Hidden in Plain Sight

" It is all very well to copy what one sees, but it is far better to draw what one now only sees in one’s memory. That is a transformation in which imagination collaborates with memory."

– Edgar Degas

Birth of the Concept

If you look at first painting of the Transitions collection (Transmigration) you can see a lady with her back to the camera about halfway down on the right. That’s what I call an element that’s ‘Hidden in Plain Sight’, although I would still see it as part of the wider concept of ‘vertical drilling’.

First, I painted the clouds, then as I took a step back, I noticed parts of the figure were emerging from what I’d already done. Part of the backside was there, plus a couple of other bits and I could see there was enough to have the imagination to complete her. So, I went back in and accentuated the existing strokes to finish her.

In other words I didn’t set out with the objective of painting the lady into the clouds, rather she emerged as the work went on. I guess it’s up to the individual’s imagination to find the hidden patterns. People often notice ones that I haven’t deliberately added, but from that person’s perspective its obviously there.

Intentionality vs Pareidolia

Other times I’ll decide I want to put a character into the clouds, and work the clouds around the picture, for example on Transition #5 – San Fransisco de Assis, or the painting I did of the Basilica Cathedral.

So for both of these I had a premeditated idea to include an angel type character watching over the buildings. In these instances I started off with the clouds, worked them into the right shape, but then left a space where I wanted the character to emerge and added them at the end.

Again, on the Transition #5 painting there’s a few additional elements that people can pick out. For example, just around the main character’s midriff you can see an image of my poodle with its head looking out towards the left. Other people have noticed there’s a face emerging from the Angel’s left forearm, and again slightly below that to the left is what looks like an ephemeral city, but to be honest I don’t remember adding those intentionally

excerpts from a conversation with John Dick-Peddie


Restate my assumptions...

One - Mathematics is the language of nature.

Two - Everything around us can be represented and understood through numbers.

Three - If you graph the numbers of any system, patterns emerge.

Therefore....There are patterns everywhere in nature.

- 'Max' from the film Pi

Prints Available

Works from John's back catalog featuring elements that are 'Hidden in Plain Sight' can be purchased from our online store.

Hidden in plain Sight

Transition #1


Hidden in plain Sight

Basilica Cathedral

Santa Fe

Hidden in plain Sight

Transition #5

San Fransisco de Assis

Hidden in plain Sight

Dog Leg Right

Hidden in plain Sight

Salopek Grove