About Us

Sam D'Ambruoso of Traveling Palette Art Workshops in Middlebury, Connecticut, is a classical painter who specializes in landscape paintings and portraiture. He is a graduate of Providence College and has studied with many different painters, which allowed him to really hone in on his skills and areas of focus.

Mary Ann and Sam

Sam's Background

Sam has been painting landscapes and portraits since 1972, and he has studied with the following people: internationally renowned landscape painter Thomas Beuchner of Elmira, New York; advanced landscape painter Skip Whitcomb, of Fort Collins, Colorado; and portrait painter Joseph Funaro at the Paier College of Art in Hamden, Connecticut. He has also gained experience painting alongside figure and portrait painter Dan Gheno at the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, studying advanced portraiture from Peter Cox at the Art Students League in New York City, and Laura Stern Boeck of Katonah, New York.


Over the years, his work has been featured in regional and national landscape and figure shows. He has gained experience teaching portrait drawing classes in local colleges, as well as intense 10-week courses on oil painting. Sam was also a landscape painting instructor at the Arts and Materials Show, which was sponsored by the American Artist Magazine in Pasadena, California. He now shares his passions and experiences with a wide range of painting students of all skill levels through his hands-on art classes and workshops in Italy and the USA.

Recent Works

One of his most recent landscape paintings of the Connecticut River area was displayed at the state of Connecticut governor's residence and is now in the permanent art collection of the state of Connecticut.

Mary Ann D'Ambruoso

Mary Ann D'Ambruoso is the workshop coordinator who leads our culinary classes. She has been hosting cooking classes with her husband, Sam, since 1997, with a concentration on Italy and New England. In 2006, a new program was added that provides you with travel opportunities to learn how to cook authentic Italian food.

Mary Ann's Background

She started her hospitality and culinary career in 1979, when she began her culinary training in New York City at the Professional Culinary Arts Center in the New School for Social Research. She has culinary experience as an executive chef at an innovative resident spa facility, where she developed specialized menus and recipes, conducted seminars on nutrition, and taught spa cooking classes at The Silo in New Milford, Connecticut. She has previously worked as a director of catering and convention services at private clubs and hotels in Connecticut, and she has also organized corporate and social events.

Italian-Inspired Recipes

Mary Ann's recipes have been featured by Town and Country™, Cosmopolitan®, and Chocolatier™ magazines, as well as the New York Post™ and newspapers in Connecticut. She has gained recognition for her cooking style and was interviewed by the TV show Attitudes and Lifestyles.