Creative soul: Beechwood mosaic artist Francessca O'Donnell shares her tips for beautiful fractured projects

WONDERFUL CREATIONS: Mid North Coast mosaic maker Francessca O'Donnell.
WONDERFUL CREATIONS: Mid North Coast mosaic maker Francessca O'Donnell.

The Hastings is a hub for inventive and imaginative artists who decorate the region with a range of music, artwork, murals and colour.

One such creative soul is Mid North Coast mosaic art expert Francessca O'Donnell, who lives in Beechwood.

Ms O'Donnell, who holds a Bachelor of Arts from Sydney College of the Arts, said she appreciates the mindful and tactile style of mosaic art.

"For me the most important thing is the mindfulness of mosaics. It's very forgiving and offers a range of styles to draw on," she said.

"If you paint you can do oil, mixed media or water painting. But in mosaics there are all different materials you can use and it can be 2D or 3D, but I just have this urge to keep exploring.

"The topic can be very loose or very specific such as a photo. From there a lot of research and drawings are done to create the mosaic to fit the brief.

"From one idea such as a retro-mirror there could be 20 or 30 designs. Generally the final form could take two or three weeks to decide and another month spent in construction."

Inspiration for her designs is drawn from nature, the earth, exploring shapes and forms that intertwine and flow, with colour as the driving force.

Other themes include the curves of the human form, ancient symbols and shapes from Chinese, Maori, Mexican and Mayan mythology.

Her artworks are scattered with pebbles, sea glass, reflective mirror, beads, wood, tiles and driftwood.

She has also produced two mosaic sculptures for the Hello Koalas Sculpture Trail, named Kalido and PK Sparkles the Performing Koala. An additional two painted sculptures include Lady Lola and Retro Rita.

"The Port Macquarie Hastings Council and the Wauchope Chamber of Commerce have the most exciting period in an artist's life at this current time," said Ms O'Donnell.

"We've got submissions for online classes to offer to people in their homes, they are putting a website together promoting artists, we have the sculptural trail and Art Week in October.

"There is going to be art markets and so many opportunities. It's quite exciting."

KOALA ART: Artist Francesca ODonnell, at right, shares her mosaic design submissions with Hello Koalas project manager Linda Hall (left).

KOALA ART: Artist Francesca ODonnell, at right, shares her mosaic design submissions with Hello Koalas project manager Linda Hall (left).

Her work has previously been publicly commissioned at St Joseph's Primary School, St Peter's Primary School, Livvi's Place at Westport Park, Children's Park in Laurieton and the entrance to Longpoint Vineyard. She is also a regular at The Artist's Market and Foreshore Market.

Most Hastings residents have already met Francessca during her 20 year fellowship as a British Ballet Organisation examiner and 25 years running her own studio. She also taught at Leeds School of Contemporary Dance in England.

"I've been focusing on mosaic for 16 years, before that I ran the ballet school for 25 years," Ms O'Donnell said.

"I've since sold it, but it ran in Wauchope and Port Macquarie in six studios, six days a week with about 15 teachers.

"I got back into art about a 18 years ago because I was missing it. I started mosaics because my hairdresser was having an art exhibition and asked for me to bring some mosaics.

"From that exhibition I started getting orders and from there I haven't looked back.

"I've sold small orders, big orders in Australia and overseas. I work with a Sydney interior designs to do mosaics for residential upgrades as well."

To see more of Francessca's designs visit www.outtheredesignandmosiac.com

ANIMAL INSPIRED: Mid North Coast mosaic maker Francessca O'Donnell.

ANIMAL INSPIRED: Mid North Coast mosaic maker Francessca O'Donnell.

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