ONE of Scotland's most popular but controversial artists has revealed he was on the verge of quitting after badly injuring his arm in a heavy fall.
Jack Vettriano dislocated his right shoulder and injured his wrist, while sustaining cuts on his hand and head, which required a dozen stitches, when he fell in his home in New Town, Edinburgh.
The right-handed painter fell while walking down the stairs of his house in the middle of the night, landing heavily onto a flagstone floor.
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Vettriano, 64, subsequently found recovery and physiotherapy difficult, and suffered from depression following the accident in April.
The sometimes controversial but popular painter of The Singing Butler and many best-selling posters and images began to doubt that he would ever paint again.
He still has not painted since the accident, but is planning to pick up a brush in earnest soon.
"I really started to get very worried, and with the worry came some depression," he said.
"I have been to my home in Nice four times this year, just to lift my mood. I went on anti-depressants as well.
"I couldn't work at all, and it became quite chronic, my depression.
"It's OK saying - 'Well, I will have a month off', but at the end of the month, nothing had changed.
"And then I began to think: 'Well, you've had a good innings. You've made an impact, a small impact on the world, on Scotland.'
"It was the way my mind was working: 'Well, if I have to retire now, who cares?'"
He added: "What you find is that your head gets full of bloody nonsense.
"You take away work from a man and you leave him helplessly grasping for things to do."
Vettriano now has a new physiotherapist who he credits with making a difference to his rehabilitation.
He does physio with paintbrushes and an artist's maulstick to assist his recovery.
"I put it down to my own fault for not working on it immediately. And sometimes I have to remind myself of my age, I am not 24 anymore," he added.
He will start painting again in late January, the painter thinks, and has built up a series of ideas to work on, including one with the title of End Game.
The painter, who usually starts work at his easel at 5.15am most days, is still in discomfort but is ready to return to his new studio which he has established in his townhouse.
The eight months off painting is the longest he has had since he took up painting, "by far".
Vettriano added: "It gets into your brain. I did actually get quite depressed by it all."
The self-taught painter from Fife, whose retrospective show at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in 2013/14 broke records, is now contemplating using the help of a studio assistant for the first time.
The accident occurred because he wanted a snack in the night.
He tripped over his 'man bag' which he had left on his stairs.
"I don't sleep very well, it was three in the morning and I thought I'd go down to the fridge and get something," he said.
"My foot got trapped in the strap, I was three steps from the bottom and I am glad it was just three steps because I landed on flagstones. "I put my hand out to protect my fall - I dislocated my shoulder.
"At first I did not realise [the consequences], because I have never had an injury in my life."
He went back to bed, despite the bleeding, but then phoned a friend who took him to accident and emergency.
Vettriano said he did not feel the pain because he was in shock.
"She came and saw me and she said 'Jesus Christ'. My shoulder was hanging down here," he said.
"Because I had never had an accident before, I thought it would be fine. I went to Nice, for a couple of weeks, wearing a sling, but I didn't take physio very seriously, I just thought it would be fine.
"But it just carried on not being fine."