One of the artists whose work I feature called me "You know how I said I'd stop by this week? I just got an order for painted glasses. How about I paint them in the shop?" Wow, great idea! My first 'Artist-in-Residence' at The Green Gecko. Sounds exciting!
Lesley McDougall is the creator of Mehndi Glass: "a unique collection of hand painted glassware, jewelry and glass art inspired by the ancient art of Mehndi".
When Lesley first introduced me to her Mehndi inspired glass art I felt an instant connection. Mehndi is common in India; where I have spent time traveling as well as buying for the shop. India is a very special place. You can be amazed, shocked, mystified and inspired all within the same minute. A place where the markets are filled with the aroma of spicy curries and fragrant incense; cows have the right of way on busy city streets; the scenery is punctuated with the bright colours of women's saris and sadhu's orange robes; and the term 'line-up' has absolutely no meaning.
Traditional Mehndi uses henna to colour the skin; like a tattoo but not permanent. Originally henna was mostly used as a form of decoration for brides but you will also see it applied during special occasions and Hindu festivals. The design is usually drawn on the palms and feet.
On the streets in India I have seen many young women with their hands laid out having their palms henna painted. The designs are drawn 'free-hand' without a pattern to trace or follow. There are many traditional symbols and motifs which are intricately drawn and linked together to form a fluid design. Incredibly smooth strokes are used. I could never accomplish this! The symbols and designs have different meanings; for example flowers symbolize joy and happiness, the sun symbolizes deep and lasting love. In India, it is believed that the darker the henna colour forms on the bride's skin the more the husband loves her.
I watched as Lesley painted her designs on champagne glasses, using the same fluid strokes I've seen the women in India use on a bride-to-be's palm.
This is what Lesley created while sitting on my porch.
(click to enlarge)
I wonder what other artwork can be created in this simple setting? Feeling like the store and my customers were a part of the process was neat. I think I should try it again. Any other local artists that would like to create on my porch?
Send me an email.