Zagroda-Sledziowa: Unique herring farm in Starkowo

Blog post August 28, 2019

I need to tell you a little bit about Starkowo: A Pomeranian village, quaint and rural in the middle of the “checkered land”

So many villages have the appearance of a diamond, many houses in framework construction have been preserved and partly lovingly renovated or even newly built with the original building materials. First, the wooden frame with pins and recesses is   mated. Only with wooden nails the compounds get fixed. The free parts within the timber is then lined with a clay-straw mixture or with red bricks. 

Also Maciek had built the barn from scratch that now houses the museum in which Face Europe took place. Several images which can be admired in the museum, show the procedure. You should take a look:,en.html

Maciek invited us during our whole stay for lunch from his restaurant. It was delicious. This is real Polish hospitality! Thanks for the great hospitality and offering us the museum during our Face Europe painting and drawing actions. 

On Sunday, Maciek took time for a portrait session. He was very proud of the result and sent the photo to his friend from whom he assumes, he will be very jealous.

Face Europe no. 72-Maciek-after 60 min
session Maciek-Face Europe no 72 (4)

This Polish friend owns the property, works in Dubai and Maciek visits him once a year, where new plans for the expansion and improvement of the herring farm are made, which Maciek then throughout the winter turns into action. 

On Monday Wilfried did want to have a rest day but that was the only day that Nikolas had time for a portrait. So Wilfried picked him up on Monday  in Slupsk and made a colorful oil portrait of him. 

Reminder: Nikolas was with his protest action for a Rainbow Parade dressed as a woman in front of the City Hall on Friday and wanted to be originally drawn there by Wilfried. However, his brightly colored appearance called for an oil portrait and this turned out great on Monday.

Face Europe-no 73
Face Europe no. 73-Nikolas-after 240 min
Face Europe no. 73-Nikolas

On Tuesday was really time to recover. We had 34 degrees in the shade. We went to two artists’ material stores which were recommended by Maciek’s neighbor. The first one is just within walking distance from the City Hall. The second in the shopping center, where we had washed our clothes a few days ago. In both, we were successful. Armed with fresh materials, we were about to leave the mall when Pavel with his wife Katie and the two boys came in. They had come to cool off and for the children to play. We were excited about a reunion with them and spent an hour chatting about life in Austria, Poland and the USA. For them, Europe is such a safe area. In America, children are regularly kidnapped and abused. A child of their friends had experienced that. Since it responded to the anesthetic in an allergic reaction with thrashing and witnesses got attentive, the criminals fled. This is simply unimaginable for us. Hopefully, this development does not come to us, like so much development from the “promised land”!

On Wednesday in the Swolowo open air museum “” a Face Europe day was scheduled but unfortunately got canceled. 

Instead Wilfried portrayed Wieslaw in the Herring Farm and after that we definitively left Starkowo.

Face Europe no. 74 Wieslaw-after 75 min

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Swedish Day in Starkowo

Blog post August 24, 2019

Yesterday, Friday, 23 August, we completed our successful time in Slupsk time with portrait no. 70, and were moving towards Starkowo

Swedishday in Sarkowo

On the way there is a very interesting museum, which consists of several buildings and farms in half-timbered architecture. We got an Audio Guide and could enjoy the lovingly restored houses from the late 19th and early 20th century.

Museum in Swolowo (1)
Museum in Swolowo (4)

Museum in Swolowo (2)
Museum in Swolowo (3)

We invited Joanna, who speaks very good English to participate in Face Europe. She was excited and promised to organize a full day for Face Europe on Wednesday. 

Within good spirits and full of confidence we drove 4 km to Starkowo where Maciek was already waiting for us. He led us in his private garden, where the father of his friend, Wieslaw, sat at the table and was busy with a wrotten smelling fermented herring from a can. We should taste and say what we thought of it. Wilfried said, not even the chicken, which he had swallowed in Portugal, was equally disgusting. I found with potato, onion, pickles and cream the fish was edible. But as a culinary delight, I would definitely not classify it. Maciek could approach the table only by hiding his nose in the T-shirt neckline.

Maciek-smells the fish

Wieslaw then visited us in Big Fredi. He hosted today’s feast and campaigned great for Face Europe. Right at noon, Marcin, a teacher, who had already spotted us in Slupsk in front of the City Hall reported in. He also offered a fermenting workshop and invited me.

fermenting-workshop on the herringfarm in Starkowo
Fermenting-Workshop the Herringfarm in Starkowo – Result

Two other people who were very interested at first, did not appear at the scheduled time .So it remained to be only one portrait for Saturday.

Face Europe no. 71 – Marcin telling us about his life
Face Europe no 71-Marcin-after 100 min
Face Europe no. 71 – Marcin

After 6 graphite pictures it became  a charcoal portrait for a change. 

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A week of ups and downs 

Blog post August 22, 2019

Today is Thursday. The second week in Slupsk is almost beaten and was again very exciting

On Monday, Face Europe  portrait no. 66 was built with Jan.

Face Europe session no. 66 Jan / Poland
Face Europe session no. 66 Jan / Poland-after 38 min

Two fixed dates and one vague one for Tuesday had registered, but none of the three appeared. That was a little bit frustrating but for Wednesday we got a commitment and dates for Thursday and Friday. These dates were then met again.

Face Europe no. 67 Tomasz-after 50 min
Face Europe no. 67 Tomasz-after 87 min

And so we made it up to Portrait No. 69. 

Face Europe no. 68 – Pavel / Poland
Face Europe no. 68 – Pavel after 100 min
Face Europe no. 68 – Pavel when looking at his drawing

Portrait No. 70 is planned for tomorrow.

Face Europe no. 69-Wiktoria- after 93 min
Face Europe no. 69 Wiktoria / Poland

For no. 69 we got a lovely girl who was the youngest participant next to Lily in England, both of them being 9 years old.

Face Europe no. 10 Lily / UK

Funny that also Wiktoria since 3 years is living in England, as well as Wiktoria who sat there last week with us.

Face Europe no. 61 -Wiktoria / Poland
Face Europe no. 61 Wiktoria after 106min

She is 19 years old. And so we had the first equality of first names since the beginning of Face Europe.

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Trip to the herring museum and to Ustka

Blog post August 18, 2019

Sunday is a good day for visiting

From Małgorzata, who also works in the cultural department of the town hall, and was already part of face Europe we got the contact of one out of two world wide existing herring museums.

Małgorzata-Face Europe no 64

The owner was praised to us as open-minded and friendly. So go for it and convince ourselves. We are very excited about how friendly, kind and open Poland welcomes us. In recent years it has become more colorful and friendly. Although people are initially quite shy, but on the second contact very open and honest.

Lisbeth with Maciej the owner of the Herring Farm

Maciej – pronounced Matschek, a form of Matthias – who is the owner of the place, will set up  a “Swedish day” on Saturday.  In the courtyard of his estate, we may stand with Big Fredi and Face Europe. So we hope to get one or two portraits.

Hering Farm

Maciej himself will also participate. 

We could have saved ourselves the subsequent visit in Ustka.

Ustka and the Tourists

There was only one of the so much acclaimed portrait painters available and he was not even on site.

The neighbor gave us a business card. We would have been interested in how the business side of portraiture painting in Poland looks like. 

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