Andrew Finnie trained in fine art at Newcastle Art School (TAFE) in the 1980s and 1990s. He is a founding member of the well-known ‘The Seven Painters’ group and a veteran of more than 50 group exhibitions. As well as working with traditional media, Andrew is also a digital artist, animator, illustrator and writer.
Andrew says that, “Creating gives life meaning; some people make children, others make gardens, others decorate their houses, others make money, others gossip, others generate misery. Humans are made to create. We make sense of the chaos around us by imposing our will on that chaos and arranging into ‘understandable’ forms.”
His influences are wide ranging. As a painter, he lists Bosch, Holbein, The Fauves, Kandinsky, Mondrian before he went geometric, Matisse as a Fauve. For his digital work – again Bosch and Holbein. But as a digital illustrator he enjoys referencing folk tales and channelling the earthy goriness of peasant medieval life. When he makes illustrated books he has Shaun Tan’s wordless book The Arrival in the back of his mind.
“In my paintings I aim to suggest an image to an audience and engage them in finishing the work by enticing them to fill in the gaps. I believe the best piece of art is one that is made by both artist and viewer working together.”
In the same way his digital work seeks to make an emotional connection with the viewer by trying to stir their memories – be they their own first hand memories or archetypal memories (i.e. Jung’s ‘collective unconscious’).
Andrew is dedicated to his craft. When working on digital projects, he’ll dedicate four days a week starting at 6.00am working through till 8.00pm – with a few hours off during the day for a surf. As a painter he has been with the same group of fellow artists (The Seven Painters) for 17 years. They meet together on a regular basis at NAS to work in their studio space and share ideas.
Andrew’s work can be found in a number of private and public collections including The Chris and Helen Ford Collection, The Lock-Up Collection, the Newcastle Grammar School Collection and the Collection of the Uniting Church. He been commission by Newcastle Now to create their Christmas Advent Calendar, and invited to be an artist in residence at Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery.
He exhibited his first solo show The Enlightening Journey of Mr. Hugo Ball at Maitland Regional Art Gallery in 2018.
Andrew Finnie at Maitland Regional Art Gallery 2018, with works from his exhibition The Enlightening Journey of Mr. Hugo Ball
Cliff Street, Shepherd’s Hill 2015. Acrylic on canvas, 30cm x 30cm
Merewether 2015. Acrylic on canvas, 60cm x 30cm
Nobbys, Life Savers House 2015. Acrylic on canvas, 30cm x 30cm
Down High Street 2016. Acrylic on canvas, 30cm x 30cm
Surfers at Nobbys 2015. Acrylic on canvas, 30cm x 40cm
View down the railway tracks to Civic Station. Acrylic on canvas, 30cm x 20cm