What do you pay attention to?

I don't know why, but on our recent road trip I started noticing fire hydrants. I realized that I have a mental image of what a fire hydrant looks like – it's red and shaped like a fire hydrant! This one that I saw in St. Louis has the right shape but the color is wrong. 

Hydrant-StLouis

In Chicago the color is right (red) but the shape is wrong.

Hydrant-Chicago

The more places we visited, the more hydrants I noticed. I must not be alone in this. At least one artist in Burlington, VT, pays attention to hydrants too.

HydrantSculpture-ShelburneVT-02

In NYC this hydrant wore basic black with silver accents.

Hydrant-NYC

This hydrant on the Johns Hopkins campus in Baltimore could use some paint – or ivy.

Hydrant-Hopkins

Last week in Knoxville I walked past this cheerful one every day. There was another one nearby that had a green top!

Hydrant-Knoxville

I tell people in my color lecture that it's really important to walk around with your eyes open and to pay attention to what you see. I pay attention to colors and color combinations, shapes, and textures that catch my eye.

What did I learn from these hydrants? Once I realized that all hydrants do not match the image that I have of them in my head, I saw them better. Using an unexpected color for an object in an applique quilt would make it more noticeable.

6 thoughts on “What do you pay attention to?

  1. It’s like noticing manhole covers when I lived in Japan. Who would have thought they could be pretty! Just ordered your new book. Hopefully this will spark my applique interest again! Just got back Cinnamon Stitches from the quilter. I hadn’t worked on it since 2001!

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  2. Thanks for sharing your great eye. Can’t remember which city it was, but several years ago they painted their fire hydrants like little people.

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  3. Actually, the different colors translate to different degrees of water pressure. In central Texas, a blue top has the best psi. You can Google this if you really want the details and see how the one near your house is rated. Also, blue street reflectors (in the payment) mean there is a fire hydrant to the right of it on the side of the street (helps the firemen quickly locate it). I’m have a “Cliff Claven” moment today…

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