Art has been in Donna Finley’s DNA since she was a small child. She was born in the Greenwich Village area of New York City, lived in three states, and now resides on the Eastern Shore of Maryland where she has lived since 2006. Each location has fueled her fascination with and desire to capture the beautiful colors, shapes, shadows and reflections in nature. Throughout her youth she explored her natural talent for drawing. In her long teaching career, she used this artistic ability to enhance learning for her students.

Retiring from the workforce in 2009, Ms. Finley reconnected with her artistic side, taking art courses at the Academy Art Museum and participating in workshops offered by national and regional award-winning pastel artists. Each has helped her to develop her skills and add depth to her work.

Pastel is Ms. Finley’s sole medium. The immediacy, vibrancy and luminosity of soft pastels fulfill her instinctive need to permanently capture moments in time to emphasize their beauty. It allows her to translate her love of line and form through color and a variety of strokes to instill light and life into her paintings.

Concentrating on still life and landscape paintings, her landscape work captures scenes throughout the Eastern Shore of Maryland as well as scenes from her travels, particularly in Oregon. Recurring themes are water and sunsets.

Ms. Finley has been juried regularly into multiple Local, Regional, National, and International exhibitions by award-winning artists, beginning in 2012 through the present day. In the past couple of years Ms. Finley’s work has been recognized with Second and Third Place Awards and Honorable Mentions (the latter recognition for two paintings in the same exhibition). In the summer of 2022, she had a Solo Exhibition, entitled “Hidden Waters”, at the Rehoboth Art League in Rehoboth, Delaware. Multiple times she has been a juried artist in the Oxford Fine Arts Fair, and the Local Color Exhibition, affiliated with Plein Air Easton, as one of 42 artists living and working on the DelMarVa Peninsula.

She regularly exhibits at the Academy Art Museum where one of her paintings won the 42nd annual Samuel Sands Award; the Art League of Ocean City; Chestertown River Arts Gallery; the St. Michaels Art League and the annual Labor Day Weekend “Under the Tent” art show and sale. She is a juried member of the Pastel Society of America; Maryland Pastel Society; a past President and member of the St. Michael’s Art League, Academy Art Museum; Chestertown RiverArts; Art League of Ocean City, and the Plein Air Painters of the Chesapeake Bay. Currently, her paintings can be seen at Tish Fine Art Plus Gallery in Chestertown MD where she is a resident artist. Her paintings are in private collections locally, statewide, as well as in New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Indiana, South Carolina and Oregon.