Sydney Strickland Tully was born Toronto, Ontario, in 1860. Her studies were extensive, she began at the Education Académie Colarossi, in Paris, in 1890, followed by the Académie Julian, in Paris, from 1886 - 1888. She then did a Private study in 1893 with C. Lazar. In 1890-92 she returned to the Académie Julian, then the Slade School of Art, in London, from 1884 - 1886, the Long Island Art School, in New York, in 1894, and finally the Ontario College of Art & Design beginning some time in the late 1870's until 1884.
She began her career as a painter of photographs and designed Christmas cards. She became well known for her portraits, but also painted landscapes and genre scenes using oil and pastels.
Throughout her career Tully operated studios in Toronto from 1888-90, London in 1895, and in Holland and Jersey from 1906-08.
She was a member of the Ontario Society of Artists and the Royal Canadian Academy, she participated in exhibitions throughout Europe and North American, such as the Toronto Industrial Exhibition, 91 Club, in London, the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, and at the Paris Salon, among others.
She received honourable mention at the Pan-American exhibition in Buffalo and a bronze medal at the Saint Louis Exposition.
Tully also contributed articles on European affairs to "The Globe" and illustrated a children's book.
She died in Toronto, Ontario, in 1911.