sled

blue willow plate

Outdoor mural of a sundial

Embellished with a Latin quotation, this sundial looks right only from this angle, and always records the time as just past two.

dresser before and after

Dresser before and after

A client had an old dresser from a yard sale. We dressed it up for a laundry room, with a nice paint finish and decorative elements to match her decor.

faux fabric closeup

Dresser closeup

A bit of fabric seems to poke out of one of the drawers.

faux book panels

"Reader's" chest - side panels

Another client was a huge book lover. This chest became a showpiece in their home library.

faux book on chest top

"Reader's" chest - top

Did someone leave their glasses out?

decorative fireplace screen

Fireplace screen

This customer loved the American primitive style of still-life -- I made an exact copy in acrylic.

painted ship on chest

Whaler on blanket chest

Another reproduction: this one a faithful copy in acrylic of a famous whaler painting, executed on the top of an antique blanket chest.