In 1989, he submitted two paintings to the Royal Scottish Academy’s annual exhibition; both were accepted and sold on the first day. The following year, an equally enthusiastic reaction greeted the three paintings, which he entered for the prestigious Summer Exhibition at London’s Royal Academy and his new life as an artist began from that point on.
Over the last twenty years, interest in Vettriano’s work has grown consistently. There have been sell-out solo exhibitions in Edinburgh, London, Hong Kong and New York.
2004 was an exceptional year in Vettriano’s career; his best known painting, The Singing Butler was sold at Sotheby’s for close to £750,000; he was awarded an OBE for Services to the Visual Arts and was the subject of a South Bank Show documentary, entitled ‘Jack Vettriano: The People’s Painter‘.