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.

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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.

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I used an aqua acrylic to paint the words and the spots, giving it a bit of a wash in places.

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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?

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