To solve this puzzle, note the key word in the text:
If we employ this on each of the three parts of the puzzle text, we can get the following:
So the reason your puzzle was closed is because it seems like you were telling us:
So please provide suitable attribution!! ;-)
The culprit is:
Taking line 11 of the pastebin link in the problem (a text representation of all the notes):
Summing all the digits in each 'word' gives:
Converting to letters:
By some brute force, I found that
Not sure where to go from here!
With a clue from @Punintended:
@Gahja pointed out that:
My guess as to what the The Great Art has to do with ...
This looks like some sort of cryptogram -- each symbol in the ciphertext replacing some symbol in the plaintext. "7l8" occurs over and over again, often at the start of a line; could it be "the"? If so then "7l858" is presumably "there" (could be "these" but that seems less likely) and then probably "l6&...
First of all, as indicated by the write_as_ascii() function, the message is actually a series of bytes (uint8_t), not 16-bits words. The words given are the combination of two bytes in a little endian format, meaning the least-significant byte is first (e.g. 5dcb is actually the byte CB followed by the byte 5D).
Moreover, the decoding function write_as_ascii(...
Some observations that might eventually amount to something, or not:
Without the artist's signature, it's hard to know if the painting is oriented as intended. It could be upside-down. It could be sideways too, but I for one find it more aesthetically pleasing in portrait position.
When we do get it right side up, there's no guarantee that the information ...