"Making something you have never imagined will greatly increase your ability to imagine things you have never made, and then go on to make them."
"The sky is a hard silvery blue right now. There is a small band of peach colored sky along the northwest horizon. It is getting darker out as I sit here writing this. It looks more like evening than morning."
Do you give yourself the time to pause and reflect when something catches your eye. You may stop for half a second. But do you then think about what it is that made you stop?
What if this power of observation is not something that you have honed quite yet? If you want to work on this ability to notice, I recommend spending a few minutes every day observing one thing, the same thing, everyday, and try to put into words what you have seen. The sky is great because it is always changing. But pick the same time each day, and you will incorporate the passage of time into your observations as well. Days lengthening or shortening will change the quality of the light.
Have you ever seen those film clips on YouTube of photos that people take of themselves each day? The pictures flash by, with clothes and hair changing, but little else. Glasses seem to float on the face as they move around just a bit each day. If writing is not your thing, maybe you could do a portrait each day of a spouse, yourself or your pet. They don't have to be super refined or finished. Just the same thing, every day. If you do this for a month, you will find yourself noticing things by the end of that month that you never saw before.
Learning to pay attention takes practice. And once you are paying attention, it won't automatically translate into a new body of work. It may mean that you will start to find inspiration in the ordinary and everyday. It really is out there for all of us to access. We just have to notice.