Friday, January 2, 2009

WHAT AN INSPIRATION!


I received this in an email, so I assume I'm not violating any copyright laws. Maybe you've already seen the work of Paul Smith, but I had not. When I received the email, I thought it probably wasn't factual. Then, my good friend, Glenda found this website , and I was able to verify the validity of this email. Glenda suggested that I do a post about this amazing man. Great idea Glenda! I do want to share the story of this remarkable and inspiring man.


Paul Smith was born in Philadelphia on September 21, 1921. Although severe cerebral palsy kept him out of school, it didn't prevent him from having a remarkable life.




Never having a chance as a child to receive a formal education, Paul taught himself to become a master artist as well as a terrific chess player.
According to the website, with much humility and a charming, self-depreciating sense of humor, he became a man who excelled at making the lives of those around him much richer.



Can you read the signature on these pictures? Amazingly, it reads "Typed by Paul Smith".



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 ...
@ # $ % ^ & * ( ) _



Yes, you read that right. These pictures were created on a typewriter, using the symbol keys! Across seven decades, Paul created hundreds of pictures. Just look at the details--and to think he didn't have full use of his hands/fingers!


He often gave the originals away. Sometimes, but not always, he kept or received a copy for his own records.
If you want to see details of his images, you can visit the gallery at his site .


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. On the website, you can see the development of his pictures from the beginning through the end. This picture of a brick house is one of his earlier works.


Paul died on June 25, 2007. He remains an inspiration. If he was able to accomplish this, how can I possibly say that I can't accomplish anything (even though these days, I tend to run all over the place, not even able to remember what I was trying to accomplish!)? Thanks so much for visiting me. laurie

58 comments:

Susan S. said...

Hi there...here I am surfing the blogs on a Friday night...isn't my life just TOO EXCITING...LOL! Those pictures are amazing and I'm going to read up Paul some more...that's incredible! Thanks for sharing something cool like this. Hope you new year is off to a good start.

Anonymous said...

Laurie this is incredible. I am so glad you brought this amazing man to our attention. Can you imagine? What a gift, such determination, such a calling, only through God can such things happen. Hope you have a great weekend. Love ya, Cindy

Coloradolady said...

This is amazing. I really makes me feel bad for not getting anythig done around here and I have not excuse.

Very nice post. Have a great weeekend.

BittersweetPunkin said...

Wow..that truly is amazing! I am going to go read more about him...I have never seen art like that before!

Blessings,'
Robin

Terrie's Lil' Piece of Serenity said...

Thanks for sharing this. The man is amazing!! Hugs, Terrie

Happy To Be said...

This is just amazing Laurie and thank you Glenda for shraring..I need to read up on this man as I just love art..hope you have a safe and blessed year to come Laurie...hugs and smiles Gloria

Mary Ellen (megardengal) said...

What a remarkable person! Thank you Laurie for sharing Paul's story and incredible pictures by him!!
I wish I had a smidgen of the tenacity and determination he had!

Blessings
mary

imjacobsmom said...

Amazing! The talent of some people! I would have never guessed these prints were made from a typewriter! Thanks for sharing. ~ Robyn

Linda/ "Mom..." said...

I am so glad you shared this, Laurie~~~ I believe he was the epitome of the word "inspirational", just as was Helen Keller, who died in 1968. How wonderful it would be to hear more stories about people with THIS man's true grit & determination, than what one USUALLY hears or reads about! THANK YOU for making me stop and really "think" for a moment~~~ it truly DOES give one pause... Warmest wishes, Linda

Glenda said...

Gloria, the sharing was entirely due to Laurie's generosity. When she made me aware of this gentleman, I only suggested that it might make a very interesting post.
Laurie, I am so glad you did elect to share this remarkable man and his unbelievable achievements. God blessed him and he in turn blessed us with his wonderful art.

artis1111 said...

I had heard of him a couple of years ago. When art is in you it has to come out and he was wonderful at doing this on a typewriter.There are inspireations all around us if we just take the time to look. Gerat job with the story. Kathy

Dawnie said...

that is simply mind blowing. Makes me feel as if i should NEVER complain again. Isnt it amazing how some with so little developed such skills and those of us with all our faculties whine about how we cant do....just amazing.

mbkatc230 said...

This is incredible. Makes you feel silly for complaining about little things doesn't it? Thanks for sharing this. When you get a chance, stop by my blog and pick up your award! Kathy

Smilingsal said...

What a great talent! Thanks for sharing.

Chris said...

What an incedible story, I had to go back and reread it. How in the world did he accomplish such a task. Amazing.

Hugs,
Chris

Stacey said...

That is absolutely amazing!!

I've seen people create art using only their mouth because they don't have hand control...it's just incredible what an inspiration some people are.

LillyB said...

This was incredible. And here I sit able bodied and don't seem to accomplish 1/100th of my own capabilities. shame on me, Thank you for showing me this!
xoxo

Tomarie said...

Wow! What an education...and what an inspiring man! It's rather unbelievable that he was able to do it all through a typewriter...just shows what one will do with such limited resources..and how that inspires others!
Thanks for sharing!

Lady Katherine said...

I loved this article, you have done great, his life and pictures are a true work of art and determination. Thank you for sharing PaulSmith amazing story. I wish I could paint as an artist, but I am proud I can just do a little. When I made my cabinet, everyone was trying to get me to have an artist paint it. I could not find the one I wanted. So I gave it a try, Its not what a real artist could paint, but it works for me. lol

salmagundi said...

Thanks for sharing this amazing talent and man! Can you imagine doing that? Just incredible. Sally

ceekay said...

wow...that is amazing! I had never heard of him unfortunately. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

Connie said...
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Connie said...
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Connie said...

These pictures are just amazing. I am so glad I came upon this blog. it shows that anything is possible if your heart and soul are in your work.

This is the best blog I have read in ages.

The Muse said...

hello to you my friend~ooo a post to think on...~can you imagine~ really? wow!ok...there is nothing we cannot do...!

Helen said...

What an amazing and inspirational story ... thank you so much.

Melissa Miller said...

What an amazing man. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.
Hope you 09' is going great so far!

Rick said...

Those are pretty amazing. Hello Laurie,

Please forgive me for being so bold, but I am doing a bit of blog surfing to invite people to sign up for my annual giveaway. This isn't some sort of gimmick. I am celebrating two years of blogging and this is my way of doing it. I am giving away a free caricature drawn by me. I'd be honored if you came over and checked it out.

ann said...

Oh laurie this was so fascinating.I'm so glad you received that e-mail.What an inspiration to all...Ann

Diane said...

Great post Laurie! What an amazing man. Thank you for sharing this with us. ♥ Diane

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Hey, Laurie, I hope if you do end up getting the Bissell like mine that you'll love it as much as I do. And please go and search online and read some of the reviews before you commit. I was glad to find those after I bought mine, so I thought it would be a good one & so far I really love it. A new vac. cleaner takes a bit of getting used to. This one is heavier than my old one, but I think it sucks better too. Anyway, go read about it and see what you think before you buy. I was really happy with the price I got it for at Tues. AM. They might possibly have some left if you check around locally.

playsdolls said...

These are amazing pictures,you would never know they were done with a type writer.He was a very talenteed young man.It makes one think about all they could accomplish if they just put their minds and souls into it.Thank you for this wonderful post.

Anonymous said...

Laurie, he was such an amazing man! Thanks for sharing. Love Ya! Connie

nikkicrumpet said...

That is truly amazing!!! I'm so glad you shared this because I'd never heard of him or seen his work. What a gifted man!

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

Ah Laurie what an amazing man! Thanks so much for this post!

Have a wonderful weekend.

Diane@A Picture is Worth.... said...

Thanks Laurie for telling us about this artist. What a wonderful testimony to the power of the human spirit!

Diane

Shelia said...

Hi Laurie! Oh, what a story. This is just amazing about this man! Just goes to show you, God has given each of us special gifts and talents. It is truly amazing!
Thank you so much, Laurie, for your prayers for my Mother. We have felt those prayers and know God will get her back to her old self!
Be a sweetie, my friend,
Shelia :)

prof en retraite said...

Wow Laurie! Isn't this just amazing? I suppose that when you are gifted you can find a way to express it. Incredible! Thanks for sharing...Debbie

Mary Ellen (megardengal) said...

Laurie
I have an award that I would like to pass on to you if you don't mind. It is a little different from other awards and I think it speaks of you perfectly. Would you hop over to my blog when you have a minute to pick it up.

Blessings
mary

xinex said...

What an incredibly inspiring story, Laurie! I am glad you wrote about Paul. Amazing guy indeed and his work will keep him alive for sure...Christine

mishebe said...

WOW> Amazing talent. And from a typewriter. Some people have amazing talent. mishelle

Rhonda said...

How incredible. I am going right now to go and "google" him and read more about his life.

Bo said...

Good morning Laurie, This man was a talented genius...I would have never thought of such an idea, much less executed it...Here I sit thinking how my "hunt & peck" method of typing has improved since blogging...bah! Thanks so much for sharing this. ;-) Bo

the voice of melody said...

What a great story! Thanks for sharing it and his beautiful pictures. The very first one caught my eye especially, as it looks just like my little cocker spaniel Lizzy.

Many sweet blessings!

The Muse said...

thanks for your recent visit dear friend....!

Laurie - Decorating Fanatic said...

Oh Laurie, that gave me chills! I am in awe! This man overcame many struggles, enjoyed his life and shared his amazing talent. Sheesh, I feel a little humbled complaining for the things I do! Thanks for bringing new attention to Paul Smith's remarkable story. It was a nice tribute to him. Take care. ~ Laurie

tardevil said...

That is amazing! Thanks for sharing! I left you this big long comment on Friday night (regarding the troll), and my signal went out & I lost it. So, I'm going back down to see if I can re-create it! Hope you had a wonderful holiday!

Kathysue said...

what an amazing story.I showed my grandson and told him see if you set your mind to something you can do anything.I am in awe.Kathysue

Cynthia said...

I love your blog, so much interesting stuff. Hope you can come by for a visit, I remember you from RMS. Cindy

Cami @ Creating Myself said...

Gonna sound redundant here but how amazing!

restyled home said...

Thank you for sharing the work of this incredible artist! It just goes to show that one can rise up from adversity.

Wow...I am truly shaking my head at his talent.

Happy New Year, Laurie!!
Linda

tardevil said...

Please stop by my blog to pick up an award!!!

Liz said...

Oh my gosh! I have never heard of him. I think I will check out his website.

Thanks for sharing that story!

~Liz

lvroftiques said...

Absolutely amazing and inspiring!! If he can create this beautiful art with a typewriter and pure determination and vision, just think of what we all should be capable of, if we just channel our passion! Makes me feel anything is possible!! Vanna

Lynette said...

Laurie - You always find the bestest things to blog about!! What an incredible man and those pictures are awesome!! Thanks for sharing him (and them) with us!

Tootsie said...

some folks have such talent! I can't even write neatly...lucky for you I can type! lol

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

Laurie, these are amazing. I'm sorry I'm so late in getting over here to enjoy them. What an incredible man..He must have led an extra special life. I'm glad you shared them.
Yes.. I was beginning to wonder if this day would ever come.. as you can see I can't sleep and I have to get up before dawn.. :-))
hugs ~lynne~

Sara's Sweet Surprise said...

I barely get my chicken pecking to form a blog post. These pictures were jaw dropping!! It would have been an incredible experience to watch him in the creative process. Somebody should have filmed him and his life's story. Wheres Hollywood when you need them? Thanks for sharing.

sweet Wishes,
Sara