Da Vinci’s preferred method explains: advised people to contemplate looking for longer periods at the walls, clouds, pavements, barks of the tree.., etc., the idea of looking for patterns and images conceptually blends with your thoughts. “What is Meditation?”
He suggested that you will find inspiration for marvelous ideas if you look for random subjects to conceptually blend with your challenge. He would gaze at the stains of walls, or ashes of a fire, or the shape of clouds or patterns in mud or in similar places.
He would imagine seeing trees, battles, landscapes, figures with lively movements, etc, and then excite his mind by conceptually blending the subjects and events he imagined and his subject through image. Mind is such a wonderland.
The practice of fantasy is what children do naturally and often occurs as an adult spontaneously when we are still and quiet. We will never know the mind of another completely but there are fundamental activities we all share and recognize.
Imagining stuff is delight for the mind, so often in meditation we have great thoughts, ideas or solutions about how to go about our life. When we try to write them down or explain them it becomes dribble.
Yet, there occurrence is in there somewhere and presents itself at a later moment in time. I like the idea of a famous artist like Di Vinci contemplating as would a great saint. Iconographers must share in the same kind of meditation practice, sitting and reflecting on the life of Christ and allowing image to arise.
“Painting with egg tempera” is particularly prone to this kind of surprise and accident. It is meditation.