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In 1989 Vettriano submitted two canvases for the Royal Scottish Academy annual show. Both paintings sold on the first day and Vettriano was approached by several galleries. Further exhibitions followed in Edinburgh, London, Hong Kong and Johannesburg.
In November 1999, Vettriano’s work was shown for the first time in New York City, when 21 paintings were displayed at The International 20th Century Arts Fair at The Armory. More than 40 collectors from the UK flew out for the event and 20 paintings were sold on the opening night.
In 1996 Sir Terence Conran commissioned Vettriano to create a series of paintings for his new Bluebird Gastrodome in London. The seven paintings, inspired by the life of Sir Malcolm Campbell, hung there for ten years. The Bluebird paintings were auctioned at Sotheby's on 30 August 2007, and made more than £1m. The most expensive was Bluebird at Bonneville, bought for £468,000 at the auction, which was held at the Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire.
On 21 April 2004 the original canvas of The Singing Butler sold at auction for £744,500.
Vettriano has studios in Scotland and London, and counts Jack Nicholson, Sir Alex Ferguson, Sir Tim Rice and Robbie Coltrane amongst his collectors.