No one divides the art world like Vettriano who left school at 16 and later became an apprentice mining engineer, then a bingo caller. He took up painting as a hobby in the 1970s copying or creating pastiches of impressionist paintings such as Monet's Poppy Fields.
In 1987, when he was 36, Vettriano's wife Gail left him. He quit his job in educational research, and moved to Edinburgh, where he adopted his mother's maiden name. He applied to study Fine Art at the University of Edinburgh, but was rejected.
In 1989 Vettriano submitted two canvases for the Royal Scottish Academy annual show. Both paintings sold on the first day and Vettriano was approached by several galleries.Further exhibitions followed in Edinburgh, London, Hong Kong and Johannesburg. In November 1999, Vettriano’s work was shown for the first time in New York City, when 21 paintings were displayed at The International 20th Century Arts Fair at The Armory. More than 40 collectors from the UK flew out for the event and 20 paintings were sold on the opening night.
His easel paintings cost between are now soring in price and he reportedly earns over £500,000 a year in print royalties alone.
Vettriano is a self-taught artist and his style is similar to that of Edward Hopper in that he presents people as clean images uses light and evokes a clear story behind the painting. Many of his works are deeply provokative and some erotic in their composition and there is certainly more than just the poster art he gets tagged with.