Art Tip #4    From Carol Worthey

What Are The Life Benefits of Developing Keen Observation?

Carol Worthey

In some ways this is like asking how can you tell when someone is alive? Can they move? Are they breathing? Keen observation is VITAL. But do we do it on a daily basis? Ah, that is the question. Do we get so ingrained, going down the same streets to the same places nearly every day, into barely seeing what we expect to see that we are not really looking? Are we so trapped in our own universes that we have failed to look outward?

Observing face to face what's really there is a key ability in handling life. That is one simple reason (all aesthetic judgements aside) that being able to draw what's in front of you in the Here and Now is the Bottomline to all kinds of visual art.

Keen Observation is also an ability that can save your life: Suppose you have (by developing your drawing ability) learned to judge distance, size, shape, color and even speed of moving objects. If you are driving a car, this drawing skill could save your life. It has saved mine on several hair-raising occasions. How tall is that man? What was he wearing? How light or dark is it? What was his license number before he hit and ran? If you are being asked to be a witness in a court trial and you have been able to learn how to observe and recall with accuracy, your powers of observation could save someone else's life. Let's put forth a scary scenario: You are being followed down a sidewalk by a suspicious man. When you pull out your whistle and blow it, the mugger (rapist?) runs away. If you can recall his features, height, build, you can help a Police Artist draw a telling portrait of this criminal and save many lives. On a lighter note, if you are able to notice landmarks and have developed an accurate sense of direction, you are less likely to get lost. If you are a man, this means you don’t have to endure your lady begging you to stop at the gas station... I couldn’t resist that one!

Next: Will Accurate Drawing Kill Imagination?