David Finnell



In the late 1980s, David began taking watercolor classes at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, Virginia. Since then, he has taken workshops with acclaimed watercolorists Tom Lynch, Tony Van Hasselt, Frank Webb, Ron Ranson, Marilynne Bradley, and the late Judi Wagner.

Easels-in-FrederickIn June, 2016, David was one of 30 national artists to participate in "Easels of Frederick." This was his third time in this exciting event. Last year in Frederick, he won the Quick Draw (non-juried) with his painting "Shadows on Church Street." Earlier this summer, David painted in Mountain Maryland's Quick Draw in Cumberland, Maryland. In the fall of 2015, he participated in the annual paint-out in Lexington, Virginia. In 2014, David painted in the plein-air competition in Alameda, California, where his painting “Crab Cove Close-up,” earned honorable mention.

David’s work appears regularly in regional art shows, including Waterford, Virginia, where his painting “Meandering down Main Street,” took both Best Watercolor and Best Waterford Scene this year.  His previous work earned a yellow ribbon in 2013, Best Civil War Scene in 2011, Honorable Mention in 2009, Best Waterford Scene in 2007, and Best Watercolor in 2006.  I

In 2014, David’s watercolor “The Hi Neighbor” was selected by the Chamber of Commerce of Strasburg, Virginia, for its official Mayfest print, the second time his work has been so chosen. 

He lives in the Shenandoah Valley with his wife, Marcie, and daughter, Jenny.  He teaches English at Sherando High School in Stephens City.


Artist’s Statement

I am Grandma Moses without the fame. At a late age, I picked up a brush for the first time, wanting to try something new and eager to develop my artistic eye. Drawn to watercolor’s exquisite freshness and at times maddening unpredictability, I spent the next twenty-five years learning my craft.  My watercolors explore in a loose, impressionistic manner the happy collisions between the natural and the man-made – the dilapidated gray barn sinking into the dry weeds, the precision of a red-brick wall against the riot of wisteria, great billowing clouds over hard, thin rooflines. More so now, I paint outdoors.  There’s nothing quite as thrilling of being there with a palette, an easel, a mop brush, and blank paper. Grandma Moses once famously said, “If I hadn’t started painting, I would have raised chickens.” I don’t care for chickens.