From the Ranch

From the Ranch

Monday, October 7, 2013


While at the Kemah Boardwalk with our daughter, her boyfriend, and our son, I noticed once again some framed prints in the beignet shop we always go to.  I made note of the artist and decided to research his work and his life, for his work is like none other I know of, and so elegant in subject.

A print of this work, entitled "The Singing Butler," hangs in the little shop and Kemah, as well as the piece "Dance Me to the End of Love."

The artist's name is Jack Verttriano, however he was born Jack Hoggan, and at age thirty six he took his mother's maiden name for reasons I was not able to ascertain.  Born in Scotland, he is now 62 years of age, and a self taught genius.  As is often as not the case, he grew up in poverty, and first began adult employment as a apprentice mining engineer, he had originally dropped out of school at age sixteen.  The gift for his birthday, by a girlfriend, of a boxed set of watercolors changed the direction of his life at age twenty one.  He began painting by copying the works of some of the great impressionist such as Monet. 

It was not from lack of trying that Verttriano had no formal training, he applied to study Fine Art at the University of Edinburgh, but his application was denied based on his portfolio.  (Don't you just love stories like that?)  So he developed his craft on his own.

I also discovered in my research that many of his paintings are soft porn in nature, and I even found some extremely distasteful in subject matter.  This spoiled my initial impression of such elegance in his work.  However there are certainly enough beautiful paintings with genuine refinement reflected, that I greatly admire his work as a whole.  You can Google his name specifying images and explore his work on your own.  Many in the world of fine art do not respect his work, and I am sure that he must find that insulting, that is until he goes to the bank, then I am certain he smiles that many of his critics can't afford his work.

Here are a few more of the paintings I find beautiful:

Certainly, to me, there is something in these works that represent refinement and beauty.