Finlay was born in the North East of England and the influence of his very early exposure to the cool clear skies, the unique countryside and the sharp edged coastline of his native Northumberland gave rise to that special clarity which is so evident in his paintings. Northumberland has always “lived with the Sea and the Countryside” and his earliest interest was in both.
He moved to the West Country as a young boy and worked on several farms, where he was fascinated by the old farm buildings with their homely character and the ornate wagons and carts with huge rumbling wheels and that particular sound and smell of a country now long gone. The Rural English landscape made a lasting impression on him.
This was Finlay’s inspiration to paint, finding oils the best medium with which to express the form, texture and colour of the countryside.
Finlay’s paintings are full of nostalgia, rural and urban idylls are his primary subject matter and his Christmas designs in particular have proved to be very popular for licensing across products.