I used to think the Midwest American suburb I grew up in was ugly. Actually, it sort of is. But lately I've come to see it a little differently. Sometimes I'm able not only to judge and get lost in thinking, but to observe and notice. It's not that I find beauty exactly, but I do find something close to it, like a sibling quality. There's something enigmatic about the strip malls, the rows of clapboard houses, and the wide streets with telephone poles and big sky. As much as I find it hard to take time away from my discursive mind, I've learned an artist's fuel is observation. Even if it doesn't directly influence my work, in a way it is the work. As Jeannette Winterson says, "It's not a question of what art is about, but what art is by its very nature, a work of art is not about something, it is something, and that something that it is connects what has been separated." What could you notice that you've overlooked? What have you judged to be ugly that you could find some beauty in?