Artist inspired by Cayman’s beauty

The unique, luminous gorgeousness of the Cayman Islands’ natural assets is inspiring to all of us as we go about our lives. 

But for artists like Debbie van der Bol, they have an opportunity to interpret this for posterity. Luckily, we can experience their own take on matters at art exhibitions and such, which brings us neatly to the fact that Debbie’s new showcase opens at Full of Beans with refreshment and a meet and greet on Tuesday, 6 November at 6pm. 

Titled simply “My Paintings”, the exhibition continues through 30 November and, says Debbie, has some familiar sights on show all of which bring inspiration in various ways. 

“Cayman’s South Sound I painted as it was, in all its purely natural glory, before Hurricane Ivan. The relationship of the ocean’s shallows, the nice mangroves, the wispy Casaurina tree, a glorious group of date palms all hug the lovely bend of the South Sound Road.  

“Another example is one study totally inspired by the way poinsettia tree blossoms are the shape of stingrays. I painted the coral red blossoms, carpeting the beach, with subtle Southern Rays swimming in the Cayman ocean waters at a sunset reflecting the entire inspiration. On another note, another poinsettia (flame) tree inspired a watercolour simply by its unique shape in a natural Cayman roadside setting. As an artist, inspirations can be subject, or colour, or both,” she tells Weekender. 

She says she loves experimenting with new approaches and has done some big canvas paintings of late, with plans to go back to oil and pastel. 


Strong urge 

Debbie says that artists get ideas and inspirations and the urge to create is so strong it is like the urge to breathe. 

For an artist in Cayman, 2012 has been enjoyable, Debbie says, but the economy continues to be difficult. Debbie’s painted some small miniatures for the show, which she says was also influenced by the economy. But what of any other inspirations? 

“Several of my favourite artists are the colours of Mark Rothko. At the Albright-Knox museum in Buffalo, New York, one can sit in a basketball court sized room and just sit and bask in his oils. He definitely inspired creative colour use in me. The Impressionistic approach of Vincent van Gogh and G. Camille still inspire my approach to textures with colour.  

“Locally, Joanne Sibley’s attention to Caymanian detail was a true inspiration, as well as her finished quality of not overworking her paintings. I also adore Maureen Andersen’s paintings. Maureen’s oils are purely of her own style, colour, and point of view and I just love her work.” 

This is the third year Debbie has showcased at Full of Beans, testament to her continued passion not just to create, but to reach new people who may not have experienced her work yet. 


“My Paintings” by Debbie van der Bol opens at 6pm on Tuesday, 6 November with a meet and greet and runs through Friday, 30 November. 

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