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Jack Vettriano

Jack Vettriano grew up in the industrial seaside town of Methil, Fife. 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.

Jack Vettriano left school at 16 and later became an apprentice mining engineer. For a short time in the late 1960s, he had a summer job as a bingo caller at the Beachcomber Amusements on Leven Promenade. 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 pastiches of impressionist paintings; his first painting was a copy of Monet's Poppy Fields. Much of his influence came from studying paintings at the Kirkcaldy Museum and Art Gallery. In 1984, Vettriano first submitted his work to the Shell-sponsored art exhibition in the museum.