Paul Smith September 21, 1921 – June 25, 2007
Looking at the picture above you’d have to say it’s pretty good.
But when you hear it has been created on an old fashioned typewriter then you’ve got to be a bit awestruck! It doesn’t end there however as this art was actually created by an elderly man with severe cerebral palsy.
From his Oregan Nursing Home, Rose Haven, Paul Smith created many works of typewriter art and his skill is an inspiring demonstration of the human spirit to thrive and create, even when all the odds are stacked against us.
Watch this short youtube on Paul:
- Paul never went to school but it didn’t stop him from having a good life and an education.
- As well as his skill as an artist, he was an expert chess player due to his aptitude for visualization and calculation.
- He had a happy childhood which included boating trips to Bermuda and on the Delaware River.
- He lived with his parents in Hollywood, Florida until they passed away. In 1967 he moved to Rose Haven Nursing Center in Roseburg, Oregon, USA.
- He couldn’t press two keys at the same time, so he almost always locked the shift key down and made his pictures using the symbols at the top of the number keys. When typing, Paul used his left hand to steady his right one.
- His pictures were based on these characters … @ # $ % ^ & * ( ) _
- He developed techniques to create shadings, colors, and textures that made his work resemble pencil or charcoal drawings and gradually refined his use of perspective and colouring.
- Over the years, he created hundreds of pictures, often giving the originals away.
The original website on Paul Smith is now archived but this link should still take you there if you would like to read more about Paul and see more of his work.
It also includes some more video clips and a time lapse series of pictures showing how he builds his pictures.