Nel's Story

Staying Creative in Every Stage of Life

Art has been an unwavering companion throughout my life, an ever-present muse that has brought colour and vibrancy to my days. My name is Nel Rodenburg. I am 91 years young, and creativity is part of my every day.

My connection with art has taken various forms over the years, from sewing to crafting intricate window dressings. Each one, whether financially rewarding or not, has been a labour of love. My current artistic outlet involves painting stepping stones, transforming them into vibrant canvases that bring joy to my community and to myself.

I spend five hours a day painting these stones with different colours and designs, and it provides me with a purposeful and productive daily activity.

My artistic journey has traversed continents. Born in Holland, I made the bold move to Alberta in 1957. Calgary welcomed me for three years before my path led me to picturesque British Columbia, where I made my home for an incredible 64 years. Now I find myself in Red Deer, back on the prairies where it all began.

Everything I’ve created carries the weight of my experiences and the places I've called home. Art has been my constant companion. It's about the sheer pleasure of creating, of making something beautiful out of the ordinary.

As I continue to work every day, surrounded by the scenic landscapes of the prairies, I am reminded that art is not merely a hobby; it fills my days with meaning and constantly gives me something to strive for. In the simple act of making, I find purpose and fulfilment, echoing the sentiment that has been a constant throughout my remarkable journey - always art.

Nel lives in Inglewood, an Optima Living community in Red Deer.

Nel smiling in her craft corner
Nel holding a piece of paper
Nel pointing at one of her ongoing crafts
Nel grabbing some of her craft tools
Nel showing craft tools
Nel talking expressively
Nel showing off four of her finished plaques
Stain glass pieces on a table
Nels plaques on display
Nel and her friend talking about their crafts
Nel and her friend showing of crafts
Nel and her friend holding shoulders and smiling