It’s normal to see familiar objects in random images
For as long as I can remember, I’ve enjoyed finding faces and familiar shapes in nature or abstract paintings. Cloud watching is a favorite pastime. But sometimes a shape will jump out somewhere and it’s remarkably distinct. Like this eye in the tree top that caught my attention this morning.
As a young person, I was discouraged to talk about “…such nonsense.” So I learned to keep my impressions quiet. To keep my imagination tamped down. To not be foolish with wild ideas and fantasies.
Then a few years ago I found there’s a scientific term for the perception of familiar objects in random images: pareidolia.
Finally. A name for this aspect of the imagination I had been shamed into keeping hidden. And with it, came the knowledge it’s something useful, in what I paint, what I write. And this should be celebrated, not ignored.
I encourage you to take delight in seeing the hidden objects in plain sight all around!