Anna Marie's Biography

Overlooking the beauty at Kill Rialaig


Anna Marie was born in Pettigo, Co. Donegal.  After her secondary education in St. Louis convent, Monaghan, she was awarded a scholarship to the National College of Art, Kildare Street, Dublin. 


While she was at college she met Olly, a young medical student from Dundalk.  As soon as he qualified, they got married and moved to Dumfries, Scotland where Olly trained as a Psychiatrist in Crichton Royal Hospital. 


Anna Marie taught art in Dumfries and joined different art groups and came in contact with a number of artists.  It was a wonderful awakening to the world of art for Anna Marie.  After four years they moved back to Ireland - Downpatrick, Co. Down and once again Anna Marie got involved in local art and was a founder member of the Downpatrick Art Group.



It was when she was expecting her first child that Anna Marie had to hang up her oil painting brushes as she turned against the smell of turpentine.  She then started to paint in watercolours - reading about it with great thirst, visiting galleries, painting every opportunity she had.  So after seven pregnancies and not going back to paint in oils, she well and truly became a great Water Colourist.


Since coming to Mullingar, Anna Marie's contribution to the development of interest in the visual arts has been phenomenal.  She actively promoted watercolour as a medium by teaching through Adult Education Programmes and privately for many years. 
She was a founder member of Art Enterprises, the group that initiated week-end painting courses in the midlands, highly experienced Irish and foreign artists including Anna Marie herself, led these extremely popular courses at Belvedere house on the shores of Lough Ennell.


She herself says her love of nature and watercolour painting stems form the seed set in her childhood years while living on the farm and her mother's enthusiasm and constant encouragement of her sketching and painting from a little water colour box of paints. 
Also, her husband Olly's encouragement and that of each of her children and most of all the good Lord Himself, who has given her the good health and talent to continue.

Anna Marie's reputation as a transparent watercolorist of note has grown steadfast over the years. 
She has a record of successful exhibitions with the Royal Hibernian Academy and the Water Colour Society of Ireland as well as solo exhibitions in Kenny's Gallery, Galway, Kilcock Art Gallery and many galleries throughout the country. 


Internationally, Anna Marie has worked with Artists in England, Scotland, Canada and Japan.  She has taken part in exhibitions in the USA and the Municipal Art Museum, Tokyo as part of the UNESCO International Friendship Exhibition. 
Her solo exhibitions include The Municipal Gallery in the Cultural Centre, Fukui and Saiwai Gallery Kawasaki, both in Japan. 


Her paintings are in public and private collections all over the world.  At present she is concentrating her energies on painting full time.

Saoirse Studios, Ballagh, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, Ireland. T: +353-4493-48823 E: amleavy@yahoo.com
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