When you look at the painting above, you see richness, depth and life, even within a still two-dimensional image. That's because an artist can see what ordinary people fail to see and are able to represent that elusive vision in a visual medium using just paint and canvas. These artistic nuances take the limitation of vision to a higher level of perception. The artist learns this deeper level of visual intelligence from an appreciation of the natural beauty and design around them. A fascination, fueled by an emotional desire to really see; to understand the universe around them and share that unique vision in a simplified two-dimensional design using a richer palette of vibrant color, geometric shapes, tones and perceived depth. An artist can see beyond just pixel color, because they have multiple senses and sensory fusion.
Although human beings only begin to learn about the visual world around us through the power of sight after birth, we understand even before birth, from multiple senses such as sound, touch, smell, and embedded genetic code that has given us the ability to identify more shades of green than any other color, so we may identify a predator hidden in the jungle for survival. We already have metadata to draw from in life. Infants may be limited to frowning, smiling, and crying to communicate, but they are a sponge for knowledge using our unique multi-dimensional channels for learning. An infant knows their mother’s heartbeat, taste and voice; recognizes the deeper baritone voice of their father; his larger, stronger hands and even their smells. Their connection to the world around them begins small, and grows as they grow. They eventually understand words from the sounds, not from the written word – that comes later, along with the magic of mathematics, when we jump-start the left side of our brain and formulaic language; opening up yet another channel of learning.
We now understand that that image, person, video, voice, sound, touch, heartbeat, smell and the word “Momma” all mean the same thing. Our continued intelligence and learning draws from all our senses all our lives. We eventually learn when shadowy figures in hoodies are a threat or just a couple kids who forgot their coats, by how they’re standing, talking, moving, whispering, and even smell. Is it a sixth sense that provides us with this threat assessment, or a life time of multi-sensory meta-data stored within our brains? How do we know when someone is looking at us from across a room full of people and not the person behind us?
Intelligence, as we understand it, is developed from a correlation of multiple senses, an intuitive connection to the universe around us, and life experience. We learn by sight, sound, smell, touch, taste and maybe even an intuitive, spiritual sixth sense of our surroundings. This happens while we are awake, and even in our dreams.