As a local artist, Debbie Chase van der Bol gives back to the community the best way she knows how – through ink and watercolor.
The owner of Pure Art Gallery & Gifts has been donating her time and talents to create one-of-a-kind Christmas cards as a fundraiser for the National Trust for the Cayman Islands for more than 20 years.
Proceeds from the sale of the cards go towards projects and programs of the Trust, a non-profit group that works to preserve the island’s natural environment and heritage.
“I believe the Trust is so important and a great hope for preserving Cayman’s natural wetlands and cultural landmarks and buildings,” she says. “It is my pleasure to support the National Trust in this way.”
Debbie comes up with detailed watercolor-and-ink designs each year that have a distinct Caymanian feel – showcasing everything from traditional homes to a blue iguana sporting a Santa hat to a colorful Grand Cayman parrot pulling Santa’s sleigh filled with gifts.
“For this year’s card, I thought of all the ‘island-style’ decorations which uniquely represent a Cayman Christmas,” she says. “I was inspired by bordering the scene with our beautiful casuarina pine boughs for the holiday feel. I try to include the natural Cayman trees, garden flowers and little details which are delightfully Cayman – even crabs in the garden.”
A focal point of this year’s card is a traditional Caymanian cottage decked out for the holiday season, complete with a white sand garden dotted with pretty pink conch shells and a nice ocean view.
Cayman-inspired decorations adorn the casuarina boughs – spanning from a sand dollar and stingray to a catboat and Sir Turtle, an iconic symbol of the islands.
These original holiday greeting cards have developed loyal fans over the years – with some people saving them throughout the years to display on the mantel.
“I encourage those who are sending holiday cards to support The Trust by sending this card,” says Debbie. “Several folks order them annually and we ship them overseas, as do local corporate supporters.”
The cards are available from the National Trust Visitor Centre in Dart Park, and Pure Art Gallery & Gifts, both on South Church Street in South Sound. The cards sell for $16 for a pack of 10. Custom orders are available. Call 749-1121 or email: [email protected]