Friday, April 13, 2012

Angelina Cat

 Angelina Cat, AAQI Quilt Donation, 9" x 12"
© 2012 Fannie Narte


"We made memories that changed the both of us during the brief time we shared together.  She shared her dreams and her dreams became my reality.

"Now she can't remember me . . . she can't remember us ."


Finding a story and a name for each of my AAQI quilts are a joyful part of my process.  Once in a while, I come up empty, no ideas, no thoughts, no name or story . . . like with this quilt.

This angel cat quilt looked at me each day waiting and waiting to find meaning in her existence, but nothing happened.  Each morning I entered my studio, I smiled at her and remembered every stitch and every loving brush stroke.  She told me she loved leaves, and I gave her leaves.  She told me she wished her eyes were hazel, and I did my best to please her.  We made memories that changed the both of us during the brief time we shared together.  She shared her dreams and her dreams became my reality.
And at the end of each day, I turned off the lights to my studio . . . still not knowing her name.

Although this is a narrative of my experience in creating "Angelina Cat," if you ponder each sentence and its symbolic meaning, you might find that this story also parallels the stories and experiences of Alzheimer's patients and their families.

Alzheimer's destroys memories and histories and relationships which were nurtured and developed over a lifetime.  Cruel and sad . . . 


My five-year old granddaughter, Kiana, we call her "Kiki," likes to spend time with me in my studio. The first day I pinned my quilt onto my design wall, Kiki sketched her . . .

and yesterday, she made another version, inspired by two pieces of gold foil wrappers from her Easter candies.  She held her picture and said,

  "Look, Mimi, Angelina!"

Thanks for telling me her name, Kiki! 


With pencils, markers, crayons and recycled papers scattered all around her, Kiki profusely draws the stories dancing in her head, like . . .

the cheetah who was walking near a pond one day . . .

and thinking about catching one of those yummy fishes playing in the pond . . .  

 and -- uh-oh -- his friend was thinking the same thing.

Sometimes Kiki sings her stories and draws the characters in her stories while she sings.  I sing with her too.  We take turns adding lyrics to our song.  Most of the lines are silly and sometimes they rhyme and make sense.  While we sing/play, she draws and I work on my project.  We dream together; we dance together; we sing together; we make music together; we make art together.

I love creating with Kiki.  She's fearless.  I watch her in awe.  She produces a pile of images every day.  She is an example of the kind of artist I hope to be . . . someday.  She inspires me beyond her comprehension.

We love you, too, Kiki!

Making sweet memories with my Kiki . . .


WoolenSails said...

I love your new piece and I love the story behind it.
How wonderful that you and Kiki can spend time creating together and how she is filled with such joy. I always loved teaching kids more than adults, they would do their projects without worrying about being perfect.


Lorraine said...

there is something so free about childrens art..lovely post