Aldeburgh artist’s festive greeting cards feature Father Christmas enjoying the Suffolk coast

Aldeburgh artist Kirstie Blackbenz has produced some cheerful Christmas cards which she will be sell

Aldeburgh artist Kirstie Blackbenz has produced some cheerful Christmas cards which she will be selling to raise money for the Samaritans - a charity she has received support from herself. The cards go on sale on Friday 28th November and Kirstie will be selling them herself from the White Hart on Saturday the 29th November during the town's Christmas Switch On celebrations. - Credit: Archant

He is more generally pictured amid snowy scenes or on a starry winter’s night.

Aldeburgh artist Kirstie Blackbenz' Christmas cards

Aldeburgh artist Kirstie Blackbenz' Christmas cards - Credit: Archant

But even Father Christmas and his elves appear to enjoy an occasional visit to the Suffolk coast.

Or at least that is the impression conveyed by Aldeburgh artist Kirstie Blackbenz in her series of Christmas cards, which portray the festive entourage enjoying a tasty treat of fish and chips on the sea wall.

Ms Blackbenz said the bright and cheery images made her smile when she sketched them in her studio and felt they would be ideal for the greetings cards, which went on sale yesterday.

Having suffered five “terrible” Christmases, due to personal reasons, the 57-year-old artist said she wanted to help others faced with hardship during the festive period by offering 10% from the sales to the Samaritans.

Aldeburgh artist Kirstie Blackbenz' Christmas cards

Aldeburgh artist Kirstie Blackbenz' Christmas cards - Credit: Archant

“I’ve been to depths of hell with depression and it was by painting that I found my way back,” she said.

“For many people, who are one their own and with no one visiting, Christmas is not all jolly and wonderful it can be a horrible time, so I felt I wanted to do something to help.”

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Having lived in Aldeburgh since 2008, Ms Blackbenz says she has been inspired by the Suffolk coast and its beauty, which features in lots of her work.

“It literally affects the whole way I am and how I paint,” she said.

“I love Suffolk, I love the architecture, the people and the sea – it’s so inspiring.”

Her previous works have featured in exhibitions at the Aldeburgh Beach Lookout and on a wine bottle label sold at Russell & Newnes to raise funds for the Aldeburgh RNLI.

She will be in the White Hart Inn, Aldeburgh, from noon today selling the cards for £1.99 while the town celebrates its Christmas lights switch-on. People can also buy cards by calling 07971 816430. Microfibre tea towels with the images are also available for £5.99.

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