6x8.75 inches; watercolor on paper
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Pareidolia is a wonderful thing. It's what enables you to see a landscape in wood grain, or a teapot in a cloud. And it's a central element in my process: seeing things in the marks I make. I was gratified to read once that Leonardo thought highly of the tendency. He said, ‘If you look upon an old wall covered with dirt, or the odd appearance of some streaked stones, you may discover several things like landscapes, battles, clouds, uncommon attitudes, humorous faces, draperies, &c. Out of this confused mass of objects, the mind will be furnished with abundance of designs and subjects perfectly new.’
I find it hard to draw a line between seeing a landscape (cloudscape) in a random bit of dirt, and being able to mentally assemble any image from some marks on paper, no matter how precisely made; i.e., I'd say that the whole art of representational image-making is based on it. More on this to come…
Today's work was decidedly a pareidolic event, rather than being based on some specific reference; it's from the early days of my daily-painting test month, when I was warming up by reverting to this old familiar mode of working—and with it I'll begin to arrange my posts in more or less the order in which the paintings came about.