Author Archives: Ann

About Ann

I am an artist living in Napa, California and traveling summers on the Inland Passage to Alaska. I’m interested in wildlife and nature conservation and often reflect those interests in my watercolor paintings

Travels with Watercolor – Palette 3

This leads me to believe that maybe the pre-filled pans are the way to go after all. They are certainly the least messy alternative for painting on a boat. My third palette is the new QOR set of pans, and I think you can agree that it’s a very good range of colors. I look forward to trying it during our current cruise through the Canadian Northwest.

The New QOR Watercolor Pan Set

Travels with Watercolor- Palette 2

My troubles began with my new smaller empty Meeden palette. These can be purchased on Amazon in many different configurations; I chose 6 full pans, and added 5 half and 1 full pan of my own. It would probably have been just fine if I had filled it and let it dry for several days, but I always wait until the last minute to pack my art supplies. Still, I thought I was ahead of the game filling it a whole day before leaving. But when I opened it, it was quite a mess as you can see.

I was especially disappointed but not totally surprised that the magnets didn’t work. I used thin magnetic disks with adhesive on one side to stick the pans to the palette. I was hoping this would keep the pans in place. The magnets were sufficiently strong, but the adhesive was really weak. I could tell that the pan was separating from the magnet as the magnet practically flew onto the palette when it got close. When I opened the palette after carrying it around for several days, one of the pans had completely flipped out and upside down.

Disk magnet should be attached to a pan

Travels and Trials with Watercolors

A popular practice of watercolor artists is to fill an empty watercolor travel palette with their own tube colors.  This allows the artist to work with their own palette rather than carry around pre-filled colors that they don’t normally use.

I’ve recently learned that there may be a problem with this approach.  I’ve seen some information on the internet that suggests tube paints are not the same as pan paints, and that pan paints are formulated differently for the wetting and re-wetting that a travel palette undergoes.  

I’ve not been able to find enough information to confirm or deny that claim- yet.  For now, I’m still mostly filling empty palettes with my own tube paints.  I brought 3 different travel palettes with me this trip with some issues of note.

I’ve been very happy with my American Journey travel palette filled with colors from the Michael Reardon palette, but I have had a problem with the pans popping out from under the metal retaining edge at times.  This palette has become easier to handle since the paints have mostly dried.  I’ve also stuck each pan down with a wad of Museum putty which was time consuming to do, but seems to work well.

Plein Air Supplies

American Journey travel palette


Ann Nunziata Art- Latest News

Dear Friends and Art Lovers!

Open Studios Napa Valley is the next two weekends, but you won’t find me there.  I’m writing this from Anacortes, Washington where we are preparing for our annual cruise through the Pacific Northwest and Canadian waters.  All the same, I encourage you to visit at least one studio during the event.  You can find catalogs at Art Gallery Napa Valley (see link in sidebar), where you can also see my display exhibiting some of my latest artwork.


My Display at Art Gallery Napa Valley


I’ve really been enjoying the online courses taught by Birgit O’Connor.  We’ve painted Atmosphereic Landscapes and Rocks, Sand, and Sea Glass.  The Sea Glass really takes me back to my childhood in Seaview, WA where my mother and I could find whole glass floats on the beach.

Again, you can also get an online PDF of the Open Studios event at the Open Studios Napa Valley website.  Please visit some of my fellow Napa Valley artists. I always like to visit and buy a small item or two as a way of Paying it Forward to support local artists. 

Look for my vacation inspired artwork when I return in November.  My next public show is the Calistoga Christmas Faire on Saturday, December 1st. I’ll also be posting my travel sketches at, but I’d better update the blog name somehow because our new boat is named Fifth Element!


Fifth Element sketch

As always,
Thanks for your interest!

Ann Nunziata

PS  You may not be aware that my images are available on many fun items such as towels, pillows, cell phone cases and now spiral notebooks at my Fine Art America website,

Visit Your Local Fair


my California Quail, watercolor batik, 18″ x24 “

Summer is winding down but you may still have time to visit a local fair.  These fairs bring back happy memories from my childhood (3-legged race, anyone?)

The Napa Town & Country Fair is open now through Sunday August 12th.  I noticed several members of the Napa Valley Art Association are exhibiting in professional art including yours truly. 

I was happy to may my California Quail recognized for Fifth place in multi-media.  It really is watercolor, but I entered it in multimedia since it’s adhered to a board with acrylic matte medium.

The professional art division along with all Senior divisions is exhibited in Chardonnay Hall.  The fair is open daily from noon to 10 pm, closing at 9pm Sunday.  

Available Artwork


Western Bluebird

Several friends told me that the library hasn’t been able to give them my contact information or info on potential artwork purchases, so I’ve just updated my Gallery page.

The images on my Gallery page currently represent the original artworks in my recent exhibit at the Napa County main library.  All of this artwork is part of my Watercolor Batik series.  Watercolor Batik is watercolor on a rice paper ground with wax used as a resist.  The rice paper is then mounted on wood panels and protected with satin varnish.



Cascade Falls


Cascade Falls

I don’t think this was the actual Cascade Falls of Moran State Park, but it is a pretty little waterfall that flows out of Cascade Lake in the park and down into Cascade bay.

We had a lovely time moored just off this little waterfall and also visiting Rosario and the historic home of shipbuilder and a former Seattle governor,  Robert Moran.  The construction is impeccable and “ship-shape”.  Just one example- the interior doors are two inch thick solid Honduras mahogany which is not as red as Phillipine mahogany and probably totally unavailable for modern construction

FYI- Rosario is a popular spot on Orcas Island.