This story was first published on December 23rd, 2010
Message with a series of attached pictures claims that the pictures were created on a typewriter by the artist Paul Smith.
The claims in the message are true. As stated in the email, American artist Paul Smith created all of his artwork using a typewriter. He passed away in June 2007.
Subject: Amazing Typewriter/WOW!
He lived at Rose Haven Nursing Home, Roseburg, OR, for years.
This is incredible–especially when you finally get to the bottom and read the biography of the man who painstakingly accomplished these works!
These pictures are unbelievable and amazing. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did.
Typewriter Art Can you believe that this art was created using a typewriter?
Paul Smith, the man with extraordinary talent was born in Philadelphia on September 21, 1921 with severe cerebral palsy. Not only had Paul beaten the odds of a life with spastic cerebral palsy, a disability that impeded his speech & mobility but also taught himself to become a master artist as well as a terrific chess player even after being devoid of a formal education as a child.
When typing, Paul used his left hand to steady his right one.. Since he couldn’t press two keys at the same time, he almost always locked the shift key down and made his pictures using the symbols at the top of the number keys. In other words, his pictures were based on these characters ….. @ # $ % ^ & * ( ) _ .
Across seven decades, Paul created hundreds of pictures. He often gave the originals away. Sometimes, but not always, he kept or received a copy for his own records.
As his mastery of the typewriter grew, he developed techniques to create shadings, colors, and textures that made his work resemble pencil or charcoal drawings.” This great man passed away on June 25, 2007, but left behind a collection of his amazing artwork that will be an inspiration for many.
Editor’s note: The message generally circulates with many other examples of Paul Smith’s work, which have been omitted from this example. You can view these pictures and more via the artist’s website
This email forward, which features the work of artist Paul Smith, explains that all of the pictures were created using just a typewriter.
The claims in the email are true. The extraordinary art of Paul Smith was indeed created on a typewriter and is now known all around the world. This inspirational man, who did not allow cerebral palsy to stop him from living a remarkable life, was an accomplished chess player as well as an artist.
Paul was born in Philadelphia on September 21, 1921. He died on June 25, 2007 while a resident of the Rose Haven Nursing Center in Roseburg, Oregon.
More details about the artist, along with galleries of his work, are available on the Paul Smith Foundation website. The website, now archived via the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, notes:
Across seven decades, Paul created hundreds of pictures. He often gave the originals away. Sometimes, but not always, he kept or received a copy for his own records. Be sure to visit the gallery at this site to see images of his pictures in detail.
As his mastery of the typewriter grew, he developed techniques to create shadings, colors, and textures that made his work resemble pencil or charcoal drawings.
It’s interesting to see how he gradually refined his use of perspective and coloring, and how his subject matter reflected the events and personalities of the times.
An article on the Chessville website also provides an interesting insight into the artist’s life.