What is art?

Wed 26th September 2012

To George Finley art is something which creates an emotional reaction in another.

At the meeting of the Rotary Club of St Andrews held on Wednesday 26th of September, Jnr. Vice President Andrew Aitken welcomed forty three members and two guests, Sarah Smith the Clubs Foundation Student and her husband.

After lunch and some domestic matters Andrew introduced member George Finley who was the lunch time speaker.

George began his talk by asking the question what is art? in George's opinion, art is something which creates an emotional reaction in another.  He continued by outlining how he got started and how he went on to become one of the best known artists of United States Army subjects. Art has been a part of his life since he was very young. As a boy he developed a fervent interest in drawing and he won awards for his paintings in school. As a cadet in West Point his cartoons and illustrations appeared in The Pointer, the cadet literary publication. Soon after graduation in 1960, he began to publish his now well known series of military caricatures. This work features branches, specialties and other aspects of the US Army and is often based on his own military experiences.

George retired from active duty in 1983 and established himself as an artist in Germany. He had many shows in his gallery in Gnadental near Schwbisch Hall and elsewhere, successfully displaying his water colours and pastels. At the same time he continued to add to his series of military caricatures. Beginning in 1988 several US Army commands commissioned George to create paintings commemorating the service of members of those commands in Europe during the Cold War and later.

He changed the style of his fine art in 1995 from representational to abstract. Later in 2002 he displayed for the first time a painting in his own style,
the New Line, which he created in response to the tragic events of September 2001.  For the interest of the members, George had brought along several items that covered the range of his skills especially One Line style that he enjoys so much.

George is a fine example of those unassuming men and women of great talent, that the Club is fortunate to have as members.


The vote of thanks for a most interesting and informative talk was given by Snr. Vice President Jimmy Spankie.