Mixed Media Morsels & more

Tips, Ideas, and Inspiration

I’m sure you know which images I’m talking about – the ones that aren’t really supposed to be there, and yet our brains tell us they really are there. They’re the ones we see in things like clouds, floor tiles, painted papers, the moon (remember that guy?) Most of us have experienced this funny phenomenon and believe it or not, there’s a word for it — Pareidolia (păr′ī-dō′lē-ə.) According to Merriam-Webster.com, pareidolia is “the tendency to perceive a specific, often meaningful image in a random or ambiguous visual pattern.” Here’s a fairly obvious one that I saw in some sunset clouds in 2012 and that day, clearly, there was a fork in the sky.


For as long as I can remember, I have enjoyed finding pareidolia, and now I especially enjoy finding it when I’m creating. I have several examples of it, but today I want to share a couple of my favorites with you. This first one came about when I was working on a canvas for my grandson and I was filming the process for my YouTube channel. I didn’t even see the hidden image until I was in the editing process. I was so surprised when I saw this portrait of a man’s face, complete with crazy hair and a big moustache, in the background of my canvas! It’s sort of Mark Twain-esque, and he may even have a cigar in his mouth, LOL!  He’s facing toward the left… If you’d like to see how it was created, literally by accident, you can click here.


The next one is also from one of my YouTube videos. I was getting ready to create a mixed media index card, using one on which I had already created a background. I had actually picked up this card several times, but just wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, and I kept putting in back in the pile with the others. But oddly, this particular time, I suddenly saw what was there all along.  And maybe, just maybe, that was the reason I kept putting it back. Was I unknowingly waiting for the time that I could see what was there?  We may never know, but it’s amazing to me how clearly defined the image was when I looked closer and started sketching it.  Click here to watch how I brought it to life.


Then, just the other day I saw something else that was interesting…

So I urge you to keep your eyes open for some pareidolia in your creations.  There may be something hiding there that you could bring to life. And believe me, it’s so much fun when you do!
Until next time,

P.S.  I first heard the word “pareidolia” from Meri at TheMeriAtlier.  Check out her YouTube channel for some wonderfully inspiring videos!

6 thoughts on “Those Random Images We See…

  1. NR Edwards says:

    OH MY GOSH!!! This is so totally amazing!!! I’ve seen things like this, but I never realized it was an actual “thing”!!! Thank you for another fabulous blog post! I can’t wait to see what comes next!!! 🌸🌸🌸

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Laura Murphy says:

    I never knew that it was actually a thing. Seeing something within something else. Thanks for sharing this Cat. Looking forward to the next post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Marian says:

    …& a fire breathing dragon right below the fork – c his ears & wisps of smoke out of his nose?
    yep – Twain in mascara & eyeliner – he was a dandy!
    nope – I see a face of a sweet realistic dog, 2 eyes 2 ears, nose- before you made WIlbur (I think of Wilbur as a seagull not a chicken…sorry!)
    yep – baby bump – but also possibly a fairy with wing
    in the 70’s my mom had a shower curtain of mustard, avocado & rust flowers. I hated sitting on the toilet as all I could see all over it were snake heads! Thanks for vid treat. Luv’d the post – keep ’em coming.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Linda says:

    Yes! The white space you left on the pregnant woman is because she is bending her elbows and has her hands on her back! An often seen pose of pregnant women! I see her clearly! Thanks for the reminder, I see “things” but never thought to document them! Great post! Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Lynda Pearce says:

    Love this.My family think I am nuts when I say,’oh look at that face,oh look at that animal etc’ in other pictures or clouds 😊.I can say,’see it has a name’ 😄

    Liked by 1 person

  6. elmored2015 says:

    Very interesting. I even saw a face in the canvas before you started adding rock man and the other images. That was a beautiful canvas you made for your grandson.

    Liked by 1 person

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