Saturday, September 27, 2014

The White Bench blog Archives.


Dear friends and readers,

thank you for your patience while I was keeping this blog offline for a much- needed Spring cleaning. The White Bench, so dear to my heart, is once again available for you to read!

It will remain as an archive to my new "The White Bench" blog on my domain, with the main steps of my personal and artistic journey, that led me where I am now- a simple girl, an artist, a daydreamer, a very strong introvert (who is chatty, open and fun), who navigates this life with an open heart and mind, now living on purpose.
So much to discover yet, so much to learn, so much to share...

I truly hope my own humble experience, and posts written from the heart, will inspire you in your own journey.

Much love,
Monica xo

P.S. Do come to the new The White Bench blog! Let's chat there!
(Just click on BLOG in the navigation bar at the top of this page).

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I Have Moved!

Visit my new home on the web... here.
See you there!!

Monica xo

Monday, May 12, 2014

SURTEX!


It's that time of year once again! Yay!

My portfolio has been fattened with new designs and images, so please do pay my lovely agents a visit at the Jacob Javits Center, in New York City, later this week! They'll be very glad to see you.

Find my work at Booth(s): 407, 409.

Monica x

Monday, April 28, 2014

Busy Bee Here!

Just a super quick post with a sneak peek of what I'm going to share over the next weeks! :)

Spring has sprung in the Cotswolds, and new ideas have emerged... LOTS of new ideas!

It's time for me to bring them to life, one after another, and then I will share with you! I now know what I was inconsciously working on! ... And it's super- duper exciting! :)



Lots of love from me to you,
Monica xo

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Welcoming my LIFE IS A JOURNEY Mugs with Carson Home Accents.



So happy to see they're now available on the market!
I hope you'll love them!

"Life is a journey... and LOVE is what makes our journey worthwhile!"
Monica x

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

From my English Country Diary: Reawakening.

I took these pictures two months ago, in mid February.
Winter has been exceptionally mild here in England this year (and all around Europe from what I heard from family and friends- I don't watch tv nor weather forecasts, so I just wait to learn from someone I know! :)).

Hence in mid February, we've had some gorgeous sunny days, with very warm temperatures... like the very day when I took these photos. It was so beautiful, that I decided to go exploring a new area (about 10 miles away from Banbury), wellies in the car boot and big camera on hand.

Nature was reawakening... and I was right in the middle of this. Looking in retrospect, I believe I was re-awakening too. To old committments and ideas, to who I really am and how I want to live, what I have to do in order to wholeheartedly answer my calling in this life. It's such a good think to sometimes pause and ask yourself where you're going and why, and after busy deadlines when you take time to rest, is quite a good moment to do so.


Daffodils were at the "leaves and green bud" stage. Now in mid April, the daffodils season is over, already, but I'll show you in another post. 


The colors were definitely changing from the dull shades of gray to vibrant sienna, bright blue and tender greens.


I love to go walking without books/maps, and be surprised at each and every step I take... so when I spot a green sign indicating a public footpath from the road, I stop, wear my wellies and off I go! It's funny that I write this now, because I've always believed I had no sense of direction... but surely having to deal with a bit of a challenging situation when moved here, helped me practicing trust. And I now trust completely that I can absolutely do that without any fear or worry (and that I'm in for a treat, always!). 

Seeing this view surely sparked my interest...


... and after I crossed the fence doing the usual acrobatics on the stile (holding camera, bag, Iphone and obvioulsy taking an insta-picture for Project Life, trying not to roll down!), I saw this.
You bet my heart started racing, after months of inactivity...



As I walked, beaming like a child, and with the occasional giggles too, I met the inhabitants of the adjacent farm... we exchanged smiles and chats, and I proceeded full of anticipation. It must be grand living there!




... and at each stile my heart expanded on to an open, vast, exciting, new view.





As soon as I entered the wood (quite difficultly actually, because the stile was really wonky!), a poor pheasant started screaming like crazy, running away from here...


... and immediately I raised my eyes and realized I was in the middle of an untouched path. Perhaps no one had walked along it for a long time...

