Even though the painting has intentional symbolic representations varying in degrees of disclosure, one was quite unintentional – at least by the artist.
Being unsatisfied with the way Willie‘s shirt looked in the area shown in the enlarged box (left), MacDonald repainted it two more times. After the third time, he still was not sure it was right, and decided to come back to it later. Then, when the time came to decide if he should make any changes there, a Mystic Face (in profile view) was instantly recognized and served as a sign to MacDonald that this area was complete. Later, upon showing his baffling discovery to others, they did not see the profile view (at first), but saw the same face from the front.
It is not uncommon to hear “gasps” and “awes” from spectators after The Mystic Face in profile view, turns, and looks them straight in the eyes!
What is the significance?
MacDonald: “I am not sure if The Mystic Face has any meaning or not. It did however, give me chills when I first recognized it because the face just seemed to appear before my eyes. I could not, and would not, paint over it for anything. The fact that Willie Nelson is part Native American is enough to give it significance to me.”