It goes without saying that recognition is jogged by details which we often don’t see conscientiously. I know someone who recognized a person at a huge expo, because he had seen this man’s photo on a coworker’s desk. It baffles me how people can do that.
While I rarely recognize people I have even met (!) and certainly would not remember names, I do see details in the things I draw and paint. I am a keen observer of such details as secondary reflections, the highlights on a grain of wood, the cast shadows and penumbra of a textured surface. Here is a panel of 12 textures that drew:
It is with this kind of attentive observance, that we can align ourselves with nature and come to know her rhythms. Art helps sharpen our empathetic visual acuity. If I spray for mosquitoes with toxic chemicals, what will happen to the habitat around my home? Will I finally be rid of the pesky swarms? Or will the bats relocate, because we have eliminated a large part of their food resource? Do we care? We care if we want to avoid being overrun by gnats and crickets. We care if we want bats to control the japanese beetles that feast on your garden. Just as there is balance between light and dark, rough and smooth, opaque and translucent in art, so there is balance in nature. Destroying this balance will accomplish nothing. Understanding and respecting this balance, both in art and in nature, helps us replicate it holistically. The day must eventually come, when we realize we needed more bats, not poison.