Born in St. Andrews, O’Donnell is an award-winning Scottish painter. After 18 years of professional practice in Northern Norway, she now has her studios in Spain and Scotland.
With a Masters in Contemporary European Fine Art, she is an accomplished lecturer and curator, and parallel with her own art practice, spent five years as Director of Galleri NordNorge, the Gallery of Northern Norway, collaborating with museums and galleries such as the National Museum of Art in Oslo, showing work by Paul McCarthy, Norway 10 Designers and established international artists, while providing a platform to emerging. She has many years of experience on the boards of industrial, commercial and creative organizations such as NNBK (North Norwegian Artists’ Union), Innovasjon Norge's Creative Development Project, and the Foundation of Sierra de Libar in Spain. Sitting on collection committees of Sparebank1 NN Art Foundation and art consultant for KORO, Norway's department of art acquisitions, she has had the honour to commission artwork and contribute to advancing the careers of Norwegian artists.
Although the artwork shown on my website is abstract, I chose a traditional academic route. I studied Drawing and Painting, at Edinburgh College of Art (ECA). It was founded in the 1760’s and followed the academic structure of The École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris and I wanted to learn fundamental skills and submerge myself in the history of the craft. We studied anatomy from life models and classic casts of Roman and Greek sculptures, head-life, drawing and painting techniques, and materials. Our Art Humanities, which included highly entertaining Tableau Vivant, was modeled after Gombrich, and stopped at “The Triumph of Modernism”. With this conservative teaching, contemporary art was disregarded, so I was sceptical of it. It took studying for my Masters in Contemporary European Fine Art in Barcelona to understand that the fundamental skills I learned served me well in my practice but are not necessary for other art forms.
ART TEACHING AND TUITION AND LECTURING.
My belief is that visual art, apart form developing artistic skills and understanding, it can contribute to personal growth, give a sense of belonging, give joy and an increased emotional and creative capacity. It can strengthen individual identity, increase self-esteem and confidence, and if working in groups with active participation, it can nurture greater socialization skill.
COURSE DEVELOPER AND LECTURER FOR STUDENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS.
Three year Freelance Co
Kunstrom 7 (Artroom 7) Trastad Samlinger | Sør-Troms Museum, Norwayntract.
Kunstrom 7 was a collaboration with Trastad Samlinger (Art-Cultural-Historical Museum) and Rå Videregåendeskole (College of Higher Education). We created an art college equivalent foundation course in visual arts for students with special needs; three young teenage girls with Downs Syndrome and an adolecent boy with severe autism. The course provided adapted training for the development of their skills in visual arts to prepare them for their future professional, artistic practice.
LECTURER /TUTOR IN DRAWING, PAINTING AND ART HISTORY
Nordland kunst- og filmfagskole, (Nordland Art and Film College) Kabelvåg, Norway
Six year Freelance Contract.
My remit was to give a solid foundation in the technical and traditional skills of drawing and painting, art history and theory, while encouraging the students to explore the boundaries of visual arts, expand and challenge their thinking in content, form, methods, and processes. I was fortunate to collaborate with artists, Film-makers and theoreticians from across the Nordic countries and Europe, who visited as guest tutors.
WORKSHOP LEADER FOR KULTURELLE SKOLESEKEN, (Cultural School Bag). NORWAY
Freelance Contract. North Norwegian Arts Centre, Svolvær, Norway
Seven year freelance Contract
With the North Norwegian Art Centre (NNKS) I regularly developed and organized workshops and lectures for various age groups for the national initiative to introduce all pupils to the experience of working with professional artists. I travelled over the whole of the three Northern Regions north of the Arctic Circle.