Here, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, large windows provide the perfect natural light while the streetscape below offers a treasure trove of inspiration.
There are iconic buildings, to be sure. But there also are personal discoveries — an arch of a bridge, the sleekness of a column of steel, the tautness of a cable.
Eric Ryan Jones might live in New York. But his talent takes up residence at the intersection of art and architecture.
While other painters interpret beauty in the form of a rose or a cloud-filled sky, Jones finds aesthetics in a high-rise, a doorway or a subway station.
It's his eye for architectural detail that has helped the former Hagerstown resident become an emerging artist.
"Sometimes, you need to step back and look at the things you see every day to have a new appreciation for them," Jones said. "My art is just that — an appreciation and an acknowledgment of beauty, no matter what the subject."
An alumni of St. Maria Goretti High School, Jones has come a long way from the kid who liked to doodle — "no matter what the topic or subject."
He recently was selected as one of 15 artists to display his work at a prestigious New York show "RAW: Natural Born Artists Activate Installation" at M1-5, a hip lounge in New York's trendy Tribeca. The event was one night only.
The mission of RAW, an independent art organization, is to provide artists of all creative genres — visual art, film, fashion, music and performance — with the tools, resources and exposure needed to cultivate their craft.
Jones was hand-picked from more than 500 submissions.
The show spotlighted six pieces from Jones' most recent architectural series, including the Brooklyn Bridge, the Gothic Bridge in Central Park and the Empire State Building.
Jones, who specializes in charcoal drawing and oil painting, said his selection to the RAW show "was totally unexpected, being that it was my first real, mass audience posting of my work."
Up to this point, he noted, he had been successful with private viewings.
"But I have kept it just that — private," he said. "So when I decided to enter my work into RAW, I didn't have any expectations whatsoever. Being chosen as one of the 15 spots was a shocking and incredibly exciting experience."
His inclusion in the show, Jones admitted, opens many doors of artistic opportunity.
"Placing my work in front of a large audience was rewarding on multiple levels," he said. "I guess the only real desire for an artist — beyond creating his work — is offering those around him enjoyment and pleasure from his work. RAW allowed me to do this on a very large scale. With over 500 attendees, who ranged from an eclectic group of avid collectors and gallery owners to curators and New York City influencers, this was far from the one-on-one showings I have become familiar with."
And the feedback he received from strangers, he added, "was exhilarating. I was incredibly humbled when a national television personality and his wife showed a great interest in my work."
Jones said he doesn't remember a time when art wasn't a part of his life.