Enriching the Arts

Featured Artist: Carney Oudendag, ASA


At the Edge of a Petal, Carney Oudendag


Born and raised in the small prairie town of Three Hills, Alberta, Carney’s artistic mother was her first enabler! Enrichment was not abundant. There were no art galleries, virtually no visual artist role models & little money. In the early 70’s, at age 17, Carney moved to Calgary to attend The Alberta College of Art (now ACAD) with the intent of studying ‘commercial’ art. After a year at art college, Carney attended both U of C and UBC in the education faculty, with art as her major.  She enjoyed a 28 year teaching career with the Calgary Board of Education. An opportunity to job share, later in her teaching life, gave her time to focus on her growth as a visual artist. Early on, Carney worked with watercolors in an intuitive and expressive style.  At a casual after school workshop with Jean Pederson, Carney’s art world changed forever. This became a turning point where collage became an integral technique & passion. Later, major workshops with California artist, Gerald Brommer confirmed for Carney that collage gave her mixed media work the visual interest and semi-abstract effect she was striving for. Carney’s work is more driven by her hoards of found objects & papers, rather than subject matter or themes. Creations start with breaking up space with torn paper, gestural mark making, layers of gesso, and continue from there utilizing both conventional and non-conventional materials. Her work is quirky, abstracted and not faithful to an actual ‘subject.’ Carney aims for her art to be evocative. Perhaps the viewer is transported to a certain place, time, or feeling. Carney has lived and worked in Calgary AB, Invermere & Vancouver BC. Her work has gone to homes in Canada, the USA and parts of Europe. She currently resides, teaches, mentors, practices & exhibits in Kelowna BC.


Don’t Stand Alone, Carney Oudendag

Q & A with the ASA

ASA: Can you tell us about your influences?

Carney: I am in awe and deep gratitude to all pioneering artists who had to struggle and outrage convention to realize their own talents and drive art into other genres and realms. Some of my favorite ‘heavy hitters’ in the collage world are Robert Rauschenberg and Kurt Schwitters. These guys were innovative. More recently, I am studying ‘outsider art and artists.’ Many of these artists had to overcome hardships & issues of human condition. James Castle was untrained, reclusive, deaf and mute. He created paper wonders from scrap & string. He did naïve sketches with soot and his own saliva. Hannelore Baron and James Cornell are fascinating for their art and lifestyle. Since I have a borderline obsession with found materials and the discarded, Baron and Cornell’s assemblage boxes are incredible to me. Art historian, Leo Steinberg said “All art is infested with other art.” I tip my art to other artists all the time in my own work.

ASA: What would you consider to be your most successful body of work to date?


Bail, Carney Oudendag

Carney: I guess it depends on what the gauge of success is to an artist. If by sales, I have to say I always sell my trees or any body of work with very a naturalistic and organic feel. If success is a more internal and personal measure, then I would have to say a series I did based on jazz music was hugely moving and satisfying to me. I was trying to become more literate about jazz and jazz masters. I played Coltrane and Davis and Bill Evans and others… each piece titled after one of their masterpieces. Purely non-representational and atmospheric. A complex & time consuming array of technique was involved, too.


HUB @ 302 Showcase Gallery
Open Tues -Fri   from 10 am – 4 pm

The Alberta Society of Artists
Crossroads Art Centre
#302 – 1235 26th Avenue SE
Calgary, AB T2G 1R7
ASA Phone: (403) 265-0012

TREX Phone: (403) 262-4669

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