The first image is a hammer stone of very high quality jasper. The right end shows use wear, and there is an art component in now faint compositions created via outer surface removals. Next is a jasper knife with art showing the common turtle motif facing right. The lower image is a jasper crescent knife with the sharp edge to the right. Here also is an art component with a bearded face looking left and the faint suggestion of a juxtopposed face looking right. These are all from the Virginia mountain site.
The linked article was very interesting and I thank you. The featured artifacts are impressive, but show different characteristics from those that I am finding. The Virginia and NC finds appear to be of much more age and show an art of much greater sophistication than the art shown in the article.
Yes, it is my opinion that some of the Calico artifacts have worked in art that is similar to the Virginia and NC finds. This also applies to some of the Topper artifacts purported to be 50,000 YBP. I am not alone in the opinion about some of the Topper artifacts having art incorporated into them.
I certainly agree with you about the ancient artists' acute observations of the natural world and their being accomplished artists. As to there never being a need for a field guide to find and recognize artistic creations, how about the plaques of the horse art where the raw plaques are shown next to the horse tracings in the article? If those images of the raw plaques had been posted on my thread without tracings, everyone would be raising holy hell about there being no art on the subject stones. The analysis required to illuminate the art presence on those plaques is well beyond what can be seen via an internet exchanged image.
As to seeing the horse or cow in a brief glance, I'll give you the cow but not the horses mentioned from the raw plaques. Your apparent criteria for discerning art subject matter reminds me of the uproar by realists over impressionistic and abstract expressionist art creators. I have found the artists involved with the Virginia and NC artifacts demonstrate the highest artistic skills that I have witnessed. These skills in realism, impressionism, abstract expressionism, and opportunistic use of rock forms combined with mineral and crystal natures and colors are superlative. Combined with their ability to compose images that clearly change into other subject matters with 90 degree rotations of the pieces and their ability to do this in stone form, painting, intaglio, bas relief, and sculpture is the reactive humor, horror, wonder, spirituality, and countless other human emotions which celebrate their representational genius.
As with the slowly gained respect for artists of various modern schools of art, maybe it will take time and learned respect for folks to appreciate, see, and try to understand unfamiliar expressive creations from the deep past.