Jack Vettriano was born Jack Hoggan on 17 November 1951 . Vettriano says changing his name to Vettriano was a natural step in his growth as an artist , reflecting the change from an amateur painter to a full time artist. He wanted to distance himself from the pastiches and early works he created as he learned his trade. Jack’s mother was of Italian descent.
Jack Vettriano was born in St Andrews in Fife and grew up in the industrial seaside town of Methil about 30 minutes south of his birthplace. He was raised in poverty;he lived with his mother, father and older brother in a spartan miner’s cottage, sharing a bed with his brother and wearing hand-me-down clothes. From the age of 10, his father sent him out delivering papers and milk, cleaning windows and picking potatoes — any job that would earn money. His father took half his earnings.
Vettriano left school at 16 and later became an apprentice miming engineer . Vettriano took up painting as a hobby in the 1970s, when a girlfriend bought him a set of watercolours for his 21st birthday. His earliest paintings, under his birth name “Jack Hoggan”, were copies or paintings;his first painting was a copy of Poppy Fields by Monet . Much of his influence came from studying paintings at the Kirkcaldy Art Gallery . In 1984, Vettriano first submitted his work to the art exhibition in the museum.
In 1987, when he was 36, Vettriano left his wife Gail, seeking to emulate Paul Gauguin . 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 Edinburgh University but his portfolio was rejected.
Early Career Success
In 1988 Vettriano’s career took off when he submitted two canvases for the Royal Scottish Academy annual show. Both paintings sold on the first day and Vettriano was then approached by several galleries.