The faculty of visualization
can be realized as a spectrum or continuum which at one end is expressed as symbols and diagrams and moves on to realism such as might be easily captured by photography (wine bottles, street scenes and so on, often using photographs at the beginning to capture exact perspective and color). Beyond this we come to fantasy or imagination, first analogous to fiction such as contemporary drama (paintings of fictional people, etc.) and then on to science fiction. Between this and the outer reaches of revelation and prophecy is the visionary. The concept of "vision", as in visionary, or a person of vision, has been devalued somewhat of late so that a businessman might be a visionary if he sees in his mind a way to trounce the competition and make lots of money through a clever merger. A politician might like to be called a visionary for saying he wants to make people safe, or rich, or happy. But we think true vision is rare. Vision comes as an inner glimpse, as in a dream, of a hitherto hidden reality. Its significance may take an entire lifetime to absorb, to comprehend and, possibly, to communicate.
In the Beatles song Fool on the Hill, he "day after day sees the sun going down, and the eyes in his head see the world spinning 'round". While it is obvious to most men that the world is flat, the visionary sees through to a deeper truth. Bruce Ricker once quipped that he was an "architectural poet". In showing us his mystical utopian landscapes, at his best, he is not just an artisthe is a visionary.