Bev Doolittles’s Pictures Inside Pictures

Life is like a jigsaw puzzle but you don’t have the picture on the front of the box to know what it’s supposed to look like. Sometimes, you’re not even sure if you have all of the pieces.
– A Whack on the Side of the Head –

I finished a jigsaw puzzle while I was at the cabin last week. It was a difficult one, partly because the picture on the box was very small. Then there was all that sky, water, rocks and grass!

750 pieces and I was examining each one closely, looking for a certain shape or ever so slight colour variations. I was looking at the little picture, but wasn’t seeing the big one.

Even when the puzzle was done, I saw sky, water, rocks and grass – and a rider on a horse and some teepees – oh, and a rainbow.

jigsaw puzzle

Then I looked at it through the lens of the camera. Goodness, this is a picture of a wolf head! A very big wolf head. I sure didn’t see that coming.

The thing is, I should have known there would be a picture in a picture. The puzzle is from a piece of art by Bev Doolittle, and she is well known for the ways she uses context, design and pattern to hide images.

Every closed eye is not sleeping, and every open eye is not seeing.
– Bill Cosby –

I’m not the only one who sometimes misses the obvious, right? RIGHT?

49 thoughts on “Bev Doolittles’s Pictures Inside Pictures

  1. Love this post–and yes, I saw the wolf head in the picture…really neat! I like doing jigsaw puzzles, too, so maybe I’ll start one at the cottage if I go there this weekend. With nights falling earlier and earlier each day, it would be nice to curl up in the evenings and work on a puzzle…the only thing is, I’ll need to take my Ott-light to the cottage with me, otherwise I won’t be able to see the big picture OR the little pictures!


  2. I didn’t see the wolf’s head until you mentioned the rainbow. So, an additional life lesson for this post is not only that sometimes (often?) we miss the obvious, but also that sometimes we find what we should be looking for when we’re looking for something else.


    • When I did the puzzle, I did the rainbow first because it was the easiest. Then I sort of forgot about it, and didn’t realize how it was meant to draw the eye to, well, the eye!


  3. That’s an extremely cool puzzle! Of course, I didn’t see the wolf head until you mentioned it. I’ll be showing this to my daughter. She loves puzzles and is really into optical illusions. Thanks for posting!


  4. Amazing. I love pictures within pictures. I definitely will go look for her work. You did a grand job putting the puzzle together, it’s quite mystical. I’m glad you pointed out the wolf, I doubt I would have seen him. 🙂


  5. It’s amazing how we can miss the bigger picture when we’re looking at the intricacies. I didn’t see the wolf head until you mentioned it because I was wondering how you got all those little pieces together (you’re very patient!) 😀


  6. I have been trying to comment on this one all day Margie, but WordPress was having hiccups. Hope this goes through. I love this haunted puzzle post. Love jigsaws anyway but a picture within a picture? ‘Tis the Twilight Zone. And all I see is the wolf head!


  7. That’s cool, I was just about to type here that I couldn’t see the wolf head. I knew I saw an eye, and an ear… then one more look and there it was. On another note, I don’t think I’ve ever finished a puzzle completely, they always get started and about 1/2 way through end up back in the box.


  8. I actually don’t enjoy jiggsaw puzzles. I never did. The corollary is that I enjoy discovering things, when I cycle or roam around in a new place. I am a highly visual person in terms of how I remember and learn so I haven’t figured too much about my dislike of puzzles. Too much thinking I guess.


  9. It reminds me, yet again, how life is a big ol’ metaphor. If I don’t look a little deeper and beyond what ‘I think is the obvious’, past the surface, I will likely miss the very depth of something or someone. There is always more to be seen and felt.


  10. I wouldn’t have seen it either had you not pointed it out. I always find it funny that I can be driving somewhere with my husband and he sees the automotive shops, the cars, the pizza joints, and I notice the fabric stores, the coffee shops and women’s clothes. We’re on the same route, in the same car – but we see different sites. It’s all in our perspective, isn’t it. “It’s not what we look at but what we see that matters.”


  11. I’ll take my place in both groups: those who love hidden pictures, and those who didn’t see the wolf’s head until you spilled the jelly beans.

    I do have a question: is that a deliberate missing piece on the wolf’s nose? Or is it a pure white piece? It’s perfectly positioned to simulate the light reflection you’d expect to see on the nose. It’s a brilliant little touch.


    • Good eye, Mark (even if you didn’t see the wolf’s head). You are the only person who noticed the missing piece on the nose. This puzzle belonged to someone else, and two pieces were missing from it. (I cropped the photo, so you can’t see the other missing piece.)


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