Essex artist creates beautiful landscapes and portraits on a typewriter

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An artist from Braintree in Essex has been using typewriters to create intricate landscapes and portraits.

James Cook's work has been commissioned across the world is now on display at a gallery in Finchingfield.

James has been creating typewriter art for the past seven years. Using just the 44 keys in front of him, buildings, landscapes and people start to emerge.

Artist James Cook, from Braintree in Essex, uses typewriters to create landscapes and portraits. Credit: ITV News Anglia

He said: "With buildings I'll start with an outline and then the shading is the easiest part.

"It's this process of building up tones, you're working within the limits of what you have in front of you, 44 keys, letters, numbers and punctuation marks and it's how you arrange those shapes to fill in the gaps and make those shapes in front of you.

"If I'm doing the roof pitches of a building I'll use the forward slash to get the diagonal and then as a compromise going the other way, because the back slash wasn't invented when this typewriter came about, you use an L instead, window frames I use an H and surrounded by Is and underscores.

"The ducks are bracket symbols to get the curves in the necks and the beaks and then an underscore to do the tops of the heads, so I've only used two characters to create all of those shapes on the page."

A portrait by typewriter artist James Cook. Credit: ITV News Anglia

It takes James between two days to one week to complete a drawing, with any one picture comprising tens of thousands of stamps.

His work is currently on show at the Wonky Wheel gallery in Finchingfield.

The exhibition features a number of Essex landmarks and in its opening weekend attracted almost a hundred visitors.

James Cook's typewriter art is on display at the Wonky Wheel gallery in Finchingfield in Essex. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Mary Turley, from the Wonky Wheel Gallery, said visitors were "really puzzled" when they see his work.

"They want to understand how does he do it? If I had a pound for every time someone asked how does he do it, I'd be a very rich woman by now.

"It's really fascinating looking and seeing them stand there trying to figure out all the different letters that James has used."

As if that isn't complicated enough, James hides a secret message in the pictures, often relating to what he's drawn.

James has been creating typewriter art for the past seven years. Credit: ITV News Anglia