Monday, February 24, 2014

Monday Inspiration: Sybil Andrews

Sybil Andrews, Swans, 1939, (source)

Sybil Andrews, Racing, 1934 (source)
Sybil Andrews, Concert Hall, 1929, (source)

I was a bit lost this week- not really knowing who this Monday's artist would be (truth be told- I have really been looking at Kandinsky this week- but I'd set myself a task of Canadian artists this year on Mondays- so Kandinsky is out...for now) but after a bit of perusing Sybil Andrews name stuck out- and I am now well and truly inspired by her. The works speak for themselves, the movement and colour are so clear and dynamic, I'm in awe- honestly.

I've seen some of her works- but hadn't been suitably impressed until now- not sure why- they are infinitely impressive, from an artistic viewpoint, plus there are tons of images of her as an elderly lady, which is a bit of a weakness of mine (is that odd? I just love seeing a woman who's made art her whole life long, there's something reassuring in that, I think). Anyhow, she was also a really kick-ass woman; born in 1898- she wanted to study art after her secondary schooling- but the family couldn't afford it- so what does Sybil do? she apprentices to be a WELDER- that's right- she welded airplanes during the first world war. Sybil Andrews is my new hero.

you can (and should) check out her biography here at the Sybil Andrews Heritage Society.

(Monday Inspiration is all about Canadian Artists for 2014- do you have one you think I should check out? please leave a comment below, I'd love to hear from you!)


  1. Canadian artists on Mondays -- interesting idea. I've never heard of Sybil Andrews, but based on your three samples above, I think I like her. "Racing" is my favorite because it has so much movement. I thought it was a wave at first glance.

  2. What a great idea to highlight Canadian artists. It would be an education for me - I know of Emily Carr, the Group of Seven and a couple of other Canadians, but looking not too far back in your archives, I've learned of two more I'd like to explore - Sybil Andrews and Prudence Heward. Andrews painting "Swans" is full of graceful movement. Her paintings seem to have an oriental feeling - I wonder if she studied in Japan?

    1. I decided to do Canadian artists this year partly because they are so little known- Even after a bachelor of Fine Art from a Canadian university I don't know too many, and I certainly don't know them as well as I know the Europeans or Americans, so I'm trying to remedy that for myself this year- I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one in the dark about Canadian art!
      I think that Andrews works have that oriental feel because they're prints- and that medium has such clean lines. They were painted in the 20's and 30's and Japanese influence was huge in the west in that era (think Deco) - though she studied mostly in Britain- I'm sure she looked at more than a few Japanese prints ;)

  3. Wow, this is beautiful. I have never heard of Sybil Andrews...but she seems pretty awesome. My favorite of the three you've selected is Swans...I feel like you can see a geometric and engineering aspect to them, perhaps influenced by her apprenticeship? Thank you for bringing some art into my life today!

  4. Andrews isn't one I'm familiar with. She achieves marvelous movement!
    A nice idea for a post.
    Doris McCarthy, Marian Scott, Christiane Pflug, Mary Pratt, Frances Loring and Florence Wyle spring to mind.

    1. Mary Pratt is a big favorite of mine- but I haven't heard of the others I'll check them out- thanks for the tip!