Thursday, February 05, 2009

Paul Smith

He lived at Rose Haven Nursing Home (Roseburg, OR) for years. 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 and 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. (These pictures are unbelievable. Strange we should just now be hearing about him. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did.)Typewriter Art It is hard to believe that this art was created using a typewriter.


dee said...

What an extraordinary man. Thanks for the close-ups. Amazing work-Imagine what he could have done without this disability.

Renee said...

WOW... I can't believe these were done on a typewriter. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful story. Goes to show that where there is a will, there is a way.

I am going to pass these on to my daughter who is taking a painting class in college, and whose facebook status has been... "Ok it is official, I can't paint or draw"

Anonymous said...

Can you imagine how incredible he would have been had he been 'normal'? Ah normalcy, who's to say who or what is normal?

I live quite close (walk across the road distance) to a very large institution for people with Down Syndrome and other mental challenges.
You should see the Art show they put on every year!!!People go to the Open House day just to eat their delicious seasonal meals and snap up the paintings.