Pay Attention to how you Pay Attention

I read this quote on a recent blog post from Austin Kleon. If you don't subscribe to his newsletter, you should! Here's the link to his site.

Kleon lives in Austin, Texas. One day he was having a conversation with a friend about how the beauty of Texas is subtle. "Texas isn't Grand." said his friend. "If you want Grand, you need to go to Colorado or Montana, or something." 

Have you ever been to Austin, Texas? I have! It's pretty grand in comparison to Louisiana. Austin is like the California of the South with rolling hills, and crystal clear blue lakes.  It's...pretty darn nice.  Now I'm not saying Louisiana isn't pretty. We have pretty moss-covered oaks, and the bayous and swamps have their own unique beauty. But, really...most of the time we have to work hard to see the beauty. It's there, but we have to pay attention to the  subtleties.


Which brings me to art. I am not naturally the most observant person, but practicing  art has taught me to "see". I've trained my eye to pay attention to the subtleties of my subject. And it's really the coolest thing. 

Try this: Spend 20 minutes looking at an object-any object and just observe it. I know 20 minutes seems like a long time, but I promise you will see things that surprise you.