A friend of mine I used to work with at Lucasfilm recently shared this.. He is a brilliant technical mind, the guy behind the most advanced technology of special effects simulations created by Pixelux Entertainment. Naturally, artists and engineers at Lucasfilm were locked in eternal friendly battle of the minds, where engineers of course always had the upper hand since entertainment industry today is essentially a high-tech industry. So we had many inside jokes regarding the math abilities of artists. Math is a language, and choosing Peet Mondrian's colors is no accident, for Math is not only an abstract language but also a visual language. Visualization in mathematics, or mathematical notation, was invented in the 16th century and it immensely liberated mathematical discovery. Like musical notation, modern mathematical notation is strict and a few symbols could convey very complex ideas.
I went to mathematical high school and participated in a few Mathematical Olympiads, although I am the worst student of math as I relied mostly on my pattern recognition ability rather than study. When I moved to the States I did some of the comprehensive IQ tests and scored pretty high; but my pattern recognition was the highest at 147. I have my own definition of pattern recognition and it's the ability to predict an outcome based on two or three reference points. As in life and math, trouble is if you think you have two or three reference points but in fact only one is a solid ground and the rest.. simply conjectures.