Ms. McDonnell currently resides in Washington, DC. She has a studio located on Capitol Hill where she produces most of her work.  Ms. McDonnell, born in Memphis, Tennessee, began her painting career in Nashville, Tennessee after her graduation from Vanderbilt University in 1984, with a double major in Art History, and Russian Language. In 1984, Vanderbilt University granted her the Margaret Stonewall Hamblet Award for merit in studio art, which provided her the opportunity to travel to the USSR and Europe.  She was a resident fellow in 2000 and 1996 at the VirginiaCenter for the Creative Arts in Sweet Briar, Virginia. In her mid 20’s and early 30’s she lived in California, Argentina, and the Bahamas. Ms. McDonnell has traveled extensively in South America, Mexico, the former Soviet Union, and Europe. After settling down in Washington, DC she earned a Master of Fine Arts in 1998, from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Ms. McDonnell is active in the local arts community. She is a member of District of Columbia Arts Center, Washington Project for the Arts, and others. Ms. McDonnell was an early member of the Sparkplug Collective (formula 1) sponsored by DCAC. Ms. McDonnell exhibits her work in Washington, DC and abroad.