If one had to pick the quintessential Renaissance Man, one could certainly do worse than to select Leonardo Da Vinci. His maxim was Saper Vedere, which means “to learn how to see.” It explains, perhaps, why Da Vinci wasn’t the best at completing work. To him, the challenge was figuring out how to execute the commission, not the more mundane painting or sculpting.
There is a story, perhaps it is true, that when he was commissioned to do the “Last Supper,” he really struggled with it. It was hard. There was no action. No women. It was indoors. Plus he had to paint it on a wall with a door in it. So he would come to the abbey where he was to paint the mural and would sit and stare at the wall, trying to figure out how to execute it.
Because of this, the monks complained he was the world’s laziest painter – all he did was sit and stare at the wall.
I admire this – this willingness to stare at the blank wall all day just to get the thing right – to learn how to see.