From the 2017 novel, Thrawn by Timothy Zahn.
In the excerpt above, it clearly states: “…All the brushstroke spoke to him; all the light curves told the story of their creator”. Well, by the time Thrawn got to Sabine Wren’s graffiti art, he did not really know her beyond the Imperial Databank reports they had on her.
But, Thrawn had done a cursory study on Mandalorians (possibly before he left The Unknown Regions) and when he learned Sabine Wren is Mandalorian, he became perplexed about how any Mandalorian would be an “artist”.
When he studies her art, he is perplexed by her.
Her art shows line and color control with her “brush nozzles” to relay art in nature to functional design. Then he never imagined she would send him a “message”.
Apparently, Thrawn interpreted this message in a manner Sabine had not considered. That Thrawn would see it as a “crush match”. In a huge galaxy, what are the chances of meeting one who share and appreciate similarities?
Then he had to tell Yularen about Sabine’s artwork to throw off any Imperial Intelligence. He does it in Star Wars Rebels: “Through Imperial Eyes”.
He “outed” Sabine Wren as “not what he wanted”, but who has power. He knew he had no power over the Emperor. But the tiny amount of power he had to influence the process in the galaxy.
Watch Thrawn’s eyes when he speaks of Sabine. They widen and then his voice breaks. One of the rare times Thrawn becomes emotional. Chiss are normally do not share emotion. It is seen as being uncouth. Since Chiss are adults by 10 years of age, they have had military training to shut their emotions completely off.
Art is Thrawn’s outlet to focus his anger, rage, hurt, pain into its analysis. But what about love, compassion and care — the good things? Because, Sabine Wren creates her art for that purpose. Can Thrawn see the “good things” in Sabine’s art?