I made a ground of Payne’s gray, Vandyke brown, and Naples yellow by squeezing these colors onto my canvases. I then tipped on Sansodor, an odorless paint thinner that I’d begun to use as a replacement for turps. Until a few years ago, when I opened the door to my flat the smell of turps was overpowering. Everyone commented on it. I loved the smell. All my clothes and my hair were saturated with its pungency. I wore the scent with pride, like a saint reveling in her hair shirt. If I lit candles in my front room in the evening, their flames would shoot up toward the ceiling, fueled by the gaseous fumes. But gradually, I found it harder to tolerate and it became difficult to breathe. I had constant sinus pain and headaches. I had to give it up.
— Celia Paul, Against Any Intrusion: Writing to Gwen John
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