Sandra Harris is a local painter of the wild landscapes of British Columbia. Born and raised in North Vancouver she spent her youth playing team sports and exploring the local coasts and mountains of the province with her family. Every Easter her family and group of family friends would make the trip to the west coast of Vancouver Island where they would roam the coastlines and trails of Longbeach. And it was on those trips that she developed a deep passion for BC?s untamed landscapes.
Sandra paints from photos that she has collected herself of scenes that she has physically been in and experienced for herself. Thus, her paintings convey a true sense of being in the landscape, of experiencing the color and the energy, and the movement of the land. “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 relate the experience of seeing and being in the landscape to the viewer.”
As a painter Sandra is largely influenced by the work of Tom Thomson. Her strength in painting is thanks in part to her initial interest in drawing, which she accredits to the comic book illustrations of Roger Cruz.
Sandra attended Langara College from 2001 to 2003 where she was a member of the women?s basketball team while enrolled in the two-year fine arts program. She graduated with a Diploma of Fine Arts and immediately became involved with a six-month government funded public art program where she and other young artists designed, created, and installed the tile mosaic in the North Vancouver?s Lonsdale Quay fountain. After the program came to a close she completed a Certificate of Multimedia from UBC Continuing Studies partnered with Emily Carr. In 2005 Sandra returned to her artistic roots enrolling in the visual arts program at the University of Victoria. She graduated with a Bachelor?s of Fine Arts in 2007 and concluded with a successful showing in the school?s grad show, selling both paintings she entered. Within six months of graduating Sandra had her very first showing at the West Vancouver Memorial Library for the full month of September 2007. The show was so successful that she was invited back in 2008 for a show spanning the full two months of February and March. Since then Sandra has also exhibited at the Mountain Galleries in Whistler, the Leighdon Studio Gallery in Vancouver, the Silk Purse Gallery in West Vancouver, and the Ferry Building Gallery in West Vancouver. Currently Sandra is painting full-time and is represented by Mountain Galleries. She also happily accepts commission work.