At the outset I will tell you that both ‘Stained’ Sharpies and ‘Crayola Fabric Fine Line Markers’ are good pens and do what they say they will do.. Permanently colour fabric.
My first set of fabric markers were the ‘Stained’ Sharpies which I brought to colour my ‘Bird’ (yes you can buy it 🙂 ) colouring cushion on a long, tedious flight from Australia to France. I loved the pastel colours but was slightly disappointed when they faded a bit on drying. In terms of the range of colours from the ‘Stained’ 8 pack set, (I could always use a few more colours) but most noticeably absent was light blue, I really missed that. My ‘Crayola’ fabric marker set had your standard range of colours and are more dense, less transparent than ‘Stained’ as you can see in the pics below.
The Sharpies crew seem to have really pushed their research and development because what is fantastic about ‘Stained’ Sharpies is that they don’t need to be ironed over and they seem to wash well. Also they don’t run or bleed (very much.. red did a little and any brand of markers tend to run more when there is extreme humidity but thats understandable). With Crayola markers you do need to iron for a few minutes before their first wash but thats not very hard :). I haven’t experienced any running from Crayola pens at all, however with some colours you might need to apply the colour twice, particularly with our old friend light blue!
Regarding the application of colour, Sharpie again has done its research creating a smooth almost brush like tip which gets into the corners of the finest details. The fine, soft tip is a pleasure to use, it makes texturing and shading easier. Conversely, the so called ‘Fine Liner’ of Crayola has a bit of a stubby tip and feels a little dry on application, I almost want to lick the tip as we used to do in primary school when the pens began to run out.
The soft tip and light, almost transparent, colour tones of the Sharpies makes blending (fabric they are easy to layer which of course extends your range of colours considerably) and layering a breeze. Layering colours with Crayola creates good effect but blending colours through shading is a bit more work because of the thicker lines.
Finally price! An 8 pack of ‘Stained’ Sharpies on average comes in at $17 and they are easy to find online and in shops (Office Works Sometimes and Big W in Australia). Crayola is cheaper averaging $13 online, I haven’t found an offline outlet yet.
As I have the luxury spending a bit of money on pens (my favourite business expense) I find that it is perfect to have both sets of pens, I have a great range of colours and different transparency is fun to play around with. If your out shopping you really can’t go wrong with either set, accept if you are doing super fine work in which case I recommend ‘Stained’. Do watch the weather though as humidity can cause problems with fabric markers. Markers that I have received complaints about bleeding (and also going thought the back of the fabric) are ‘Tgey’ markers, avoid this brand. The colouring cushions featured in the photos can be purchased in our online ‘Shop’ as can the ‘Crayola Fabric Fine Line Markers.’
“I’ve always had a passion for art and felt a compulsive need to create; not just tangible art like a painting or a sculpture which although may convey deep emotions or trigger a sense of awe, it is the personal and intimate nature of henna art which I am so attracted to.”
Ester Bodnar has been working at Divine Henna since early 2014. She is a natural henna artist with a sensuous and flowing style and a passion for art and healing.
Esters journey with us has been beautiful to watch. We invited her to become a trainee after seeing the lovely work she had done on her own hands with one of our kits. Initially she went through the nervousness that all new artists feel when applying their art to the public, but you could tell she was in her element and loved every moment. This is the secret to good henna art, to enjoy every line you apply.
Esters natural affinity with henna is reflected in her own words..
“Through henna, one really gets close to their subject, the canvas being their skin, which is offered in complete faith to be created into a piece of art that they and others are able to admire; this admiration does not so much feed the artistic ego as so many other art forms do, but is divided as the subject undeniably plays a role in the creation of the piece, their energy and spirit ultimately influences the artist to create a completely individual design which compliments the subject personally. The creative flow with the medium of henna feels seamless and natural to me allows a feeling of freedom to take the reigns of my artistic expression to create art not only for myself but for others as well.”
With her natural talent and continued work at Eumundi markets Ester has quickly become a skilled henna artist in her own right. I marvel each week at how she has developed her own flowing flare and sucked up every new technique she saw around her. Its a thrill watching as her self confidence grows and her other artistic pursuits soar to new heights.
Ester is now doing appointments for Divine Henna in Brisbane. She works for Divine Henna at the Eumundi Markets during school holidays. Please Contact us to book an appointment with her.
Pics reposted from Cherie Harmony’s ‘Shodow’ blog post . Stay tuned for more henna with ‘the girl with the henna and cowboy boots’.
‘What you seek
is seeking you.’
‘Two is company,
four is a party,
three is a crowd,
One is a
– James Thurber
Photos and model Dark Horse Wanderer. Henna art by Nicki. 🙂
Following are my favourite quotes with the ever poetic theme of ‘the wander’ (in honour of muse of the moment, Cherie Harmony, aka ‘Dark Horse Wanderer’).
“Beware, O wanderer, the road is walking too.”
– Jim Harrison
“The soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone.”
“Yeah I went with nothing
Nothing but the thought of you
I went wandering”
– Johnny Cash, ‘The Wanderer’
“To wander is to be alive.”
― Roman Payne, Europa
We’ve miles to go together.”
― Matsuo Bashō, On Love and Barley: Haiku of Basho
Blessingways and Baby Showers for a henna artist are an opportunity to experience an hour of creativity with the embodiment of the miracle of life. I have my hand pressed to the belly of a mother, drawing designs on the veil which separates me from that ‘other,’ invisible world nestled in the heart of this one. The world from which all life manifests and to which it returns. Every mother is the Divine because she is the source of the miracle of life.
