I’ve kept this drawing back, hidden within the folds of a sketchbook from last year. It makes me feel uncomfortable. There are a lot of good things about this portrait and some problems too but I think, above all, that it’s something about his stare that unnerves me. A look of fear and of, ‘Why me?’. The look of a man who earlier that morning got some bad news from his oncologist.
Months later, I was relieved to see the Merchant Mariner back at the café. He had responded well to treatment and was set to make a full recovery. Always a high spirited fellow, I’d drawn him out of character on one of his darkest days.
Hope you are well my friend.
This was the last drawing I made before leaving Reykjavík, a portrait of a very dour looking local. Such men seemed to haunt the dark corners of Reykjavík cafés especially after the economic collapse there a few years ago. Sometimes they would gather together in dark clouds to discuss politics, in their very dour manner, drowning their sorrows in the blackest coffee there was.