You probably played this game as a child. Lying down on your back, you looked up at the clouds and tried to see shapes and patterns in the random fluffiness. I remember those games as magical experiences.
During the twentieth century, mathematicians began to grapple with uncertainty, noise and randomness. The mathematics of chaos and the geometry of fractals revealed that even the simplest and seemingly most mechanistic systems can exhibit chaos. It just emerges. More surprising still is that pattern is an emergent property of the universe. The more things turn chaotic, the more they tend toward some kind of discernible regularity (to paraphrase and over simplify). The universe, it appears, makes its own order out of chaos at a very fundamental level.
Interestingly, it also appears that humans are co-adapted to look for, see and discover patterns in nature. Patterns emerge and we can notice and understand them. What has that got to do with art?
Recently I have been experimenting with palette knives and something interesting happened. I found that when I tried very hard to represent exactly what I was seeing, I always felt that my painting was unrealistic, whereas when I merely suggested a shape or a feature, it looked MORE realistic. My brain was filling in the missing detail for me. Other people looking at my work also noticed the same thing.
So, by merely hinting at a feature, using a judicious dollop of paint, a shadow, a line, a curve or a blob of the right shape, you can create evocative images, by letting the eye, brain and mind of the observer spot the pattern. I recommend it.