Congratulations to Soon Y. Warren

January 24, 2022 3:45 PM | Ksenia Annis

Congratulations to our International Watermedia Exhibition juror Soon Y. Warren on being awarded an honorable mention in the 13th Annual Watermedia Showcase, organized by the Watercolor Artist magazine. Here is what Soon told the magazine about her painting "Victory of Wings" (pictured below). To learn more about Soon Y. Warren and the upcoming IWE, please click here.

"What was your inspiration for your painting, Victory of Wings?

When I entered the sculpture room in the Louvre, I was awe-struck by the statue, Winged Victory of Samothrace. She stands proudly at the top of a grand staircase, and her poise seemed to dominate the air. I promised myself I’d bring her to life in a painting one day. It took a few years to come up with a suitable background idea before I could get started.

What excites you most about how the painting turned out?

I knew it would be impossible to capture the feeling of awe in that first encounter with the statue, but I’m pleased that, when I look at the painting, it does call up a feeling of wonder from my heart.

Describe your painting process and materials.

After drawing the subject on my paper, I applied masking fluid on the highlight areas of the tunic, the top of the wings and shoulder, and on the bot-tom of the foot and the ship-shaped stand. After the mask dried, I sprayed clean water in the center area and brushed the excess water to every side of the paper. I worked on 300-lb. Winsor & Newton paper to prevent any buckling. While the paper was wet, I poured yellow on the top, red in the center and blue at the bottom to create the back-ground that is the foundation of this painting. The three pigments mingled and spread outward to the edges. It was controlled chaos. I wanted there to be a transition from the glow at the top to a cooler effect at the bottom of the picture plane, and for this progression to be smooth and continuous, with-out interruption.

What turned out to be the biggest challenge in the creative process?

Once the background was set, the next challenge was to create a glow at the top of the body and to keep the statue integrated with the background. To start, I used a mixture of dark black, equal amounts of indigo, permanent alizarin crimson and sepia to paint the body, wings and wavy tunic. I did some scrubbing to bring out the highlight areas of the body.

What has been most influential to your painting life lately? How do you continue to keep your work fresh and exciting?

Painting with colleagues and teaching workshops keeps my creativity activated. These situations present new problems and solutions, and ideas that I can utilize. Victory of Wings is one such example. I was teaching, and I was trying to figure out how to rescue the gray, wet paper. I started to lift the paint using a wet brush to create an object, and I liked the resulting effect. That’s when I knew what I wanted to do with this background."

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