Pieter Wagemans was born in 1948 in Merksem, close to Antwerp in Belgium. Since 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 and at the age of fifteen he started taking lessons at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp under the tutelage of professors such as Jacques Gorus and Victor Dolfyn.
During his studies Pieter refined the practice of life drawing, addressing nude and landscape subjects but increasingly focusing on still life. In recent years Pieter has come to specialise in flower paintings, and his work bears reference to his study of artists such as David de Heem Willem Heda and Rachael Ruys. Painting flowers exercises the artist’s discipline and skills of composition, colour harmony and expression. Looking for symbolic value of a composition he builds a moving story. The ‘vanitas’ motif is a major source of inspiration. Reflecting on the transitory nature of life, beauty often is incorporated in the form of a flower.
The fine painting of flowers demands considerable discipline, because the passing of time is an important challenge. A flower is always changing. Pieter works from the studio, creating imagined compositions, which are characterised by harmony and rich contrasts of colour and texture, all basking in the glow of a warm sun. To capture the moment Pieter paints each flower in turn, ‘alla prima’ until the painting is finished. Sometimes this can take a whole day, others only a few hours. Often the flower compositions never existed in reality because the flowers were painted one by one over several weeks.
Pieter has been awarded the Silver Award at the International Art Contest in Australia in 1999 and the Golden Award at Le Trente d’Or in Belgium in 2001. He has exhibited extensively across Europe, North America and Asia, and an ever-broadening global base of collectors is discovering his work.