The Dusk Merchant

Charcoal on watercolour paper, 9x9 inches.

The Dusk Merchant (2013) 

He waits silently on Polperro quay, as the fast-fading light and cloudy sky gives way to the realm of trading in the shadows. Under the cloak of darkness, he will close the deal and stash the sweet elixir of the transaction before the next stage of the dance.

Polperro's rich history is entangled with smuggling. At its height, trading by the moon-cursers meant fishermen could supplement their incomes, allowing the village to continue to flourish. Today, the Cornish cottages and inns remain, albeit in a much less salacious environment, but you can still imagine hushed voices and the clink of the spirit bottles as they made their journey from the quay into their hiding places.