About Artist Ann Rea

Napa Valley Inspired

My most memorable moment in the Napa Valley was during my first trip...

... after graduating from art school, I was hired by a design firm.

The firm sent me to Napa to take part in a brainstorming session.

We were developing the marketing and design strategies for the Saturn Car.

After a long day, we enjoyed a fantastic Michelin Star meal at the Meadowood Resort.

One of the local project architects invited us to tour his home and vineyard in St. Helena, California.

We sipped his family's wine and strolled through the vineyards surrounding their estate.

I was far from where I grew up in Parma, Ohio, where celebrating meant bowling and Budweiser.

He told us the story of how his family hand-built their home with stones unearthed from their land.

I felt like I was walking through a design magazine feature.

As we walked, the warm California sun began setting behind the Mayacamas Mountains.

The atmospheric light held my attention.

Garden sprinklers caught a glint of sunlight casting tiny rainbows along the garden path in front of me.

My life was in bitter chaos at the time. I was unsure of my future and even more unsure of myself.
So I looked up at the azure California sky so that I could savor the colors of the moment.

Little did I know how one fleeting moment would later reshape my future.

Fourteen years later, I'd left art behind.

I sat in my grey-beige-colored corporate cubicle.

My friend Angela and I were complaining about our monotonous jobs.

We were the same age, 35, but she was surviving Stage-4 breast cancer.

So I decided to shift the mood. I asked Angela, "If you had a magic wand to ensure your success, what would you do?"

Angela said, "I'd be an interior designer. I love design."

I said, "I would move to San Francisco and become a full-time artist."

I asked Angela, "What's stopping you?"

After a long pause, she said, "I'm too afraid."

I asked. "Are you more afraid of becoming an interior designer than you are of cancer?"

At that moment, I realized that I was less afraid of failing as an artist and more afraid of never trying to succeed.

I decided at that moment. I would no longer allow an ugly divorce and depression to continue to derail my dream.

I decided to become a full-time artist. I quit my job, and I moved to a live-work studio across from the Pacific, less than a mile from The Golden Gate Bridge.

Partnering with select wineries, I painted their vineyards.

I sold these wineries the Exclusive Edition fine art reproduction collections. They hosted me at exclusive wine tasting events where I sold my original oil paintings.

I dedicate Remember Napa to my ever-inspiring memory of Angela Granger.

Love art. Love wine. Love life.

Love yourself.