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Meet Brooklyn Glass-Painter Ron Nesbitt

Discover vibrant glass paintings at this Brooklyn sidewalk studio

As the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention. Brooklyn-based artist Ronald “R.C.” Nesbitt paints on the unique surface of glass. Why? Because, he says, “I ran out of canvas.” Nesbitt uses glass surfaces that he finds or people give him, like old window panes and coffee-table tops. He paints on both sides of the glass, which adds a richness and depth to each piece. From certain angles, his paintings almost appear multi-dimensional.

Nesbitt was born in Queens, but he has been painting in Brooklyn for nearly 20 years. His studio? The sidewalk of Vanderbilt Avenue, in Prospect Heights, where he sets up his easel and oil paints and settles into an office swivel chair to do his work. Nesbitt’s themes range widely, but are often rooted in his beloved Brooklyn, including street scenes populated by the quintessential stoops.

Nesbitt’s other painting passions include history and wartime, as well as baseball, and he’s painted everything from historic Ebbets Field, once home of the Brooklyn Dodgers, to the old Yankee stadium. Nesbitt also paints on commission, and you’ll often see charming portraits of locals propped up around him.

In this New York Moment, Nesbitt invites us into his artistic world, and shares his musings on art — “In paintings, I stand for the truth” — and why he’d never leave this corner of the world. “I love New York, especially Brooklyn,” he says with a big smile.


Our New York Moment series is a film journey that explores the unexpected moments that add up to the world’s greatest city. From the first man to illustrate a New Yorker magazine cover on an iPad to a musician who turns Times Square into his stage every day, see what makes the city tick through the eyes of the fascinating folks who live here. Click to see more.

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