Each month Caribbean Queen at Palm Beach Plaza Mall honors one local female artist who lives and creates here. The Caribbean Queen program was launched when the store opened in late 2011, and has been running successfully ever since.
For the month of February 2015, local artist Sonja Vredenbregt is the boutique’s celebrated Caribbean Queen, showcasing her extraordinary painted black stones.
Born in the Netherlands, Sonja has been living and working on Aruba since 2013. She started drawing early in life, and from then on, demonstrated a strong preference for portraits, which resulted in numerous portraits commissioned by friends and family members.
Blessed with a broad interest in the creative side of life, Sonja studied fashion and graphic design and eventually graduated in the art of photography, but she always kept painting. Around 2007, hiking through Europe, she was moved by the true beauty of nature and started portraying birds. First she painted European birds, and after moving to Aruba, she discovered the diverse wildlife here and the beautiful Aruban birds. One day, on a long walk on the north shore of Aruba, she found the polished, smooth stones of Black Stone Beach. And so, to broaden her work and expand her choice of materials, she started painting all animals of the Caribbean on these magical stones.
Sonja executes every painting in great detail, with people often marveling over the almost photographic precision of her work. She uses high-quality oil paint, and to deepen the colors and protect the painting, she applies a varnish layer.
“There is nothing I can’t paint,” she says, “so if you are interested in something special, suiting your personal taste, just ask.”
Caribbean Queen boutique earmarks a percentage of all sales for its Tikkun Olam (Repair of the World) program. The collected funds are given quarterly to local not-for-profit organizations in an ongoing effort to do good and serve the community. All the foundations served with donations from Caribbean Queen are dedicated to the promotion of art and artisan education on the island.
Enjoy these unique paintings by Sonja throughout the month of February, and drop in to witness a live demonstration of her craft at the boutique on the third Thursday of the month, in the evening hours.