Youth and Teen Drawing, and Adult Painting Instructor 

In Mona Lisa’s “Artist’s Statement”, she states, “Art is for me, a way of exploring life with its kaleidoscopic realities: the colors and shapes of nature such as those of a still life of flowers or land/sea/cityscape; the sensual form and lines of the human body; the revealing of the soul and emotions of an individual in a portrait; the mood of a particular subject captured…. and so much more.  Ultimately, an infinite number of inspiring factors combine to help me create my best art, so that ideally, the result is a merging of heart, soul, and mind…. My goal in life as in art: a varied look, an all-encompassing approach; a look at life through art and how art helps me during the good times and the bad; the exploration of all emotions, and the various experiences art leads me to.”

Mona Lisa’s art education is a mixture of self-taught and semi-formal study.  Mr. Dennis Cigler, a retired I.B. (International Baccalaureate) Examiner and Art Professor from her high school, Marymount International School of Rome, Italy, and a prolific and accomplished artist, taught various art concepts and techniques such as form, perspective, color theory, line, silkscreening, sculpting, pattern making, and more.  She then progressed to taking private courses with an established painter, Ms. Francesca di Stefano, a successful Italian watercolorist in the Realist style.  Professors Avanessian, Ballestrelli, and Berdini, who were her former teachers at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Roma (Academy of Fine Arts of Rome where she earned a Fine Arts certificate in 1995), taught her Figure Drawing, Etching, and Engraving, respectively.  At the same time in 1995, she independently experimented with watercolor, acrylic, and pastel painting by devouring art technique books and learning through self-study.

In 1996, Mona Lisa transferred to Virginia Beach, Virginia, from Rome Italy, where she was born and raised, where she took several art electives such as Visual Arts Foundations, Drawing I and II, Watercolor I and II, Three-Dimensional Design, and Computer Graphics at Virginia Wesleyan College and Tidewater Community College, while finishing her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, Associate’s degree in IT, and diploma in Computer Programming.