My Real-Life Mona Lisa

Pinoy Artist – Pauline Marasigan

Why is Mona Lisa’s enigmatic smile draws curiosity from many artists, art lovers, scientist and even educators? We’re all delighted by Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece. Scientists revealed the mystery, you can see the smile depending on which part of the eye sees it first. (

Scientists explained further that, “The secret behind the Mona Lisa is that the “happy” part of her smile is actually buried in a low spatial frequency pattern. So if you’re not looking directly at her mouth, her smile looks cheerful. But when you look directly at her smile, parts of it disappear into the background. As a result, you’re never quite sure if she’s smiling or not.” (

They say Mona Lisa is a virtuous lady, this fact made the smile more interesting.

What I would like to share is that I believe, I’ve seen a real-life Mona Lisa. And her smile is so contagious that I keep on smiling even under pressure. I see an inspiring artist, a kindhearted, beautiful woman. Her smile beams like rays of sunlight, shedding hope and love.

I met Pauline Marasigan in 2018 after Mayon Volcano eruption in Bicol. We partnered in the provision of psycho-social support intervention – play therapy to the children in the evacuation centers, representing both our institutions.

Pauline Marasigan

Let’s get to know my Mona Lisa:

  1. Please tell us briefly about yourself:

I am a self-taught artist who likes to share the beauty, joy and magic of life to others through art. I love to create artworks that allow me to express my appreciation and gratitude for life. Even though I did not attend art school and my previous career path is not in the art industry, I always knew within me that I was born to play with paint brushes and colors.

As of the moment, I design digital prints that I sell online, see below link for Artshop in Redbubble and I accept commissioned artworks. I’m continuously exploring what I can contribute to this world as an artist and learning more about this industry. It is also my desire to support and empower young Filipina artists like me. I also dream of conducting art workshops for children in the future.

2. What inspires you?

Beauty inspires me to create more artworks.  Whenever I see and create something beautiful for myself, I feel this genuine happiness and bliss in my heart. I can’t explain what it is but when I do something I really like, I get to be in a state of awe and feel a deeper connection with myself and with God.   That amazing feeling, knowing that the higher being is using me to create something, inspires me to create even more and pursue my passion for the arts.

I also get inspired when I know I make someone smile and happy when I share my artworks. My heart leaps with joy when somebody tells me my artworks sooth them and made them  feel good.

3. What connection do you have with your art?

Growing up, I always loved to draw and paint. I got this from my Dad, since he is an animator and an artist. When my mom died when I was 14, drawing became our way to express ourselves and release our stress. My Dad and I would go to coffee shops, just sketch things in front of us and show each other what we both did. Art became our family’s bonding.  I was not always good at drawing and painting. Sometimes, my artworks frustrate me. But by continuously practicing and creating, I learned to accept whatever it is that I create, good or bad, and eventually learned my own art style.

Aside from being our family’s way of bonding, art has been my way to connect with myself, with nature and with God. When I get my pen and draw, when I mix colors and paint, I become one with myself.  I get to know more about me and I feel closer to the higher being.  By immersing myself in art, creating more of it, I learn more about what I want and what lights me up. Art allows me to get to know myself and the world around me in a deeper and intimate level. Lastly, art reminds me that life itself is a work of art in which I am the artist of my own journey.

4.Can you share your thoughts, why you make this type of art and why you’re drawn to this subject?

My art style is something very personal to me. As a person who values spirituality, I’m attracted to subjects that allow me to have a deeper connection with the sacred self and the higher being. I’m attracted to subjects that allow me to go beyond the artwork and be in touch with my feelings, emotions and my spiritual self.   With this, I mostly do intuitive art, where I listen to my inner voice, and follow my heart and instincts in creating something. I like to do art techniques that are therapeutic in nature. This allows me to really express myself, even if it releases either positive or negative emotions. I also have so much fun when I’m just allowing the art to lead me to where it wants to go instead of the other way around.

When I do commissioned artworks, I also make sure that it will be something my client can really connect with. As much as possible I want my artwork to be personalized so that it will go beyond decoration / aesthetic, but I want it to be something that will allow them to feel better and be something that will remind them of who they are and why they chose the subject in the first place.

3.What does your artwork represent? Does your art represent something about you?

My artworks represent myself embracing and celebrating the whole me. It represents what I’m interested in, what I believe in and how I see the world. I have this tendency to be multi-passionate, be interested in many different things at the same time, and through art, I can combine my interests for yoga, surfing, fitness, animals, nature and spirituality, and create artworks that can feed my passion for all of them—which I find really amazing! This is why I see art as Magic. It can create wonders with just a simple canvas and medium.  

Patterns and Colors

4.How do you make it? Why do you use certain materials?

I do my art in both the traditional and digital way.

For traditional art, I use gouache paint as my main medium and wood or board as my canvas. I like using gouache paints because the colors are vibrant and are easy use. I use wood and board as canvas because I like painting on flat and thick surfaces.

For digital art, I use an Ipad and Ipad pencil. I like using applications like procreate and sketches.   

5.What are your top 5 favorite artwork pieces from your collection, can you share why they mean much more than the others?

I chose these pieces from my collection because of the following reasons:

·      You are boundless

-I really love the color combination and the patterns that I used. This is one of the first artworks I made using gouache paints which led me to figuring out that it’s a medium that resonates with me.  

·      Pattern and colors.

– This artwork allowed me to explore and figure out my art style. 

·       Mandala art

-This is my first mandala art on big wood tile. I have this displayed at my room and reminds me everyday to keep creating.

·      Under the sea mandala collection

-First commissioned artwork for a friend who loves sea creatures. I discovered here that I enjoy doing animal designs and that I can also make it a spiritual art.

·      Boston terrier art

-Few days before creating this piece, I had this desire to get a dog. From checking out different breeds, I settled to Boston terriers. But since getting a dog is a big decision to make and I still need to save up, I translated my desire to adopt one into an art. This led me to creating dog art series.

With a kind heart and artistic hands, where would she be several years from now? As she says, she’s the artist of her own journey, a beautiful person.

She’s my real-life Mona Lisa. Every time I think of her, I just can’t help, but smile. 🙂

Follow her at Instagram: @pau.makesmagic and

Artshop in redbubble: (


Published by Maria Cristina Gino Baroso

Education advocate and travel lover

94 thoughts on “My Real-Life Mona Lisa

    1. Hi, thank you for dropping by and for the message. It inspires me more to write. I was actually reading your post on Don’t Blame, Refrain and I totally agree on your practical tips not to ‘dwell’ on the ‘blame game’ as it will just hurt both you and the other person. Thank you so much! 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 4 people

    2. Dear Maria and Sheila,

      I enjoy your conversations here and concur with both of you. It is heartening to know that Maria is championing the beautiful works of Pauline Marasigan. Please kindly send my best regards to her. I commend all of you for your mutual support and admiration. Well done!

      Art can indeed make our lives more fulfilling and holistic, perhaps even more so now that the viral pandemic is all around us.

      It seems that we have a number of things in common, namely, our love of art and our promoting other artists. Here is a multimedia post of mine promoting the works of John Clinock, available at

      I would like to inform you that you might need to use a desktop or laptop computer with a large screen to view the rich multimedia contents available for heightening your multisensory enjoyment at my blog, which could be too powerful and feature-rich for iPad, iPhone, tablet or other portable devices to handle properly or adequately.

      Happy August to both of you!

      Liked by 4 people

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