Winslow Homer - The Obtuse Bard (draft 20150402) screen 140
While you might be skeptical about some of the examples presented here, I am confident that you have seen and believe evidence that Winslow Homer managed to embody at least one or more illusions that he imagined into one or more paintings. A single convincing instance is sufficient to establish that this is something Winslow Homer did consciously and intentionally. That was my objective and I think this presentation should accomplish that for most people, but there is more.

When we look at Winslow Homer's art, we know that we are looking at his creations. Whenever we might imagine that we see a non-physical object, an illusion, in a work of his art, we should no longer dismiss that perception as our projection, but should realize that it is worth taking a better look. We should take note of that instance and attempt to determine whether it is an illusion Homer may have seen and reproduced as a suggestion in his work, and that we perceived it by our sufficient knowledge of his memories and the use of our imagination. If we think it is, while we see it, at that moment our mind and the spirit of his mind are connecting through our perception. This is equally true for the allusions, ideas that he thought and then managed to allude to by clues in his works. We know that through his physical artwork we can perceive non-physical things that only existed in his mind, connecting to those ideas by the use of our imagination.

There is also a much larger point, which explains why he did this. As Winslow Homer painted Nature he was looking at the work of the Artist of Nature. When Homer perceived illusions or allusions in Nature, he too would experience a connection to the Artist. His experience of the perception of those spiritual objects, those non-physical objects, suggested by clues in Nature, but perceived through his imagination, which he then reproduced in his artwork, was for him a sublime and exhilarating personal private experience, a communion with his God.

Winslow Homer left a visual record for us through which we can learn to experience for ourselves the kind of sublime visual experience that Benjamin Welles, Washington Allston, Richard Dana Sr., William Ellery Channing Sr., William Cullen Bryant, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, John La Farge and other New Englanders wrote about.

When we see these non-physical things in his art, we are seeing Winslow Homer's light shining out from under the bushel.

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Copyright 1992-2015 Peter Bueschen
The presentation is available at The Obtuse Bard website