Eating strawberries by the Vistula with Justyna, it was mid summer, the long sunset was flickering and spilling colour across the landscape, the deep beautiful water oozing across Poland and by Toruń.
My intention was to paint the landscape, but the shadows of the plants growing by the river, cast long blue shadows across the canvas. So I painted these. This was the first in a series of paintings done in my summer spent in Toruń. I named them after people I had become close to during my time there. Justyna was a lovely innocent girl who like many has a passion for horses and an interest in philology, she told me much about working with autistic children and horses, but I can’t remember the name of that branch of therapy.
Unfortunately I sold my favourite one. This painting I since traced onto a sheet of plastic, cut it out and used it to spray paint the back of my space ship.
The size was simply flour and water solution, I made this very carefully and managed to make it so that it didn’t crack when painting, however I’d use a layer of rabit skin glue over the starch in future.
Robert Massey’s recipe to make starch solution to use as size for canvas:
1part flour, 3 parts cold water, 3 parts warm water
1 part flour, slowly mixed into 3 parts cold water. When the flour is completely mixed, slowly add into the 3 parts warm water, stirring continuosly over a gentle heat until the solution suddenly bubbles and doubles in size.