My favourite artist is without doubt the master himself, Jack Vettriano. Born in Scotland in 1951, Vettriano is entirely self-taught. Originally inspired by a girlfriend who presented Jack with a set of water colour paints for his twenty first birthday Vettriano has risen from obscurity to become Britain’s foremost contemporary painter. His atmospheric beach, ballroom and bedroom scenes charged with veiled eroticism, seduction and romance are powerful and thought provoking. To view his work visit www.vettriano-art.com
Vettriano’s stunning images invite us into his world of fantasy, mystery and intrigue. If this isn’t a timeless era you are vaguely familiar with, it soon becomes a place you would delight in visiting time and time again. Short of winning the national lottery it is quite unlikely I would ever be the proud owner of an original print. One of course can always live in hope but my poor track record in the winning department and shortage of hard cash in any substantial amount gave me food for thought.
If I couldn’t afford the real thing wouldn’t it be magical if I could create my own Vettriano painting and become an imaginary model within it. So that's exactly what I've set out to do.
Vettriano sets the scene and allows the viewer to travel with the imagery into their own fantasy; I hold out my hand and invite you, the reader, into mine.
At low tide it is a beautiful, wide-open beach of fine, white sand backed by miles of majestic dunes and thick lush woods. The sun is high in the sky and on a warm sunny day the shimmering sea which stretches for miles and miles appears in many glorious shades of sunlit blue.
As I slowly wriggle my toes into the deep white sand I absorb the soft summer breeze as it dances off the sparkling water. The artist smiles gently and I momentarily close my eyes to allow my mind to drift. My golden hair bleached white by long days of summer sun hangs loose and long. I feel a few stray wisps caressing my face but I do not move to brush them away. Focusing once again I fix upon a gull high in the sky as it rises on a fluttering wing and echoes its lonely melancholy cries.
I breathe warm summer air and taste the bitter salt as my tongue traces the outline of my smile. I cling firmly to the fading flower with its once radiant face and long yellow strands. I had picked it from the meadow early that same morning when the dew lay on the grass like newly shed tears. As I eagerly plucked it from its place it had gently bled a pale white milky liquid. “He loves me, he loves me not. He loves me he loves me not” I had murmured softly as slowly dismembering each tender petal and casting them to the wind.
He is close, so close, as if to touch, he stands tall, purposeful and beautiful, oh so beautiful. I picture every inch of his finely carved face, his dark olive skin, the perfect line of his nose and chin, the flashing eyes framed by slick black hair. He stands motionless, yet my sudden deep sigh does not distract him. I know he studies another as she moves gracefully and cat-like towards us.
I watch silently as she nears, this vision of femininity and loveliness. I stare longingly, I ache to reach out, to touch but I sense he is lost in the depths of her darkness and beauty. Her body is suggestive and curvaceous beneath a long silk dress. Its lurid swirls of sharp green, violet and warm yellow stand out dramatically against her pearly white skin and slender limbs. Her dark lustrous hair dances freely in the wind and her seductive lips bear the faint trace of a smile. Her eyes obscured by large dark shades offer no expression.
As she moves yet closer I have to contemplate that she too will be part of the vision. Even in the warm sun I feel a painful coldness in the depth of my bones and I involuntary tremble.
As if on cue the artist applies brush to canvas.