An architect sculpts space to create a beautiful balance of light and shadow. An artist takes that framework and drapes it in memories and emotions, transforming space into pure magic.

Life is beautiful, fascinating, and complex. Yet glimpses of such a life are rare. As children, we explore the world with wonder. We marvel with curiosity at everything we can’t possibly understand. But all too quickly we grow up. We’re taught to fear what we don’t know, and to protect ourselves we take all of that wonder and box it up with our labels, our scientific theories, and our dogmas. Life dulls, and ironically, we spend the rest of our days longing for something more.

We live with this blurred and fractured vision of the world, yet inside each of us, there’s an undeniable conviction that something beautiful and perfect still exists just beyond our grasp. So we chase our longings, and if we’re lucky they lead us right back to the sublime life. The undefinable, inexplicable, sacred beating heart of life.

To me, this is art. It’s a humbling – a stripping away of everything I think I know in an effort to rediscover what I’ve lost. It’s tearing things down to their foundations, looking out beyond the edge, and recognizing the unbound, insane beauty that flows eternally around us all.

In the meditation of a painting, something transcends. In a moment of pure stillness or an unchecked brushstroke, I catch a glimpse of it – like a breath of magic from another world. It’s intoxicating, fleeting, and highly addictive because a glimpse is never enough. So each new work becomes an invitation to dance with the divine… if only for another moment in time.

Ana’s work draws on the depth and beauty of our collective imagination. Her paintings invite the viewer to experience a space in time through story and emotion, drawing them beyond the surface of the canvas and into the richness of a grander vision.

Born in Curitiba, Brazil, Ana developed a love for the arts at an early age. Surrounded by passionate painters and architects, she was quickly drawn in by the beauty of their creative spirits and the alluring power of a blank page.

Ana went on to study architecture and graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 2002, receiving the prestigious Luther Lashmit Design Award and Traveling Scholarship.

After university, Ana joined Morris Architects in Orlando, Florida. During her time at Morris she worked on the conceptual design of more than 50 projects in countries including the US, Brazil, China, Singapore, Dubai and the Caribbean. In 2007, Ana Carolina Mönnaco became the first woman and youngest recipient of the Hugh Ferris Memorial Prize, the singular highest achievement award in the field of architectural illustration, for her rendering of a 360º living coral reef exhibit entitled The Coral Helix.

In 2009, Ana announced the creation of her Nashville based design studio, MÖNNACO, dedicated to providing inspired illustrations that capture the imagination to clients across the broad spectrum of industry.

Her most recent work, featured in this portfolio, is a personal journey back to the more timeless traditions of art.

View Artist Statement


Blurred & Fractured - Modfellows Gallery, September 3rd-24th, 2022

Honors + Awards

International Watercolor Masters Merit Award, 2022
AIP 24 Juror Award, 2008
AIP 23 Hugh Ferris Memorial Prize, 2007


American Society of Architectural Illustrators, since 2006
American Watercolor Society

In the Press

Ana Carolina Monnaco, Imaginative Worldscapes
Nashville Arts Magazine, April 2012
Local Architect Brings Home National Art Award
Orlando Business Journal, December 2007