Sunday, September 03, 2006

The First American

This is one of my all time heroes Ben Franklin. I'm from Pennsylvania, and growing up close to Philadelphia, all us kids would be told how great Ben Franklin was, but I didn't really believe it until much later.

I think it was something like 3rd grade we all went on a field trip the "city of brotherly love" and went to visit all the sites: the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and Betsy Ross's house. Then when we thought the day was over, the teacher walked us up to a fence and showed us a slab of concrete on the ground. She told us it was Ben Franklin's grave! That's when I knew he was a real person! We threw pennies on the grave and moved on, but Ben stuck with me...

Later in school we were told more about Mr. Franklin. He would schedule out every second of every day to be as efficient as he could including baths, time with his wife, and prayer. I vowed to do that very thing... Years later, I don't schedule out every second, but as my friends can attest, I get close!

Last year PBS aired a really cool documentary all about him and it rejuvenated my interest in Mr. Franklin. He invented a whole bunch of cool stuff just from tinkering around his house, and having a curious mind. He was a scholar, printer, diplomat, writer, and revolutionary.

He was called "The First American" because up to that point in history, everyone living in the colonies were thought of as citizens of England. He was born in America and got a lot of world recognition for his inventions, discoveries, and diplomacy. So he might not have technically been the very first american, but he the world regocognized him as such...

2006 his 300th birthday and I needed to do something to celebrate the guy...

The next two paintings are based on his inventions...



Blogger squarehe said...

hey gabe, awesome work. i remember you telling me about your ideas for these paintings so it's cool to see them realized.

1:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's Franklin in a prim and proper pose - peachy painting!

He was an American printer, author, diplomat, philosopher, and scientist. He's one of the only non-presidents on paper bills. Plus, I have him to thank for my bifocals.

Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.

7:23 AM  
Blogger Lamar The Revenger said...

Very nice. You got his style down perfect. you forgot he was a ladies man.

7:36 AM  
Blogger WIL BRANCA said...

He's okay...

3:55 PM  
Blogger Mukpuddy said...

Great job dude, man your paintings are very very cool!!

5:46 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Nice work - First time visit to your blog. Love seeing the process here. Awesomeness.

10:14 PM  
Blogger Franfou said...

Gabe, thats great !!! you got style, you got simplicity and technic, thats awesooome !

By the way my illustrations style is now a little bit influenced by japanese style, thats fun to experiment. Feel free to visit my blog and leave a comment ! bye !!!

5:24 AM  
Blogger irisz said...

i really like your works, nice style!

7:35 AM  
Blogger Enzo Avolio said...

A friend of mine (who is a Canadian-like me) told me about the PBS documentary and about how BF was very instrumental in American history.

By the way...I love your work- very inspiring!
ALways brings a smile.
I hope you don't mind me linking you.

All the best.

8:16 AM  
Blogger Sunny Day said...

i heard he was a nudist. you should paint one of the grand old man in the buff.

maybe cover his junk with a modern 100 dollar bill with his face on it. man, that would be some weird, crazy stuff. an actual franklin covering his own "franklin."

not only would you stir some wild controversy, you could get people to start using the new slang word "franklin."


8:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent job SON!
You nailed him!
That was a fun trip to philly,
even I learned new stuff about Ben.

11:40 AM  
Blogger mr.ed said...

nice work

9:48 AM  
Blogger geenpool said...

This is great!! I've liked ben ever since i saw a slide version of "Ben and Me" in which the mouse invents everything...i just thought he looked really cool...he had so much character to his face and gut. excellent painting.

5:20 PM  
Blogger Laura A. Dalesandro said...

Great work from a person who is also from PA. I grew up in the Radnor area...but somehow made my way to beautiful Van Nuys, CA! YAY!

Again, nice painting!

9:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dam your shapes are tooooo good

10:23 AM  
Blogger Alden V said...

that's a really great painting

6:29 PM  
Blogger Andy J Smith illustration said...

Rock on! I think the 'aged' look you gave it, including the texyural treatment really aids the piece! Very very cool! It's my new desktop image!

7:21 AM  
Blogger brian smith said...

nice work, Gabe.

7:00 AM  
Blogger :: smo :: said...

Wow! that's great Gabe! I've always had a special place in my heart for Mr. Franlin, and I do love philly! Isn't Ben considered the first cartoonist as well, with his "join or die" snake? I'm sure he'd be proud!

10:41 PM  
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