The Painting Typewriter

Since computers are so ubiquitous now, it’s easy to forget that there was another mechanical writing tool before it: the typewriter. One artist has built a typewriter that types paintings instead of words.

Tyree Calliahan has developed the Chromatic Typewriter. The modified old-timey typewriter has colors where the letters usually are, and lets users create some nice abstract paintings that look vaguely like scenes you’d find in nature. Instead of the old typewriter ribbons putting letters on the page, this machine puts paint on paper as it rolls instead.

Chromatic Typewriter 1

This is a great machine for those of us who’ve always wanted to express themselves with pain but for some reason have never developed the skills to actually grab a brush and mix up pigments to daub on a canvas.

Chromatic Typewriter 2

Chromatic Typewriter 3

Chromatic Typewriter 4

Callihan’s work is evocative, not quite an exact landscape, but more suggestive of the natural world.

“Nature is the best instructor an artist can have,” the Bellingham, Wash.-based artist says of his work on his website. “I’m constantly amazed at the play of light through our moist air and over the varied landscape of the Pacific Northwest.  I especially enjoy early morning light—that short interval of time just before the last of the fog burns off—and evening light, especially on humid evenings, when the atmosphere itself is aglow with evening’s hues.  We live in an environment that can produce both vivid and somber landscapes, often both within an hour’s time.”

Even as easy as the typewriter is to use, you probably won’t produce as anything as good as Callihan does.

If you liked this, check out our post on a Lego typewriter, as well as a typewriter-to-keyboard conversion kit.

Image source: West Collects