One of the requirements of being a good "visual artist" is making sure you have a keen eye to observe nature, lighting and the world around you. To me this is a very important ability to have to interpret and of course to have the ability to paint; paper and brushes to communicate visually what has moved you. I think this is what sets a lot of artists from just being in "the pack" to being a loner in their skills and interpretations.
Seeing color, composition, texture, atmosphere and lighting is an exciting visual experience. The challenge also is to be able to paint plein air (on the spot) and have the scene right in front of you. This is the test of a "real artist" and "the hobby" or "Sunday painter". Before doing any painting you must really be excited about what you're seeing!
"The eye never has enough of seeing" (Ecclesiastes 1:8).