A small picture of the outside of Jan's Art Studios

Ann-Marie Haley



If there is an artist within you, it will eventually emerge especially when you reach retirement age. This was my awakening after my retirement in 1995. With freedom from the working world and some leisure time, I finally had the opportunity to look within myself and give birth to those unfulfilled desires and creativity. A visit with my twin sister Ruthie, an accomplished artist in Pennsylvania, immediately following my retirement motivated me to enroll in a watercolor course upon returning to California.

I signed up for Jan Schafir's watercolor class and later joined four other artist at Jan's Art Studios in Fremont, California. My work has benefited greatly from Jan's instruction as well as the guidance received from many other fine artists such as: David McLaughlin's watercolor courses at Ohlone College and workshops from such respected artists as Jane Hoffstetter, Donna Sanson, Clair Verbiast, Sue Seskin, Tony Couch and the late Hal Booth. In July 99,1 joined Hal and a group of artists in a two week trip to the French Riviera for on site painting and instruction.

Since retirement, I have been very involved with the Fremont Art Association. I have exhibited my work in the quarterly shows and have fulfilled organizational responsibilities such as Circuit Director for the Fremont Community Art Program, Showcase Chairperson and Gallery Director. I also belong to and show my work at the Pleasanton Art Association, Oakland Art Association and the Adobe Art Gallery in Hay ward. Other galleries where my art has been exhibited include Filoli Art Center in Woodside and The Willits Art Gallery in Fremont. For the past 8 years, I have exhibited yearly at the Alameda County Fair and the Fremont Fine Arts Show.

I have been fortunate to sell much of my work, and have received the following recognitions. Four awards from the Fremont Art Association culminating in "Artist of the Year in 1998." Two Silver Awards from the Alameda County Fair for artistic watercolor renderings of my poems called "Nuances" in 1998 and "Grapes" in 2001. My painting "Once Upon a Time" was presented on the cover of the program for Union City's 1st Annual Art Show in October 99. This same painting also was selected by our State Senator Liz Figueroa to hang in the California Senate's rotunda for the Third Annual California Contemporary Art Collection. In 2002 one of my paintings was selected by Fremont's Traveling Sister City Art Exhibit going to various cities in Portugal, Philippines, Mexico, Japan and India.