I standed still for quite a while, observing all around me with eyes of wonder and gratitude. My mind was silent, my heart at peace with the same peace of that place. As soon as I slowly started moving, the handsome, feathered guy started screaming again, this time launching himself in a spectacular flight across the vegetation, to reach the open fields nearby.
I decided to not disturb the fauna anylonger, and go back. 
While U- turning, I noticed the adjacent property's garden... with a white bench in it... ♡and wondered who sit down there and their feelings when doing so (and about living in such a paradise). I dreamt of how that would have looked like when Spring was in full swing. I may come back again.





A simple life, very little needs, living close to Nature, and learning from it, savoring the little things, soaking up the beauty and the silence, and being grateful for and inspired by everything. That's my kind of Heaven on Earth!
Monica x

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

March Days.


In March I was busy as a bee making new stuff for Surtex, which will be in NYC in just a month. I felt the calling (oh, sooo strong!) to paint the Ocean again, after more than 10 years that I didn't (I used to paint many sea related themes previously, even if I've always thought I wasn't a "sea person"). I was back on the road again, exploring and feeling the Spring vibes through my whole body driving along the country roads of this glorious Country!

I cooked, cleaned, cried an awful lot, started makeovers, celebrated, observed the light change and the first sunbeams come again into my studio through the window, like last Spring when I first moved to this house; have felt the warmth of sunshine on my skin like it was italian, and realized it's universal and always present, even on cloudy or rainy days ; have seen thousands of daffodils, that took my breath away each and every time I spotted yellow in the distance, picked and treated myself to endless bunches of them (differently from Italy where you cannot find them if not as bulbs, at least where I used to live, in England you can find fresh daffodils for sale everywhere). I reaffirmed strongly my love for yellow, and wondered why lots of people say I like this and dislike that color? Colors are all sooo amazing! Could you imagine a world without yellow or orange?? They are in sunsets, rocks, fruits, vegetables, spontaneous flowers, birds feathers, fish, butterflies...

In March, I picked the first colored posy of Spring flowers in our garden, enjoyed several gorgeous sunsets, decided to get rid of all of the chemicals in our home and started a mission to natural housecleaning and natural everything, felt a big (very big) project I have in my heart and mind calling me out loud, decided I can do that and it's my intention to do that; had a steep spiritual growth again, planted sweet peas in my secret garden, sowed zucchini indoors on the windowsill, and reaffirmed to myself I am a romantic, old- fashioned girl! After all, I love wearing brimmed hats, jabot shirts, lacy gloves, pearls and cameos, long, long large skirts and petticoats, tartan trousers and Oxford shoes, a ribbon or flower in my hair. Not trendy at all, and maybe also a bit demodé- but that's who I am, and I feel good, so good this way!

Monica xo

Friday, April 4, 2014

Sharing Beauty and Inspiration Worldwide. A Somerset Life Article.




For reasons I already wrote here and there during my ramblings, and I may want to told you about again in my posts in the future, I don't submit to magazines any more.
When a magazine knocks at my door, and the feature they are interested in is aligned to my calling in this life, I'm glad to say yes! Otherwise I gladly leave room for others to grow.

This article means a lot to me, it's the most inspired I've written so far (actually I had no idea what to write, but the right words materialized themselves on the pages), because it's the first one I write from a new frame of mind. The new issue of the magazine is out, so I can share it with you here now.

Many heartefelt thanks to Christen Olivarez and all of the team at Somerset Life (this magazine has, and will always have, such a dear spot in my heart. It's always such a pleasure to contribute to it) not only for these gorgeous pages, but for they have believed in me since the very beginning! I have tears in my eyes just writing this.
A very, very special thanks to former Somerset Life Editor Jennifer Taylor who put it together, choosing the "just perfect" pictures to share a bit more of my heart and soul.

... Enjoy!







Monica xo

Monday, March 31, 2014

An Artist's Ordinary Week.

Hey, look at this fabric!!
How pret.ty!!
...
Where does it come from??
(I had completely forgotten about it!)
...
What can I use it for? It's so gorgeous that I must put it to good use!
... Ooh it's soo beautiful!!
Well, let's think about that
(leaving it out to "rest" on the living room chair).


