By John Jude Palencar
A couple of weeks ago Dan Dos Santos posted an entry about his early childhood art hero, “Captain Bob”. There were also other early Saturday morning art instructors. The guy that started me on my way was Jon Gnagy. My Grandmother purchased the deluxe art set for me when I was around six years old ... I think it is now called the “Gnagy Master Art Set”. Mr. Gnagy’s art program and art kits became a fixture in our home and were used until I was 11 years old. Further study was done through yet another art instruction program on PBS with a Japanese Sumi Brush Master. I had my first one person exhibit of Sumi watercolors on the bulletin board in my fourth grade class. The following year my work was chosen for the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s (Newspaper) student art exhibit. Seventeen years after that I was illustrating the covers for the Plain Dealer's Sunday Magazine.
While simple in their presentation, Mr. Gnagy’s demonstrations were pivotal in letting me see the world through an artist’s eye. I still have his instructional art books in my collection. Just like the late night horror movie hosts, I will always have fond memories Mr. Gnagy’s “Learn to Draw” television program. His daughter, Polly Nagy Seymor maintains a web site dedicated to her father.
And... "yes" his art kits are still available!
Thank you again Mr. Gnagy.
Here are a few links:
Wiki link: Here
Jon Gnagy page: Here (Includes a number of You Tube vids)
Jon Gnagy Bio: Here
Jon Gnagy Art Kits: Here