Observing Observation

Whether observing a person’s demeanor at work or the salt you put down last night to melt the ice on the back steps…we’re always observing. Or are we? We’ve all  watched the oblivious texter walk (not to mention drive) right in our pathway. Can our powers of observation improve? Can we become more observant about observation?

There’s an incredible illustrator and painter named James Gurney, the author/illustrator of Dinotopia books. Visit his blog here. He carries sketching tools with him, it seems virtually wherever he goes, and draws/paints what catches his eye. Like his fantastic dinosaurs, James Gurney is an omnivore of observation wherever he is. For example, here’s his observational sketch of the conductor at a concert he attended:


We don’t have to be able to draw like James Gurney to see him as a super observer and an example of how powers of observation can increase with practice.