Monalysa : a history.

The name Monalysa comes from being inspired by art - in many forms and also by story. Everyone has a story. Everyone has memories that stand out as ones that make us who we are and who we want to be. Once upon a time, I was an actress and played a character named Mona. The director of the play started calling me Monalysa, combining my name with that of the characters. This is an important part of my story. The character of Mona was one of light, joy and beauty. She was bold, exuberant and lovely. She wore the most wonderful dresses, one of which was a Tulip Dress. Now this is a small detail, but it meant the world to me because I am Dutch. More on that later. I want to bring more of what I felt as Mona into the world and into my work. Bringing Life, Light, Joy and Beauty to those around me with the beauty I create for them and in turn, the act of doing so will also bring me so much Life, Light, Joy and Beauty, too.

I studied acting in Rosebud, which has always struck me as something really wonderful because my Oma used to call me Rosebud when I was young, My siblings and I were her flower garden and I was her Rosebud. I love this because flowers have always been a part of me in more ways than one.

Another important part of my story, is that it was always a dream of mine to live in the Netherlands for a time. I followed this dream, got my dutch passport and moved to Amsterdam. I really wanted to work in a flower shop there, how ideal is that!? But it was really difficult to find work in flower shops there as they were all very small (tight spaces) and had more staff than they needed. But one day a flower shop got back to me saying that they’d love for me to come in 1-2 times a week as a volunteer, to learn and experience the flower industry there. I was overjoyed! I loved working with all the new and fresh flowers that spring in the Netherlands had to offer. At the end of each shift, I got to create a bouquet for myself to take home. They would give me feed back. What really has stayed with me is to create something that I would want to paint. A painter doesn’t want to paint the same flower 10 times, does he? Look for different textures, shapes, sizes, colours and let them stand out. Another thing that has stayed with me, is to always make something that I would want to bring home. And when I think of paintings, how can I not think of Mona Lisa.