Almost exactly one year before the Apollo 4 mission, Gabrielle was preparing to draw Halloween pumpkins during her kindergarten art class.
The class bully took Gabrielle's orange crayon. She looked at the remaining colours in her box. She knew that orange is a secondary colour, as are purple and green. She worried that the teacher would look at a green pumpkin and think she had drawn an unripe one by mistake, so instead, Gabrielle chose to draw a purple pumpkin.
Gabrielle should have told her teacher that her orange crayon was taken from her but she was shy because her kindergarten teacher was the most beautiful woman in the world. Gabrielle thought her teacher would be utterly stunning wearing a shiny silver space suit like the one June Lockhart wore in "Lost in Space." That afternoon, Gabrielle learned that creativity involves making many choices - even if she didn't learn to be assertive until later.
Fast forward to the first space shuttle missions and Gabrielle was earning her BFA in painting and photography at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario Canada. Gabrielle listened to punk music. She learned to become more assertive and she made young adult, angst ridden paintings about the apocalypse. There are no records of purple pumpkin imagery during these years but she did paint red monsters and hammered galvanized steel shapes onto large plywood sheets. Nobody dared to steal Gabrielle’s crayons.
Throughout the years, Gabrielle has worked day jobs and took part in shows in galleries and museums in Canada and Australia. Her imagery mellowed and she began working smaller.
Now, Gabrielle freelances as a graphic designer and lives in a big old farmhouse in the country. She shares her crayons with her children who have drawn many spaceships and rockets over the years. She and her husband grew pumpkins during fourteen years of market gardening. Occasionally, Gabrielle lies in her hammock under the stars and stares at the moon. She marvels that the footsteps made on the moon’s surface in 1969 are still there, just like it happened yesterday. She wonders at how time flies.