I often gets questions as to how I got my Winged Victory cast and where to get a good-quality version.
I bought mine after spotting it at a sidewalk sale in 2003. The owner had inherited it from his grandmother, and had had it in storage for many years. He wanted to sell it to someone who knew and loved the sculpture, and I was only to happy to tell him my story of falling in love with the statue when I first saw and drew her at the Louvre in Paris when I was 16. We struck a deal, and the statue was mine, to this day it is my prized possession. The original owner has visited the studio and was happy to see his grandmother's statue in a place of honor.
It's not easy to find good quality replicas, which are casts from the original. If you Google "Winged Victory" you will find a lot of cheap statues, but if you look closely the quality is very low and crude. The form of the figure and the folds of drapery look grotesque and amateurish. They are usually inferior copies by modern sculptors, not true casts from the original.
My understanding is that most museums no longer allow cast molds to be made from their works, so the only molds that exist are historic.
The only place online I know to order high-quality casts made directly from original historic molds is the Giust Gallery: www.giustgallery.com
Studio Wall Color
|Sadie Valeri Atelier|
I am also often asked about the color of my studio walls. We often think of modern art studios as having white walls, which is great for throwing light around the room and getting lots of light onto the easel. However, white walls make it very difficult to control shadows, and when working from life you want a good balance of light and shadow.
I noticed Grand Central Academy and a lot of the contemporary ateliers have dark grey walls. Also, when I Google-image-searched "atelier" I found some beautiful images of restored historic studios with dark walls.
The color I chose for my own studio walls is Benjamin Moore "Sparrow AF-720." Human fleshtones look lovely and glowing next to it, shadows look deep and rich, and it's easy to control the light bouncing around the room.
I used to think it had a touch of green in it, but after mixing the color for my paintings many times now, I find it can be matched accurately from mixing just from Cobalt Blue, Raw Umber, and a little white. Perhaps a tiny bit of the yellow cast of Raw Umber is reacting with the blue to make a tiny touch of green, but essentially it is just a neutral.
Click the slideshow below to see more photos of the studio: