Notre Dame Cathedral

Paul’s typed portrait of Notre Dame Cathedral is a masterpiece. Not only did he capture the intricacy of the building’s architecture, but with keystrokes and smudging he found ways to depict details ranging from pedestrians, to trees, to reflections in the Seine river, to adding focus to the cathedral by lightening buildings in the background.

Details from the complete picture above are shown below. The closer you look at Paul’s work, the more astonishing it is!

Trains! — Part 1 of 2

Engine Number 3.
Detail from the image above. The 3 on the front of the engine was made by Paul using parentheses, giving it a three-dimensional quality.
Paul used the 3 key on the typewriter for the numbers on the side of the engine and coal car.
Paul began adding color around 1940 by using red typewriter ribbons. These ribbons were on the market for accounting purposes — to help differentiate between values “in the black” versus those “in the red”.
What was apparently Paul’s home address appears on this picture which he made at the age of 19. It reads 135 S. Chester Pike. This may have been in Glenolden, part of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
An even earlier picture of a train by Paul. He would have been 18 when making this one.

Time Lapse Sequence1 of 2

Once Paul’s talents for creating pictures became well known, a large portion of his work was devoted to typing specific images at the request of the people around him.

In late 1989 and early 1990 Paul made a rendition of a painting from 1847 by John Vanderlyn known as Landing of Columbus, which was displayed in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda.

This rendition was done at the request of John Cermak of Roseburg, Oregon where Paul lived in a nursing facility. Mr. Cermak was a strong advocate of Paul’s work.

The images below show the original painting by Vanderlyn followed by snap shots of Paul’s rendition. It would be interesting to know if the order in which Paul developed his picture is similar to how an artist using pencil or charcoal would sequence their work.

The title on the final frame was almost certainly added by Mr. Cermak.

Landing of Columbus by John Vanderlyn (1847) displayed in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda

Paul was exceptionally disciplined about time spent on his craft. Throughout his active years typing pictures, he devoted three hours per day to whatever picture he was working on — he reserved the remainder of his day for other interests including listening to music, playing chess and cribbage, participating in activities at his nursing facility, or venturing into the nearby community as able. Progress on his pictures was perhaps slow compared to other artists though very steady.
A copy of Paul’s final rendition of the painting. This piece took Paul approximately 6 weeks.

Traditional Images of Christ

The whereabouts of the original of this incredible reproduction by Paul of Leonardo Da Vinci’s The Last Supper are unknown.

Paul beautifully incorporated the use of colored typewriter ribbons in his reproduction of Christ in Gethsemane, originally painted by Heinrich Hoffman in 1886.

Paul based his portrait of Christ below on the Head of Christ painting by Warner Sallman in 1940.

Scenes From Douglas County, Oregon

In 1967, when he was 46 years old, Paul’s parents either passed away or were otherwise unable to continue assisting in his care. Paul moved from Hollywood, Florida, to Roseburg, the county seat of Douglas County, Oregon.

Paul had relatives in Oregon though it wasn’t feasible to live with them and he took up residence at a brand new nursing facility, Rose Haven. Paul, who lived to be 85, lived the remainder of his life at the facility.

In his only known picture typed across multiple pieces of paper, Paul created the picture below of Rose Haven. Since his typewriter was wide enough to hold one sheet of paper at a time — assuming Paul typed the picture with a horizontal orientation — it’s a mystery to how he was able to align the two images so accurately.

This picture has graced the lobby of Rose Haven for many years.

Trucks carrying loads of logs are a common site in Douglas County, which in the post World War II era was known as the Timber Capital of the World.

The next several pictures feature the Rochester Covered Bridge. The web page (currently not secure site unfortunately) has this interesting bit of history about the bridge:

The Rochester Covered Bridge, with its droopy-eyed appearance, sits just three miles northwest of Sutherlin among the farms surrounding the Calapooya River.

The design of this bridge is unique among Oregon roofed structures, featuring windows having graceful curved tops.

Built by veteran builder Floyd Frear, the bridge combines both beauty and strength offered by the wooden structure.

In the late 1950s, a nearby covered span was torched and destroyed by a county crew to make way for a new concrete bridge. Rumors had spread that the Rochester bridge would meet the same fate.

Many local residents, fearful that those same county workers who favored progress would wait until nightfall to burn the Rochester Bridge, sat through the night with guns and rifles to safeguard the dilapidated structure. With the arrival of daylight, the bridge was safe.

County commissioners then promised the residents the bridge would not be burned. The Rochester Bridge was remodeled in 1969 when county crews worked to replace portal boarding, the approaches and the abutments.

The first picture of the bridge is from a copy that has been altered by aging and by additions including a caption and typewriter icon. These alterations are partially removed in the remaining pictures of the bridge.

The owner of the barn typed below by Paul is unknown, though the barn is presumed to be in Douglas County.

The next two pictures by Paul depict the historic Stewart Park Bridge built in 1932-33 to connect the Roseburg VA Hospital facilities.

Paul was a member of St. Joseph parish in Roseburg and he typed a portrait of their church building.

The Roseburg Train Station (below) for years had been a center of commerce in the area. After train traffic dwindled, the station was purchased by McMenamins, a company that has given new life to historic buildings throughout the Pacific Northwest.

With restored original features including a vaulted, 16-foot-high ceiling, tongue-and-groove fir wainscoting, and marble molding, the building now thrives as Roseburg Station Pub & Brewery.

When a retirement center opened about 25 miles south of Roseburg, Paul typed a picture of the building for the owners.

Time Lapse Sequence 2 of 2

Videos Featuring PauL

In 2004, a crew from KING-TV, an NBC affiliate in Seattle, drove 350 miles to Roseburg, Oregon to film Paul. Paul was 83 years old at the time and, due primarily to cataracts, was winding down his artwork. The TV crew was led by John Stofflet, who by all accounts did an incredible job of working with Paul to put together this video. Mr. Stofflet now is with the NBC affiliate in Madison, Wisconsin and his work has earned him 25 Emmy Awards — two for this video.
This slideshow features close-up detail of many of Paul’s pictures mixed with information about Paul.
Paul can be seen typing a picture in this clip extracted from a 1988 television program by ABC called Incredible Sunday. The man describing Paul’s technique and character is his friend, John Cermak.
This clip, taken from near the end of ABC’s Incredible Sunday segment on Paul, sheds a little more insight into the patience, perseverance, and humility underlying his life and art.

Pictures Better Than Words

In the mid-1980s, Paul decided he needed a way to better organize and store his belongings in his room at Rose Haven Nursing Center . He envisioned a wood cabinet that would fit between his bed and window and allow his belongings, including supplies and tools (such as rulers) for his art, to be organized, accessible, and safe.

Paul tried to convey what he had in mind to a local carpenter. This turned out to be frustrating as Paul’s spasticity made his speech difficult to understand. Typing the words that others could not understand might have been an alternative way to convey his ideas. But Paul had never learned to read and write, so that was not an option.

Paul’s solution was to use his typewriter to sketch the cabinet he envisioned.

The carpenter took the sketch, and turned the idea into a fine, functional cabinet which Paul used daily for the rest of his life.

Paul meticulously conveyed his ideas for the shelves and drawers to ensure the cabinet would be accessible and functional as well as attractive.

Animal Portraits

Detail from the picture above of deer by a stream in winter.
Detail from the picture above of deer by a stream in winter.

Paul typed several pictures of squirrels. There’s a photo below which shows Paul feeding a squirrel on his lap outside of the nursing facility where he lived. Paul nicknamed that squirrel Fifi, and included Fifi in some of his more whimsical pictures.

Paul feeding Fifi.
No squirrel appears in Paul’s original version of this picture.
Same picture as above, now with Fifi added with Paul’s signature.
Paul is believed to have made this version of the above picture to help promote recycling at his facility.
An early use of a blue typewriter ribbon by Paul to color the sky.

Portraits Of & Letters From Famous People

Archbishop Fulton Sheen was well known for his preaching on television and radio.

The following images are all related to Paul’s pictures of U.S Presidents. Paul typed portraits of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and the presidents from Franklin Roosevelt through George W. Bush. No copies of his portrait of Lyndon Johnson have been located. The quality of the copies available for the other presidents is overall very poor — copies of copies of copies …

The address for Paul in this 1944 letter from FDR differs from the address appearing on one of Paul’s pictures from 1940 of a train.

It’s not known when Paul typed the alternative picture of FDR below.

The only version of Paul’s portrait of John F. Kennedy is from a newspaper article about the picture.

Julie Nixon Eisenhower, daughter of Richard Nixon, stopped at the nursing facility where Paul lived while campaigning for her father in 1972. She later sent Paul this note.

In addition to the portrait of Jimmy Carter shown above, Paul worked on a typed reproduction of a portrait of the Jimmy with Rosalyn, his wife, and Amy, his daughter. It’s not known if he finished this picture.

Paul updated his portrait of Bill Clinton for the president’s second term.

Mabry Mill

Paul used colored ribbons for his typed portrait of Mabry Mill, the popular historic site along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia.

Zooming in on various details reveals the typewriter keys Paul used — otherwise the picture could easily be mistaken as a pencil drawing.

Washington Crossing The Delaware

Paul typed an impressive reproduction of the 1851 painting by Emanuel Leutze’s depicting George Washington’s surprise attack on the Hessians at Trenton on December 25, 1776.

Below is the original painting by Emanuel Leutze. Paul somehow captured the intense. focused, resolute energy of the picture.