A Legacy of Dis­cov­ery

Arabella - - ANDREW KISS - Sam Amos

It's about be­ing bet­ter. About grow­ing. About dis­cov­er­ing what you love – and never wa­ver­ing in your pur­suit. "It has taken me 45 years to be in the place I am now," An­drew Kiss states in a mat­ter-of­fact way. "I never gave up, I was al­ways striv­ing to be bet­ter, and I was do­ing what I loved." He re­mem­bers draw­ing when he was young, and hav­ing a keen in­ter­est in high school art class. Then, about 50 years ago, he bought a book on An­drew Wyeth and that was a huge in­spi­ra­tion. Look­ing back on these touch­stones, An­drew sees how they made him the per­son he is to­day. He was born in Hungary in 1946, at the end of World War II. The age of the Hun­gar­ian Revo­lu­tion was a dif­fi­cult time and place, to be sure. An­drew says, "In 1957, along with about 380,000 refugees, my par­ents brought our fam­ily to Canada with the help of spon­sors." They ar­rived on the east coast of the coun­try but would even­tu­ally set­tle on the west, choos­ing Van­cou­ver Is­land as home. "Even at an early age I al­ways drew and, at times, my mind was more on art than school work," An­drew ad­mits. "I at­tended the Univer­sity of Bri­tish Columbia for a year, but it wasn't for me, then I went to tech­ni­cal school to learn ar­chi­tec­tural draft­ing but it was al­most im­pos­si­ble to get a job in the field. I met my wife Lynn dur­ing this time and we mar­ried in 1968. In or­der to sup­port us, I got a job in topo­graph­i­cal draft­ing in Van­cou­ver." For An­drew, there were al­ways two sides to life: what he wished he could be do­ing, and what was nec­es­sary to sur­vive. The two were not in to­tal con­trast, but ex­tra ef­fort was needed to push through, to make the time to do what he loved. He ex­plains, "I started a cor­re­spon­dence course in graphic art and did that in my spare time, but upon com­ple­tion, again, it was im­pos­si­ble to use that tal­ent in a work­place. So, I took up paint­ing on my own and even­tu­ally started to sell a few paint­ings to co-work­ers."

Mo­ments in Time

"In 1974, now with two kids, we were trans­ferred by the com­pany to the small town of Macken­zie," says An­drew. "It was then that I got more se­ri­ous

left, Mt Le­froy, oil on can­vas, 24" x 40" above, Oc­to­ber Morn­ing, oil on can­vas, 24" x 60"

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