"We think we see everything in front of us like a camera does but in reality studies show we only see things we pay attention to, missing everything else and actually making up the other parts of the scene in our imagination. The term for this is called inattentional blindness. Inattentional blindness is a real phenomenon that people experience when they have preconceived expectations about what they are seeing or when they focus on a predetermined set of parameters that cause them to exclude other important information.  It is what magicians exploit to accomplish their tricks.

As representational artists we have to learn to see things as they are and achieve a heightened sense of observation to effectively be aware of subtle differences and shifts in color value and shape. . . Studies show that perception is based on knowledge and awareness, it is inattentiveness that allows the illusion of representational painting to fool most people into thinking they are seeing something that completely mimics reality when in fact that is not true at all."


via Art and Influence