Lesley Finlayson was born in Glasgow, Scotland. She received her BFA from the Glasgow School of Art. She moved to Canada in 1987 and continued her studies at the University of Calgary, where she graduated with a Master in Fine Arts. For 20 years, she was an educator in the Fine Arts Department at Langara College in British Columbia, Canada.
Lesley Finlayson exhibits in Canada and the United Kingdom. She has won numerous awards, including the Alberta Art Foundation Scholarship, the Elizabeth Greenshields Scholarship and the Hospitalfield School of Art Scholarship.
Her work is in public collections: Esso Petroleum Canada, Sceptre Resources and private collections in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. Finlayson currently resides in Victoria, BC where she continues to paint.