Wednesday, November 29, 2006


This week, I chose as my subject not an invention, but an inventor — the extraordinary Benjamin Franklin. In December, 1776, Franklin travelled to Paris as the America's first ambassador to France. There, he circulated amongst the French aristocracy, cementing an alliance which would eventually help America win the Revolutionary War. Franklin was a much loved figure in France, so much so that a portrait of him could be found gracing many a French home. Biographer Claude-Ann Lopez writes that Franklin "was temperamentally suited for France. The streak of irreverence that ran through his entire life found a congenial reception in Paris, as did his love of laughter and desire to amuse. He did not shock the French, nor did his interest in women, which was considered perfectly normal." (Thanks to PBS for the quote)

To better tie it all in with this week's topic, here is Wikipedia's list of things invented by Franklin:

-the lightning rod
-bifocal glasses
-the glass harmonica
-the Franklin Stove

He also founded the first public library and the first volunteer fire department in the U.S.

So, grade school history lesson aside, here he is enjoying some much deserved attention from a pair of adoring French ladies — a symbol of good international relations many of us could benefit to learn from today.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


The Illustration Friday topic this week is "smoke," so here are a couple of people smoking.

Great Art!

I work with elementary school age kids in an after school program, and one of my first graders produced this fantastic drawing. I can't quite put my finger on it, and I'm not sure what "Toese" is, but there is definitely something very appealing about this face. I think it reminds me of this artist:

Friday, November 03, 2006

Ghost Stories

Here's one for the Halloween season. Even ghosts like a good scary story from time to time.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Illustration Friday: Wind

This is my first entry for Illustration Friday. I thought I'd keep it simple. Let me know what you think!