“Thank You, Jon Gnagny”

January 22, 2011 | Posted in Essays and Articles | Tags:

Jon Gnagy

Jon Gnagy

middlebrow, February 2011

Growing up in the early 1960s I watched a Saturday morning television show called Learn to Draw hosted by a man named Jon Gnagy. He sported a neatly trimmed Van Dyke, exuded a comforting mix of calm and enthusiasm, and was artistic but not too artsy. Each show he taught us how to draw something new: a clown, a snow scene, or an ocean liner at dock. His hands flew as shapes and outlines turned magically into pictures. He lay the chalk on its side in order to achieve “effects” and talked continuously, identifying the light source and explaining the vanishing point.