Pieter Wagemans was born on 11 August 1948 in Merksem, close to the city of Antwerp, Belgium. From his youth Pieter has always been able to express himself spontaneously through the artistic gift that he probably inherited from his father. Even from his early years it seemed likely that he would develop this gift further. At the age of 15 he decided to take lessons at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp.
1964: group photograph of a number of students at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, led by Professor Gorus. Pieter sits crouched in the centre at the bottom.
During his training at the Academy Pieter had many opportunities to practise life drawings, mainly still lifes, but also nudes and landscapes, each time under the inspiring leadership of professors such as Jacques Gorus and Victor Dolfyn. Through much hard work, they gave him a good grounding in classical painting skills and taught him to master the techniques of an artist.
In 1969 Pieter obtained the commercially valuable diploma of graphic designer, artist and illustrator. After his military service he set out as a free-lance illustrator and designer, working for various publishers over a number of years.
1976: Working at the series of ceiling paintings in an historical building in Antwerp.
Gradually it became clear to Pieter that he had
an increasing preference for fine art painting. "It is more a character
trait than a conscious style," according to Pieter.
Pieter in his studio
As a variation on still life, in recent years Pieter has developed his specialised talents in flower compositions. In comparison with still life paintings there are significant differences to observe in expression, technique and composition as well as in the colour palette - colours are purer, with richer contrasts. The flowers add volume to the paintings and bring a baroque impression. These paintings are all created in his studio; with landscapes flowing spontaneously from his imagination. For the harmonic depth Pieter often prefers the warm glow of a low sun.
"I prefer roses," says Pieter, "if only because of their aristocratic aura. Together with sumptuous fabrics and items of silver they provide most beautiful compositions."
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