Artist captures Rimbey’s charm on canvas


Artist Elizabeth Verhagen from Edmonton enjoys painting sketching and painting buildings in Rimbey.

By Treena Mielke

Rimbey, when seen through the eyes of renowned artist Elizabeth Verhagen, has a natural charm and simplistic beauty that she loves to capture with her pen and pencil drawings.

Verhagen, who spent a day in Rimbey this summer, drew several buildings including the Rimbey & District Tire Shop, the Tack & Feed Shop and Rimbey Elementary School.

“I love doing the buildings,” she said. “And I love the location (of Rimbey).”

Verhagen said she struggled with her drawing of the tire shop, but finally, after much perseverance, the drawing came together.

“It was difficult but something came over me and I was able to do it,” she said. “And I also did the school. I love schools because of the lines; the simplicity.”

Verhagen, who came to Canada from the Netherlands with her parents and siblings in 1954 at the age of 10, bicycles all over Alberta in the summer, stopping at towns and villages along the way to soak in their culture and capture their uniqueness with her drawings.

The seasoned artist, who decided, at the tender age of 20, to dedicate her life to art said she loves to bicycle along Alberta roads, exploring new routes and being inspired by the vibrant intensity of the province’s countryside.

“Alberta is beautiful; so diversified and there is a purity and balance of colors,” she said.

Verhagen uses her paintings to express the pure colors of the landscape and brilliant hues of the sky.

However, as much as Verhagen loves to recreate the vivid scenes Alberta’s landscape has to offer and as much as she enjoys capturing small town imagery with her pen and pencil drawings, her talent lies in other areas of art as well.

A major part of her artistic activity consists of creating constructions, innovative works that combine painting with pasted and mounted objects and materials.

She also creates paintings of faces based on her drawings of people sketched in public places.

Now a senior who has achieved success in the art world with paintings, drawings and photographs in collections all over the world, Verhagen continues to travel around Alberta on her 18-speed touring bike. She is content with this mode of travel, often overnighting in hotels along the way, so she has ample time to pursue her art.

Her humble and simple lifestyle lends itself well to Alberta summers, but the harsh winters experienced here means Verhagen must retreat to her Edmonton studio where she devotes her time to painting indoors. Her canvas paintings, done in her studio, are often taken from her photographs or sketches she has captured during her summer jaunts.

But, once winter is over and the seasons change, Verhagen will, no doubt, set off on her trusty touring bike, and, perhaps she will stop in Rimbey again, taking the time to sketch another picture, explore another road, or capture a landscape yet to be discovered.

Just Posted

Supporters rally for Jason Kenney as UCP leader stops in Red Deer

Kenney promises equalization reform, stopping ‘Trudeau-Notley’ payroll hike, trade, economic mobility

UPDATED: Boys and Girls Club looking for new home in Rimbey

The organization has lost their dedicated space at the Peter Lougheed Community Centre

Rimbey RCMP ask people to watch for ‘funny money’

RCMP says local businesses have received counterfeit currency in recent transactions

NDP Leader Rachel Notley stops in Red Deer on campaign trail

Notley promises hospital expansion, cath lab, pipelines and energy industry expansion

PHOTOS: Rimbey Library packed during petting zoo

Rimbey kids had a great time at the Zoo 2 U Petting Zoo

VIDEO: Restaurant robots are already in Canada

Robo Sushi in Toronto has waist-high robots that guide patrons to empty seats

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

WestJet sticking with Boeing 737 Max once planes certified to fly

WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13

Fierce house cat spotted as ‘aggressor’ in face off with coyote in B.C. backyard

North Vancouver resident Norm Lee captures orange cat versus coyote in backyard showdown

Wilson-Raybould to reveal more details, documents on SNC-Lavalin affair

Former attorney general has written to the House of Commons justice committee

Most Read