Dirk Oudes was working as a repairer of watches and clocks when, around 1930, he began to feel the need to take up drawing and painting. Artists friends, like the brothers Bernard and Koos Stikvoort, Jan Plas and the German painter Erwin Bowien taught him the principles of the trade. Dirk Oudes used to paint on panels of about 60x50 cm. The realm of his imagination is firmly based in Noord-Holland country life and village scenes. Dirk Oudes took a lively interest in the history of art. He was profoundly influenced by Vincent van Gogh, and later also by Henri ? le douanier? Rousseau, Picasso and Cobra artists like Constant and Piet Ouborg. His work is situated between expressionism and primitive art. It was admired by the French primitive André Bauchant and the connoisseur of primitive art Kaspar Niehaus; this confirms the special place his work takes. Dirk Oudes never opted for an artistic calling as a means of existence. This explains why he had few exhibitions, and why his name is not as widely-known as the names of his contemporaries in Alkmaar and Bergen.
As a non-professional artist Dirk Oudes attitude towards exhibiting in a museum was somewhat ambivalent. In several drawings and paintings he made fun of the snobbery of museum-goers. Yet he was positively flattered when people showed an interest in his work, and he regularly gave up works for exhibitions.
Dirk Oudes exhibited for the first time in Alkmaar, his place of residence, in 1973 in the WICO studio, and a year later at art shop De Rover. Other art dealers that sold his works were Legat and Mainz in the Hague, Leffelaar in Haarlem, and Felison at IJmuiden. In 1939 Gallery Jeanne Bucher in Paris exhibited drawings by Dirk Oudes.
In 1941 and 1954 Dirk exhibited his works at Genootschap Kunstliefde in Utrecht. In 1955 he was invited to exhibit works together with the Amsterdam artists society De Keerkring. In the sixties he became a member of Kunstcentrum Bergen, where he exhibited his works in 1965 and 1968. In 1969 he was represented in a collective exhibition of Noord-Holland primitive artists at Heerhugowaard.