Egbert Oudendag, "untitled," oil, 24" X 18".
Retrospective, September 7 to 19th, Pynelogs Cultural Centre, Invermere, BC
BY: Helena Wadsley
Egbert Oudendag found the picturesque in everything, from the garbage cans at his back door to boats stranded on a sandy shore. Using a limited palette of subdued tones, he captured a subtlety of light and sensitivity to form, whether it was a craggy mountain or the smooth curve of a nude woman, reclining across a white floor. Most of his paintings were done on wood panels primed with gray; working ‘alla prima’ meant his paintings retain a fresh look, and the decisive brushwork is still evident. The portability of the panels allowed him to do plein air painting — he didn’t rely on photographs but on sharp observation. An insistence on fluid brush strokes made him meticulous about his paint mixing — he would add oil and varnish to paint, then carefully put the mixture back into the tube. The building which houses the Pynelogs Cultural Centre makes a good setting for Oudendag’s retrospective. Both came into existence in 1914. Oudendag passed away in 1998 in White Rock, BC, and the work in this exhibition has been kept by the family, unseen since then.