Artists paint for a variety of reasons. Some are attempting to express deep feelings or emotions that cannot be translated accurately into words. Others are trying to capture the beauty or uniqueness of a particular thing in the world. Certain artists find the juxtaposition of shapes, colors and empty spaces to be endlessly fascinating. This is why there are so many different styles and themes of art in the world today. Artists find their own personal voice, style and subject matter to dwell on during a lifetime. This can leave some people staring in awe at the works that are produced over many years.
A few artists like to turn paintings into puzzles or optical illusions. This is actually easier than most people think once you understand how eye movements operate in relation to color, contrast and composition. It is easy to create images that mislead a person to believe one thing only to reveal something different later. Certain optical illusions rely on misdirection of using clever techniques to make impossible things appear as if they are real. Those types of paintings can sometimes provide endless hours of fun and conversation especially when done well. This is what a few artists have decided to do with horses.
Horses have long been a topic of art. They have appeared in paintings from a thousand years ago. Famous artists have done extensive studies of horses of all types and in all situations. Part of this is because horses have complex anatomies that are different from humans. Another reason is that horses are difficult to paint without a little study and experience. Horses were depicted very frequently in the past as a sign of royalty, power or elegance. They are painted more for their individual majesty today.
An artist named Bev Doolittle created a painting of horses in 1975 after visiting the Southwest in America. The painting was called Pintos. She intentionally created the painting to be confusing and deceptive. It shows a group of brown and white horses standing in the center of a landscape. The background rocks and ground are partially covered in snow. The color of the surrounding landscape and the horses are the same. This forces viewers to really look for the unique parts of a horse such as the face or eyes. It has left some people on the Internet arguing about just how many horses are present in the painting although the commonly accepted figure is five.
A second painting attempted to use horses in a similar way. A painting called Seven Horses by Jim Warren shows a surreal beach scene with a horse walking in the sand. The title of the painting suggests that seven horses are hidden in the landscape. Close inspection shows that Warren hid the horses in a number of interesting ways. He turned them upside down, created them from negative space and even summoned one out of the waves. The seventh horse, however, is not really in the painting. It is just hinted to by a line of tracks in the sand.
Artists are constantly creating new paintings, sculptures and other works of art that challenge the perceptions of the world most people see every day. These various pieces of art can help individuals to start seeing the world differently and to start thinking more critically about everyday occurrences. The reason paintings from decades ago are becoming popular online again today is that they are fascinating to look at and study. These two paintings are just a small part of a much larger genre of art that involves engaging the viewer and making the person really think about the piece instead of just passively looking at it.