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By on March 9, 2012, with 48 Comments

Our eyes seem to have a traced pattern depending on what we look at, particularly when it comes to landscape images. That’s why these Tree, Line images by Zander Olsen are so fascinating. They remind us that we tend to take things sitting under the horizon line for granted when looking at landscapes. The Welsh artist creates his works by wrapping trees with a white material that, when viewed from the exact right angle, hide the trunk between the natural horizon line and the skyline, or in some case,  between the tree’s roots and the natural horizon. In the process, he ends up whiting out the trees that make up the foreground of certain parts of the image.

The result might not technically be an illusion by the traditional sense, but it certainly makes the viewer do a double take and consider just how the mind tends to process these views, which is something any good illusion should be doing anyway.

What do you guys think, do these qualify for the site? Not optical-illusory enough? If not, do you at least like the idea behind the artwork? I certainly did!

  • AmetuerAspirant

    this has got to be my new favourite use of toilet paper.

    • Lucy

      Hahaha! i love this illusuion! what
      is the answer? :I x

  • Marissa

    The first one isn’t that good but the rest are really cool=)

  • Danielle

    I think these are great and very original, and the first one definitely counts as an illusion because it really did confuse me at first. Looks like a stripe until you realize it’s the horizon + the white part of the trees.

    • Pulchra55


  • Marissa

    Never mind I didn’t see the mountains behind so cool!=)

  • Hank

    Yes, they qualify for the site, nice optical illusions. Took me a couple of looks before I saw how the first image merged with the background.

  • Jacey

    In the second picture, one of the tree trunks looks like a foot in a sock. =)

  • Jenny

    They are very cool, excellent. But I don’t think that qualify for your site, you are the MIGHTY optical illusion site, You have some pretty wicked ones but I don’t think these ones come close to most of the other work you have on here. But Yes this is excellent art work but not really illusion so much.

  • eric

    first one is definately the best – not sure i consider the other two illusions… what would it be? camouflage fail? their just cool

  • Dave

    I think these are really cool. Thanks again.

  • Nice

    The best posts for already quite some time. I already got bored with floor paintings.

  • Kelsey

    Liked the first one best – you really have to concentrate for your brain *not* to simply wipe out the mountains in the background.
    Not keen on the middle one nad the bottom one doesn’t have enough aerial perspective to make it really work imho…

    • Kelsey

      …the middle one’s a bit spooky though :)

  • praateiik

    superb work !!

  • http://earthboundalien.tumblr.com/ Paul

    Marissa’s comments are the proof of this work’s validity here. Must have needed a great deal of patience to get the angles right….BELONGS :)

  • jessy

    Photoshopped – again ……
    They didnt even try to hide the pattern artifacts or to care about the ambient light.

  • Berek

    These are Awesome! It looks like it would take a long time to get them right.

  • kjm0591

    I think they are wonderful pictures, creative with an interesting look (an art critic I am not!) I am not sure if there is something wrong with my perception but I had no problem discerning the depth perception of the trees against the horizon……But I do love the pictures

  • Care Bear

    Looks like it might be something from the lengerie department.

    • Pulchra55

      that’s very funny. LOL

  • LGD-W

    I think the first image works the best. I first thought it was a continuous piece of cloth going from tree to tree. Very cool!

    • Pulchra55

      So did I! LOL

  • Pedant

    I immediately thought of Christo when I saw the first one. I don’t think he’s wrapping anything that small any more, if indeed he ever did, but I was quite proud of myself for recognizing and installation. Wonder what I would have thought of the others if I’d seen them first.

  • cool froggy

    that is totally wicked ahhhh ;)

  • SoundMaster

    Congratulations, you still manage to surprise me with something original and really cool to look at. These pics made my day!

  • http://yahoo.com tylor

    seen beter

  • marcy

    i only like the middle one

  • IgaveGodmyheart

    Amazing. People often look at all of God’s creation, and don’t look closely. We should think more about that.

  • cupcake

    the first one is sooo cooooooooooooooooooooooooool
    gr8 job

  • bubba

    No trees were harmed in this experiment.

  • Nathan

    I think the first one is the best. There really cool.

  • RN

    Doesn’t really work for me.

  • Tandy

    I thought the wrappings were strung up between the trees on the first one. I didnt think it was that great at first, until I realized that only the trees were wrapped and there were really mountains in the background. Definitely tricked my eyes. I think the art is great and very unique.

  • JoyJ15

    This is awesome!
    The first one is my favorite, I stared at it forever because its just so mesmerizing!

    • Diane

      I like the First one Soooo Cool ♥

  • Lizzie

    Looks great! Didnt realize that my eyes did that. I love this site!

  • Charles Gee

    waste of good toilet paper!

  • http://newreligiontimes.blogspot.com NRT

    The more I look at these, the more I like them, especially the first one. Ditto the comment from Danielle.

  • Rima

    the quality of most the optical illusions of this site are not good at all, do not you have much more difficult than theses

  • Glendalough

    In Louisiana many people paint the trunks of their trees with white bands supposedly to keep buck moth caterpillars from climbing up into the tree tops. Now, if I had some trees in my garden, I could create my very own tree horizon illusion. AND, make some very large buck moth models and attach to the trunks climbing thru the white and up into the tree.
    Someone with trees can try this idea, just send photos to MOI.

  • i

    i love them all

  • http://kimkiminy.wordpress.com Kim Robson

    Great entry. I liked it.

  • ryan

    this has to be the dumbest thing ive saw when it comes to illusions. i can do this for my grafe two sons class and i dont think it would confuse them. what a waste of time. who paid this idiot

  • Carl Fuglein

    I agree with ryan – this is just dumb. Not at all worthy of being on this site. Not even an illusion – just some freak with white paint and TP.

  • KalaAzurehowl

    this is not dumb, even though its not an illusion. dont call it dumb, i bet you cant even do this with trees… so stfu and let people do what they want if they want to

  • KalaAzurehowl

    This is great art work, dont call it stupid, who cares if its not an illusion, it was probably very hard to do.

  • anonymous

    they look like huge slender man legs!