Donny Finley grew up in the small town of Millerville, Alabama. He became known for painting the life he knew in rural Clay County. In the thirty-five years he has been painting, Finley has relished trying new experiences and conveying these experiences through his paintings. He has spent time in the coal mining towns of West Virginia, swamps of Louisiana, the lush countryside of Ireland, cosmopolitan New York City, romantic Paris, along the rocky coastline of New England, old world Venice, and other parts of Italy. One summer he traveled up and down the Mississippi River. It is not just the places he has been but the people that have been a part of his life that have fascinated him. His relationship with his grandmother is well documented in his paintings.
Donny first became known for his watercolors, however years of trial and error have made him proficient in the other mediums of oil, egg tempera, and acrylic. Now though the scope of material he uses for subject matter has broadened with his travels, and though his painting techniques are continually evolving, one can still sense the relationship between subject matter and artist in his paintings. Donny now resides in Birmingham, Alabama with his wife Janet. His daughter Sarah attends the University of Alabama where she is an art major. His daughters Catie and Leah are now married and live in Birmingham.
Awards: Included in the more than seventy awards Finley has won are the Larry Quackenbush Memorial Award from the American Watercolor Society in New York, the Walter Biggs Memorial Award from the National Academy of Design in New York, the Strathmore Award from the National Watercolor Society in California, and the Charlotte Livingston Award from the Salmagundi Club in New York.
Exhibitions: Finley's paintings have been included in national juried exhibitions such as the American Watercolor Society, the National Watercolor Society, the National Academy of Design, the Mainstreams International Exhibition, the Rocky Mountain National Watercolor Exhibition, Watercolor USA, the National Academy of Arts for the Parks, and others.
One-Man and Three-Person Exhibitions: The Columbus Club in New York City, the Oklahoma Fine Arts Center, the Cheekwood Museum of Fine Arts in Nashville, the Meridian Museum of Fine Arts in Mississippi, the Greater Birmingham Arts Alliance in Alabama, and others. From 1979 to 1989 Finley had annual one-man shows with Bryant Galleries in New Orleans, Louisiana. He later showed at Studio 53 in New York. Finley now shows with Trees Place gallery in Orleans, Mass. and Debruyne Fine Art in Naples Florida.
Museums and Corporate Collections: The Birmingham Museum of Art, the Fine Arts Museum of the South in Mobile, the Columbus Museum of Arts and Sciences in Columbus, Georgia, Coca Cola Corporate Headquarters in Atlanta, Southern Natural Corporation in Birmingham, Energen Corporation in Birmingham and others.
Magazines: Finley has been featured in magazines such as American Artist Magazine, Southwest Art Magazine, American Art Collector Magazine, Mississippi Magazine, Alabama Magazine and others.
Finley is an elected signature member of the American Watercolor Society and he is included in Who's Who in American Art. The book Moment's Captured tells Finley's story and illustrates his work. One of Finley's paintings was used on the cover of A Catalog of the South, published by Oxmoor House in Birmingham. Harvest House has published several books featuring Donny Finley's paintings including A Season for Simplicity, Reflections of a Thankful Heart, He Restores my Soul which Finley also wrote, The Grass is Always Greener, Peace Like a River, and The Heart of Loveliness.
Finley’s painting Fall Rainbow, which was exhibited at the inaugural National Academy of Arts for the Parks exhibition, was one of five paintings selected by the academy to be reproduced in print that year to help raise money for the National Parks. Generations, an Easter egg painted by Finley, was exhibited at the White House during one of the annual Easter Egg Rolls and is in the permanent collection of the White House Visitors Center. Three of his paintings hung in the American Embassy in Morocco during the tenure of Ambassador Margaret Tutwiler. In 2006, he was commissioned by Ryder Cup captain Tom Lehman to create a painting for the American Ryder Cup team.