Sunday, August 06, 2006

Learning to draw

Today while browsing at The Housing Works bookstore in Soho, (it was their monthly 30% off sale which I never miss) I came across this Jon Gnagy learn to Draw book which I promply bought. Although a much later version than the one I had as a kid from the early 50’s it included the same material as the original and when I looked through it at the store such a flood of memories came back that I had to sit down. When I was about 7 or 8 years old I would love watching Gnagy’s t.v. program which in those early days of television was only about 15 minutes long. In that short time period he would do a drawing and finish it off with a francy frame placed over the finished drawing. He would also push his Jon Gnagy drawing kits, and one day my mother brought me one. The kit included all sorts of wonderful drawing tools and materials that to me were as strange and mysterious as the stars ,the moon or the malted milk making machine in my father’s luncheonette. At this young age I tried very hard to follow Mr. Gnagy’s instructions but they were way beyond me so naturally the drawings never looked like the ones in the book or the ones he made on t.v. but they were mine and I loved them. My brother Phil who was 13 years older than me did much better in copying the examples that filled the book. My favorite one was of the Mexican boy with the chubby cheeks. To me Gnagy with his plaid shirt slightly opened at the neck, his slicked down coal black hair and his well trimed goatee and mustache was what an artist should look like and even at that young age I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. .


Blogger Alex Gildzen said...

haven't thot abt Gnagy in years. I too used to watch his show & found him rather attractive. & I purchasd the whole kit. I remember the texture of the paper & the feel of the pencils & the softness of the erasers.

9:41 PM  

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