A Legacy of Discovery
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"