Tanja Gardner Q/A

Tanja Gardner is a talented Vancouver artist whose paintings are inspired by her long BC history and her European training and travels. Represented by the Ian Tan Gallery, Gardner has been active for years in supporting local charities with her art.

Gardner offers her take on our Vancouver Q&A.

1. Specific place I go in Vancouver to be creatively inspired.
My backyard. I was painting there yesterday with friends, enjoying the Vancouver weather.

2. Best place for people watching.
Vancouver patios and coffee shops are great places to people watch.

3. Someone from Vancouver – alive or passed – who inspires me.
I have lots of friends who are doers. All of them inspire me. Whether they are training to run the BMO marathon or giving their time to local charities. They do it because they want to. They wouldn’t want their names mentioned. They would say: ‘just make every day count and do something for yourself or others.’

4. If you want great pictures of Vancouver, go to:
Everywhere, but make me choose one… the Endowment Lands, Spirit Park. The light is incredible.

5. If Vancouver were an animal, it would be:
Can I be greedy and say it would have to be a spirit animal – a bear’s paws, an orca’s back, an eagle’s beak and a coyote’s tail. Then, we would have the mountain, the ocean, the sky and the forest covered! But, if you force me to say one animal: a dog. Walk around Vancouver and you see dogs everywhere. They represent the lifestyles of the people living here. At the beach – large dogs, in Yaletown – small dogs, and all the different personalities that dogs have.

6. A sound I associate with Vancouver.
A seagull calling. Haha or a bike bell!

7. A pleasant smell I associate with Vancouver.
The saltwater air.

8. Food and/or drink that reminds me of Vancouver.
Fresh water. We drink tap water and that is a true Vancouver luxury.

9. Particularly great show, of any kind, that I have seen in Vancouver.
I just saw a great play in Granville Island at the Arts Club: Mom’s The Word 3: Nest 1/2 Empty. It is great because it was written and performed by Vancouverites. It is nice to support the artists of Vancouver. Otherwise, street performers in Granville Island are great. You could spend the day wandering and being entertained.

10. Favourite place to travel if I want to be creatively inspired.
I love road trips. I take photos everywhere and use these in my paintings. I just finished Row row row your boat that I took at a local lake with a bunch of teen boys excited that summer is underway. The painting Storytelling is from a racetrack in England, so travel is important for inspiration. The French Rooster painting is a chicken from Salt Spring Island.

Tanja Gardner Profile


i. Header Photo – Row row row your boat
ii French Rooster
iii. Storytelling


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Elizabeth Newton