Monica Vernay was born and raised in Oakland, California. The youngest of three kids and only daughter of two school teachers- a bongo playing father and classically trained pianist mother- Monica inherited no musical talent. She did, however, inherit a love of art. Drawing in her notebook, creating dresses for her paper dolls and coloring with a fresh box of crayons were her favorite activities as a child.
Monica earned a B.A. in Studio Art from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and a certificate in textile/surface pattern design from Otis Art Institute/Parsons School of Design. She worked for many years both in-house and freelance as an artist creating pattern designs for the fashion and home textile industries.
In her free time she taught herself linoleum block printing and drypoint etching. Later, she studied watercolor and monotype with Phyllis Doyon at the Doyon Studio and Gallery in Camarillo. A vibrant and active studio environment, she took several printmaking workshops, and participated in many group art shows at the gallery and other local venues. She also began teaching linoleum block printing workshops.
Monica relocated back to the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and kids. After the move and the arrival of her third child, born with special needs, her artistic endeavors were put on the back burner. However, in her spare time she focused on improving her drawing, painting, and printmaking skills.
Currently, Monica divides her artistic time between painting and printmaking. Each practice informs and influences the other. Her years as a textile designer have influenced her as she often incorporates pattern in her work. She is committed to environmentally safer printmaking practices by keeping a solvent free studio and only using water based inks. When not in her studio she can be found in her garden sketching dragonflies.