Take, for instance, the Bev Doolittle painting excerpted above, entitled “When the Wind Had Wings.” At first glance, it’s a long horizontal slash of galloping white and then pinto horses morphing into a flock of birds.
But if you look at it with new eyes, you can see an Indian profiled in the center of the picture.
Once you see him, it becomes clear that the horses in that portion of the painting are red herrings. They distract the casual viewer from the real picture, the portrait of the Indian.
Some people are never able to see his profile, so captivated are they by the thundering horses – sort of the way many are so thoroughly blinded by the creation that they are unable to see the Creator.
The apostle Paul described this sort of spiritual blindness perfectly:
"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man--and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things." (Romans 1:20-23)
It's worth noting that this observation of Paul's is followed by some of the Bible's most chilling warnings.
I have no idea if Doolittle intends to say anything of the sort with her “camouflage" paintings; perhaps we can find a clue in some of her other work, such as her 2000 book The Earth Is My Mother. I wonder if she would be surprised to know that her art is such an excellent reflection of biblical truth?