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Sydney Andres' 'Animals I Have Seen' art exhibit opens in Quesnel

The Quesnel Art Gallery will host the exhibit throughout July
Artist Sydney Andres with her painting "Fall is Upon Us" at the Quesnel Art Gallery.

The Quesnel Art Gallery is showing Sydney Andres' "Animals I Have Seen" exhibit from July 3rd to July 26th.

Andres' paintings and detailed sketches show everything from a bison standing in white grass with a deep blue background to a black bear running across a river and many more furry and feathered animals. The title of the exhibit is literal, Andres' paintings are all of animals she has seen. Some of her sources of inspiration come from growing up on a farm in Vanderhoof, from her time living in Fort St. James and going on adventures where she has seen animals. 

"Inspiration kind of comes from my love of seeing the animals and observing them and just getting to sit there and watch," Andres told the Observer at the opening of the exhibit. "I was able to sit and watch those three moose (in one of her paintings) and just sit there, watch them, take pictures until they disappeared into the bush."

One of the other sources of inspiration for her art comes from deeply vivid dreams of animals.

"I can wake up in the morning like 'oh that's a good idea for a painting.' So lots of the stuff that I see, I immediately sketch in my sketchbook," Andres said. She said when she sees animals that would make good paintings she takes detailed notes about the time of day, the colours she sees and that process eventually leads her to creating paintings.

Andres got her start with art at a young age. She said she started with paint by numbers books as a child and would frequently get them as gifts and save up money to buy them herself.

"I had my own coffee table with paint stains on it and everything," she said. She said she moved on to books that taught her to draw animals and that laid the foundation for her artwork.

"I think everyone has a creative side and should always find different ways to be creative and allow yourself not to really care about what anyone thinks," Andres said. She said one of the most important  lessons she has learned is artists should create based on their passions and not simply try to please viewers. "If you try to make it specific to viewers then it doesn't really come from the heart, so create what you would want to create."

The gallery's exhibit after Andres' will be "Five Explore Our Cariboo" which will feature work from five artists from the region.

About the Author: Austin Kelly

Born and raised in Surrey, I'm excited to have the opportunity to start my journalism career in Quesnel.
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