‘I don’t paint to please people. I am looking for something raw, it has to wring a little bit, something that doesn’t feel completely right’


What stands out the most in de portraits of Pieter Pander (Drachten, 1962) is that they are shown in such a natural way. Old people or kids ar mostly the subject of Panders portraits. They are painted in their own natural poses which make their appearance on the painting inevitable. In the theme of the paintings we can recognize life and death, but always with respect for the portrayed one. Besides portraits and self-portraits, Pander also paints animals. We can also see the theme of life and death in his animal paintings. The animals are imaged with a sense of respect and het wants to communicate this feeling to the spectator. He shows the vulnerability of the animals, together with their fears and their trust in humans. By using an unusual point of view without inrupting the perspective, he creates a feeling of alienation and this allows the spectator to look at the animal from a different point of view.


‘Every animal has it’s own portrait, a different way of looking and behaviour’


In the way of respectfully imaging the animals Pander shows his admiration for the painter Jan Mankes. The themes that Pander paints show great variation, they are dependent of Panders interest at that point. It could be images on television, the Frisian landscape, the farm of his brother in law, an construction site that he crosses by coincidence or his dog that gets injured.. He doesn’t want to be limited to one subject. He works in the figurative tradition but his touch is, in contrast to other painters, raft and sketchy. Only parts of the depict are elaborated and this makes them more present in the painting, most of the time these parts are the eyes of the human beings or animals.

The underground of the painting is in rough linen which is grey of colour. This way it is neutral to either become a light or a dark painting. He will apply the base of acryl with a wet sponge. In his recent work he makes the underground unregular by using a burner with which he quickly dries the paint. But this also causes that some parts of the paint scale off. When he starts to paint he has a particular image in his mind that he puts on the canvas with a pencil. After that he preferes to paint wet in wet, in this way he can work further when he feels inspired. Pander paints quick and easily. He uses a certain palette of colors: especially shades of brown, blue, grey and white. These are the colors he’s comfortable with and which he uses to communicate feeling and intimacy. He rarely uses bright colors.


His tutor is Matthijs Rölling and we can see this in his use of color and the strong contrast between light and dark. The contradiction between the roughly and the finely painted parts of the painting causes a certain tension. This tension makes the painting worth the while looking at it from up close, as well as looking at it from a distance.