Donna Lee Nyzio was born in Rhode Island, and grew up in Rehoboth, Massachusetts, a small town near the coast, between Providence and Boston. She attended a regional high school that had a serious arts program. IGrowing up without the Internet, cell phones, and all of today’s groovy gadgets, which meant that she actually went out and played, painted, and created. She earned a BFA from Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh, PA, but found it wasn’t a good fit for her. Her work was not in line with the abstract expressionism that was happening at the time, as she is a painter who loves realism.

Being a representational oil painter she works in a traditional manner with knives and brushes. She also paints on wooden or clay panels, which are easier to store, frame, and show in a high-humidity environment than canvas or paper.

 She sees her art as blue-collar and work-oriented, and considers herself a painter, as opposed to an artist. She prefer to recognize the art in everything that’s around her and help others do the same—to slow down, unplug, and enjoy where they are. Nyzio looks at life creatively AND studies painting. When creating a scene, she prefers to use bold shapes and a subtle color palette and is happiest with a balanced composition.

Nyzio tends to paint local seascapes and maritime subjects around the small coastal town of Beaufort, North Carolina where she now lives; but finds herself investigating the coast as far north as Maine, haunting Southern New England, and the cruising Chesapeake Bay.

Her professional memberships include American Society of Maritime Artists, Oil Painters of America, and American Women Artists. She is a current fellow of the Clark Hulings Fund and the 2017 resident artist for the Friends of the NC Maritime Museum in Beaufort, NC.


In addition to receiving a 2017 North Carolina Regional project grant, she has participated in many national juried shows to include the 38th Annual International Marine Art Exhibition, Salmagundi Club non-members show, and the GreenHill Center for NC Art