John Nesta was a native of New England. He studied painting and fine art at the Vesper George School of Art in Boston.
Since 1968, Mr. Nesta has maintained his own gallery starting in Revere and moving on to Salem and being a co-founder of the Salem Art Association.
Mr. Nesta, a Revere native who opened a gallery in Salem before moving to Rocky Neck in the 1970s, painted in plein air in all seasons. In winter, he tooled around in a minivan bearing the name “Studio on Wheels.” In summer, he navigated Gloucester Harbor in an antique boat he had restored.
Since then, the lure of the Cape Ann light has held him captive of Gloucester where he has remained working in the oldest art colony in the United States, the Rocky Neck Art Colony.
“I always loved painting and always painted, I guess from the day I could hold a brush,” Mr. Nesta told the Boston Globe in 1995. “It was second nature. But I kept it private because none of my friends painted. So most of the time I’d just go along with them and play sports.”