Pieter Frans Kruger
Tell us a little about yourself
Pieter: “My career was as an international lawyer. After many years as a legal adviser with the South African Department of Foreign Affairs, I became a war crimes prosecutor at the United Nations’ Yugoslav War Crime Tribunal in The Hague. Throughout my legal career my creative side was kept alive mainly by producing caricatured birthday cards for colleagues, and doodling during meetings or in court. In 2011 my wife and I retired to Knysna in South Africa where we have both been able to give free rein to our creative impulses. We have joined the Knysna Art Society, which is actively working to restore Knysna’s reputation as a paradise for artists. Through the Art Society we have met many wonderful amateur and professional artists, creating a marvellous creative synergy. I have also had the privilege of giving art instruction to inmates at the local prison. This ended when the pandemic hit, but may be revived in the near future.
When did you start making art?
Pieter: “Since I was a child, but as a full time activity only in the last eight years.”
What kind of materials do you use?
Pieter: ” I have used pen, pencil, charcoal, pastel, oil, acrylic and modelling clay. Nowadays the majority of my final work is done on a Wacom Cintiq drawing tablet.”
Did you study art?
Pieter: ” I am mainly self taught. As a little boy my mother stimulated my creativeness with drawing games. In the 60’s she took me to the major art museums in Amsterdam. The closest I came to formal training was a few very happy years under the guidance of Jean Elliot at Studio Jean.”
Hobby or career?
Pieter:” It has always been a hobby, though in recent years it is touching upon becoming a career.”
Pieter: “I once, (in The Hague), managed to lock myself in our toilet for a whole day. A bicycle had fallen over at 08h45 while I was inside. I was trapped there for nine hours until my wife came home that evening. It was winter, and despite having wrapped the spare toilet paper around me, like a mummy, I was pretty much frozen. I can do stuff like that to myself.”
What kind of art do you create?
Pieter: “Cartoons. I have self-published three books so far. I have also gained some popularity painting murals in the town where I live. Nowadays digital painting. On my Wacom Cintiq 16 tablet I mostly use the digital pencils and digital airbrush features.
I have created two cartoon characters whose adventures allow them to appear in a limitless array of situations, professions and places. This allows me to create a wide variety of topics, limited only to the extent of my imagination. This is what excites me. I especially enjoy trying to capture the atmosphere of the time or event the action takes place in.”
Which artists inspire you?
Pieter: “Actually three: Gary Larssen, Herge and Bill Watterson”