Monday, May 24, 2010

Playing With Tapa Ideas

Aloha, Digital
© 2010 Fannie Narte

"Aloha" is a special word to the island people. I say "island people," and not "Hawaiians" because Hawaii is a place where many cultures call "home."

Many years ago, I attended a musical event on the Big Island, and the emcee was a radio show personality who went around the room asking audience members this question:

Do you think you have to be Hawaiian to understand and live the true meaning of "Aloha"?

I listened to the thoughtful and sometimes emotional responses with interest. It was an education for me. Before that moment, I had never considered the true meaning of "Aloha." Aloha was commonly used as a greeting among my family and friends. It can be found on stationery and note pads for personal use. Businesses used the word "Aloha" as a part of their names. Like the phrase "you're the best" or the question "How are you?", "Aloha" was a word we used frequently without much thought. It was one of those words I took for granted.

When someone gives you their "Aloha" in word or deed, they are giving you gifts from their heart. What does that mean? It means that they are expressing love and kindness through their words, and if given materially or by a hug, along with that gift or hug is given the gift of acceptance and unconditional love.

Aloha, Digital Quilt

The above digital quilt includes four images of my painted fabric, which was inspired by memories of a high school art lesson. We learned to make tapa using a crumpled brown paper bag, brown paint and black India ink.

Tapa was a popular fabric design and one of my favorites when I lived in Hawaii. It still is a popular design today.

This earth tones painted fabric was screaming "Tapa"! I used stencils made from hole punches and cardstock. The thin black lines were made using the side of a plastic card, such as a credit card, and in other areas, by using a brush.

When I painted this, it felt like I was journaling or doodling. I just set out painting one image, one row at a time, and added more images and more rows . . .

. . . until the piece was completed.

Thinking about . . . Mr. Kekauoha, my high school art and music teacher, spending time at the beach with family and friends, the sounds of the waves pounding against the sharp rocks, the fragrance of the pink and white plumerias from the tree in our front yard, sitting on the porch during whale season and waiting for them to make their appearance, waiting for Auntie Gladys to bring her famous brownies, listening to my cousins playing their ukuleles and singing songs . . .

Remembering . . .

No, I don't think you have to be Hawaiian to understand and live the true meaning of "Aloha."

"Alo-o-o-ha, ya'll !"


Kelly Warren said...

One day, I will visit Hawaii. :-) I saw a preview of the summer Sew Somerset today!

Lisa M Griffin said...

Fannie it sounds lovely... and I place that I truly dream of visiting one day. Thanks for sharing your memories and talent, "doodling" on fabric sounds like a wonderful way to spend a day.

WoolenSails said...

I think I would like to visit Hawaii, so many beautiful sites and things to do. Love the fabric you made.


Fannie said...

Hi, Kelly. You are privileged to see the preview of Sew Somerset--wink, wink. Can't wait to receive my copy. ♥♫♥

Lisa, I hope you get to visit Hawaii some day with your lovely family. Thanks for stopping by and leaving your encouraging comments.

Hi, Debbie. I hope you get to visit Hawaii someday soon. Thanks for visiting. "Alo-o-ha!" ♥♫♥

Janet said...

This is such a beautiful post. I've never been to Hawaii but my grand daughters lived there for several years. The fabrics you painted are so unique....I love them.

quiltcrazygaljennalouise said...

What a wonderful post. My parents went to Hawaii for their 25th, I hope to venture there one day. I love my Pretty Little Quilts book, I'm still very excited as I turn the pages! Thank you again:)