Islington pensioner inspires painting

They say a picture is worth a thousand words – and it was a photo of Islington pensioner Roy Aldridge which inspired the latest masterpiece by portrait painter Patrick Michael Lee.

Former Whittington Hospital porter Roy, 69, is a resident at Hilldrop Road, Islington, a supported housing project managed by charity St Mungo’s for older men who have experienced homelessness.

Last year Roy took part in a history project for the charity and a photo of him appeared in an accompanying exhibition shown at the London School of Economics in January.

Painter Patrick saw it, and from the photo was inspired to create a 90 by 70cm oil painting that now takes pride of place among his portfolio of paintings, and he plans to show it at forthcoming exhibitions and nominate it for portrait awards.

Patrick said: “I often paint people I know but I wanted to do a new portrait of someone I hadn’t met before and try and capture their spirit. There was something about the look in Roy’s eyes that really touched me.”