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"There is a way that nature speaks, that land speaks. Most of the time we are simply not patient enough, quiet enough, to pay attention to the story." ~Linda Hogan
Drawings & Sketches
Greg's Art Journal
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What's an Optical Puzzle?
There are many types of optical puzzles. One type is like in the picture above. It posses an Escher-like logic. The logic at the same time is right for the eye but wrong for the laws that we inherently know. Other optical illusions may have forms within a larger image. Such as,
Do you see the baby - the fetus?
In a more general sense, all paintings are optical puzzles. From one perspective the viewer is present with the unique activity of figuring out the image. Now, sometimes it is very obvious for the viewer, as when looking at still-life paintings or portraits. Other times it may be challenging for a viewer to figure out the subject or subjects. And still sometimes the subject itself may be vague. In all these cases the viewer, and the artist, is presented with an optical puzzle - an image that requires some degree of figuring out.
So optical puzzles can be many things. But it appears they always deal with an image & figuring out.
Is an an image an optical puzzle if the viewer sees it within his mind's eye only and not through his eyes?
It depends on how you define optical. American Heritage dictionary defines optical as "of or pertaining to sight: optical illusion." And Optic is defined as "Of or pertaining to the eye or to vision."
If I allow the words "sight" and "vision" to include any image, whether seen by the mind or eye, then yes mental images, such as dreams, are, indeed, optical puzzles.
Whether optical puzzles are from the mind, eye or both, life is full of them! Look around. Images are everywhere and we are constantly figuring them out; there, you just did it!