This Blessingway, photographed by Rebecca Colefax, was for a mother who had an air of confidence and joy. She held the space with effortlessness and grace that I had never seen. I learnt during the afternoon that these strengths were the recompense of an experienced mother.
“To be pregnant is to be vitally alive, thoroughly woman, and undoubtedly inhabited.”
– By Anne Buchanan & Debra Klingsporn
“There is such a special sweetness in being able to participate in creation.”
– Pamela S. Nadav
“Pregnancy is a process that invites you to surrender to the unseen force behind all life.”
– Judy Ford
Nicki’s Journey to Henna
Writing, drawing, painting, sculpting my way through adolescence it was natural on leaving school to go and get myself a degree in Fine Arts from the Queensland College of Art at Griffith University. Having immersed myself in abstract, theory driven ‘contemporary art,’at university I lost my heart connection with art.
A burning interest in the mystical and the hidden meaning of nature I set out to travel, to find that ineffable ‘something’ that gives life meaning. Being born “out west” I set off on a pilgrimage to the Red Centre where I felt the stirrings of meaningful art in the energy/spirit paintings of the aboriginal people.
Then the call of the east compelled me to visit South East Asia, Nepal and then India. I wondered like a ghost in ancient temples where art reverberated with the human call to the divine. It wasn’t until I returned home to the dreamy humidity of Cairns that I stumbled upon the art form that would really lead me back to a satisfying mode of expression, henna.
There was very little information about henna around when I first began and it took two years to perfect the recipe which is really the base of henna. The artistry came much more easily but it took about 5 years to develop my speed and the perfecting of each regional style is a life long pursuit. Now I am interested in developing my own style while continuing to learn the deep meaning of traditional symbols and ritual uses of henna across the world.
Recently a new e-magazine, focusing on inspirational stories & good news was started up by a beautiful and inspired woman called Kylie. The magazine is called ‘Upbeat Downstream ‘ . Each month it profiles a business person who seeks to uplift others through their work, I was happy to be their first interview for their ‘Beautiful Business’ section.
Each issue, we share the work of people who bring their beauty into the world through business. Please meet Nicki of Divine Henna Design.
Tell us about yourself. What are your passions? What gets you inspired?
I am an artist on the Sunshine Coast making a living out of what I love.. art and beauty. hosting information lookup I have a burning drive to bring more beauty, more appreciation more joy into the world and for me the best way to do this is through visual arts, specifically henna but also any other medium that comes into my path.
There is a vision always in the back of my mind of our world slowed down to a pace where we can take the time to wonder at the small beauties that fill our existence.
It is my wish that anything I do in my personal life or my business should help me and everyone around me come back to these small moments full of magic and appreciation.
“Working as a henna artist unites my world of creativity and fantasy with the practicality required to function in this world.”
Nicki, Divine Henna Design
What is your business? How did you come into it?
My business, Divine Henna Design, is based around henna body art and has grown to include my drawing and design work as well as henna products.“Working as a nna artist unites my world of creativity and fantasy with the practicality required to function in this world.” Nicki, Divine Henna Design
I have been passionate about art since my teens, but I lost my heart connection with it while studying art at university, with its emphasis on abstract, theory driven, ‘contemporary’ art.
A bit disillusioned but still with a burning interest in the hidden meaning of nature and all things mystical I set out to travel, to find that ineffable ‘something’ that gives life meaning.
Being born “out west” I set off on a pilgrimage to the Red Centre where I felt the stirrings of meaningful art in the energy/spirit paintings of the aboriginal people.
Then the call of the east compelled me to visit South East Asia, Nepal and India where I wandered in ancient temples admiring art which reverberated with the human call to the divine.
Eventually I returned home to the dreamy humidity of Cairns where I stumbled upon the art form that would lead me back to a satisfying mode of expression and unite the art forms which I had learnt to value in my travels, henna.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your work?
What is rewarding about being a henna artist is simply connection.
Connection between my dreamy, visionary mind and with my need to be of service, to give life and beauty and colour to this world.
Most of all connection with another human being in a unique, creative and often healing exchange.
In what ways do you feel that you are bringing something special to the world through your work?
Henna is a very ancient art form and what we know about it is quite limited. The plant itself is considered sacred in many cultures and it has scientifically identifiable healing properties.
When I first started using henna as body art I was very ignorant of all this but henna has worked a kind of magic on me and it works a secret magic on recipients.
Just watching a woman receiving henna you will notice responses of relaxation, appreciation and simple joy.
Working closely another human, actually painting directly on their body with a humble little herb that has been around at least since ancient Egypt, is wondrous moment of simple beauty.
Henna how I love thee let me count the ways,
I love the colour,
I love the smell,
I love the muddy paste,
I love the coolness it imparts to my skin,
I love it in my hair,
I love it on men,
I love it on women,
I love it on my hands.
Ganesha, the elephant headed god from the Hindu religion appears occasionally in bridal henna and is known to have a connection with the use of henna in body art.
Ganesha is also favoured by Jains and Buddhists and is so popular he is creeping into Western pop culture too. He is patron of arts ( hence the connection with henna ?) and sciences and is known as a remover of obstacles. Ganesha is appealed to for help in material, worldly life as well as spiritual life.
The Ganesha head was featured in this mural done for a friend. It was a nice co-incidence that he was placed near her front entrance because in more esoteric texts Ganesha is regarded as protector of entrances (particularly the orifices, or doors of the body). Also he is invoked at the beginning of rituals in his function as the god of beginnings.
I wish dearly that this deity brings happiness and prosperity to my friend and her household.