Looking for Potential in the Ordinary

We spent the holiday weekend in Florida, a trip I never mind making. I love a road trip, after all, love loading up the car and heading down the highway with our dog, a couple of great audiobooks, a pile of magazines and a stash of knitting. My sweet husband drives, and I am most content to be the passenger for a while, responsible for nothing more than keeping myself entertained on the long drive.

That’s particularly easy now that I’ve studied with Mary Bentz Gilkerson, an artist who takes (intentionally) mediocre photographs of unremarkable landscapes and paints them into glory. I’m not exaggerating when I say Mary’s example of looking for potential in the ordinary has totally transformed the way I look at the world around me.

(If you don’t know Mary’s work, check it out here. Then sign up for her Daily Painting emails. It’s a little gift each afternoon to see what she and her palette knife have created.)

Inspired by Mary, I spent much of the drive snap snap snapping out the window with my iPhone’s camera. I rejoiced each time the landscape changed. Then on the way home, we hit standstill traffic on I-26 and Tim took a quick turn off the Interstate and onto Highway 6. I could not believe my good fortune.

Thank you, Tim. Thank you, Mary! Thank you for opening my eyes to all that is there, just outside my car window.