Painting The West Coast With Sandra Harris

One or twice a week Scout poses 60 questions to a local who has made life in BC that much more interesting. They pick and choose which ones they’d prefer to answer, with a minimum response rate of 20. A Rorschach test, for sure…

Sandra Harris has a passion for painting the untamed landscapes of Canada’s west coast. “A scene that I paint has to put a sense of awe into me first; that moment has to happen where all I see is the landscape in its size, energy, and beauty. The whole idea of my work is to recreate or to relate the experience of seeing and being in the landscape to the viewer.” Harris studied art at Langara College, Emily Carr University and The University of Victoria. She recently graduated from the University of Victoria’s visual arts program with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts. She lives and paints in North Vancouver.


Scout Q&A

Three things about your neighbourhood that make you want to live there:
On a mountain, beautiful scenery, 5 minute walk and I’m on a trail hiking in the beautiful scenery.

The thing that you eat that is bad for you that you will never stop eating: Red licorice.

Default drink: Water.

Sexiest fashion item for the opposite sex: Baggy basketball shorts. No short shorts please.

Book you’re reading: “Sleep Thieves” by Stanley Coren.

Last place traveled: I went to the Queen Charlotte Islands this past summer on a week-long kayaking tour down in the south end of the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve with the Pacific Rim Paddling Company. Despite the lousy weather, the scenery was awe-inspiring. We visited the village of Ninstints with all its decaying totem poles, which was pretty amazing for the imagination. It was mind blowing to see a landscape with no sign of development, no power-lines, no nothing. I actually found it to be somewhat of a relief to know that places like this still existed.

Best sneaker in the world: Well, my favorite basketball shoe is a toss up between the Nike Zoom LeBron 2 II and the Adidas KB8 II. This is strictly based on aesthetics as neither seemed to help me jump higher.

Ice cream flavour: Oreo.

Food your mom makes better than anyone: Cheesecake. I’ve been ruined for life; no other cheesecake can compare.

Talent you wish you possessed: The ability to skateboard and not eat concrete.

Favourite sports team: Los Angeles Lakers, and I seem to take a lot of heat for it.

Best concert experience ever: Hilltop Hoods @ Tonic. Front row, baby.

Dream car: A non-existent charcoal grey seriously fuel-efficient diesel Toyota 4-Runner with a great sound system, so that I can explore the province for future paintings enjoyably with a few friends. I’m not satisfied as to why there aren’t more diesel cars available in North America.

Town you were born in: North Van, as far as I’m told. My memory is non-existent pre-preschool.

Old television shows you can tolerate re-runs of: The Cosby Show! I wish sitcom shows today were still filmed in front of a live studio audience so that the jokes actually have to be funny to get a laugh. There is nothing worse then watching a show and needing the tape loop laughter track to come on for you to realize that a joke was just made… a bad joke. Might this be part of the reason why I don’t watch very much TV anymore?

Album that first made you love music: Can’t remember. It could quite possibly have been a Bryan Adams album…? No, wait! It was Dolly Parton’s “White Limozeen”. No joke, when we were little my sisters and I used to crank that and sing along. I remember one time a babysitter told us she knew Dolly and we believed, and she had the three of us eating out of her hand the entire evening. Nowadays, ‘Rock n Roll’ by The Sounds is the song that I am in love with, hands down. Rhymefest is also definitely a recommended download.

The career path you considered but never followed: Professional basketball player. I had the passion for it; I even got voted in my high school yearbook as ‘most likely to play in the WNBA’. The only thing I was lacking was LeBron James’ athleticism. Fingers crossed for my next life.

Three websites you visit every day: Facebook,,

The thing you’re addicted to: Books on mythology. I’m an avid reader of anything by Joseph Campbell… you know, the mentor George Lucas credits for ‘Star Wars’. Check it out.

Biggest hope: To wake up tomorrow with the powers of Superman.




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