Oh well, March, time for flowers! 
Where on earth are my pink flowery cups and teapots hidden?
Have to jot down the current temperatures in my garden journal.


Oh the joy of Spring teas in flower cups! 
(GOSH, need them for styling with fresh flowers! I see greeting cards galore). 
Where did I see those amazing pink roses, by the way?)
... ooh these dishes are soo pretty!
(staring at them while doing the washing up).
I should try agave syrup.


I have to write a blog post about this (totally unrelated subject)...
...
(while doing something completely diffferent) 
Let's clean the vintage suitcases I found a few days ago at the recycling centre shop! 
I bought them for my studio but... 
hmmm. 
let's see... they look perfect here! 
(moving everything around the living room and leaving all OUT).
Now I need another one or two for the studio...


Gosh!
Deadline is fast approaching! One week to go! 
Just finished the previous collection and I would have the time to do all in calm... 
but what if I started something new?
Hmmm crazy thought...
I don't have the time...
Hmmm...
... pulling at my heartstrings! Must do that!!!
Why not?
Let's go and gather some art supplies.


This is crazy.
... Oooooh I NEEED to do that!!!
Where on earth is glue?? And oh my, where did I put the vintage maps?
(instinctively grabbing acrylic bottles and already thinking of a simphony of blue greens)
I think I have to remake those frames in the living room.


Look at this pretty green!
Oh my that is a gorgeous shade of blue! 
Oh my oh my (heart beating faster)... let's add this one too!
Where are the wax pastels?
Mmm the bread in the bread maker must be ready!
(while taking the loaf out of the bread machine)
I AM ready!
Ok, paints on the palette. A little more blue...
...
Breathe. Open. GO.


Do I know what I'm doing?
Definitely.
Will the result be what I have in mind? 
Hmmm... maybe. Maybe not.
Does it matter? I need to do this NOW!


... (all kind of inexpressible thoughts and feelings)...
...
...


(While painting)
Aaah basil! 
What if I'd plant it in a larger pot to make it grow bigger?
Mmmm bruschetta in the garden on a sunny day!
Did I buy an amazingly gorgeous pot at the recycling centre?
Oh I looove mustard yellow!!


Yes I can have a break now... I need to plant the basil.
(bad weather though- rain then a brief sun spell, then rain and hail again)
... oh no.
Well, let's garden in the car boot!


Aah, zucchini! 
(while remembering and savoring those I picked everyday in my old orchard)
Where are the seeds?
(hidden under a pile of fabrics and Christmas lights still to be put away).


I'd have a slice of freshly baked bread with marmelade, please. 
And a mug of lemon tea with honey.
Wow, I could make lemon soap! And honey soap as well!
Must find the soap moulds.


Better that I go and work on my backgrounds.


What about adding navy blue?? Oh looove navy blue! 
Where's my navy blue bag by the way?
Must find the jeans skirt, too!
Awwwwww!!! A patchwork throw with jeans scraps!!!


The big log basket is way too big now! 
What I can use it for?


Off to buy milk and fruit!
(coming back with daffs from hubby and a pot of sweet peas, too).
...
(too many thoughts and feelings and ideas while driving to be expressed)
...


Well, it's time to make my own liquid soap!
Where are the soap flakes?


Better to go and take a breath of fresh air before starting to paint.
Oooh violets are out!!!!


I'd pick some to press and send to Mom and girl friends!
I need to paint more violets.
Mmmm violet... purple... I see purple now!


Let's add a splash of aqua green. 
Will lemon yellow be too much?
Well I love it! Why not?


Great job! You go girl!
Now off to edit all of those photographs. 
Ah, and better to make some pizza dough for tonight.


Have I changed the water? 
Oh that yellow!!! 
Must paint these!
...
I have to remake all of the pillows in the kitchen!
What about gingham red? Yellow and white dots? Green checks?
hmm.
...
Where is the green checkered fabric I had in my previous kitchen?


....
and on...
and on... and on.

(All photos taken with my phone. Giving myself permission to use it all the time.
I wouldn't have been able to capture life and so many emotions/ideas with my big camera!)

... That's how the highly creative mind works! ;)

Monica xo