When I pulled gather out of the wordplay envelope that Heather Smith Jones sent me, I was excited. I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I had this image in my head of a young girl gathering something – apples off a tree, flowers from a field – in her hands, holding it out to share with the world. I wasn’t sure how I could convey this. I thought about photography and drawing and even painting. I stewed on the word, rolled it around in my head and wondered about some of its synonyms like congregate and collect.
Life got busy and I put gather on a shelf, waiting for inspiration to strike. The vision of the girl was fading. I thought about it from time to time, but never put pen to paper or picked up my camera. Suddenly, it was November and I had a deadline. I took out a fresh piece of paper and my micron and started writing down everything I was thinking about this word. About halfway through the page, it came to me: I was gathering my thoughts. And I knew exactly what to do.
I found a board left over from my recycling bin art project and painted it a neutral green. I took my sheet of thoughts and ripped it up in to small bits which I decoupaged on to the board.
I used an aqua acrylic to paint the words and the spots, giving it a bit of a wash in places.
My only regret is that I didn’t have more time. I would have liked to add more layers to this piece. I’m okay with it, though. Wordplay is about inspiration and creative process and I am happy with where gather went. Who knows, I may be inspired to take it even further.
I have really enjoyed working on this project with Emily and Tracy. They are incredibly talented ladies and I feel lucky that I got to do this with them. I can’t wait to see their interpretations of this word. And thanks, too, to Heather (and Shari, Jen and Blair) for giving us a great starting point. Isn’t it amazing what can be done with a single word?