NEW! LANDSCAPES & FLORAL PRINTS

©2016 Yao Cheng Design, all rights reserved

©2016 Yao Cheng Design, all rights reserved

Hello there!

I'm excited to share some landscape art prints and floral stationeries with you all today! Shop these new additions here. Getting a head start on Mother's Day shopping? Pick out some of our latest "Thank You's" and greeting cards to send as a note to your loved ones!

I wanted to take a minute and share some of my inspirations behind the art prints that we are introducing today. For those of you who have been following me over on Instagram @yaochengdesign, you might have seen some process posts of me creating these beauties in the last week or so! Indeed, I've dedicated a few days away from all things business and just spent some time painting them in the studio. How blissful it has been...

(left) Positano Art Print // (right) Santorini Art Print // ©2016 Yao Cheng Design, all rights reserved

(left) Positano Art Print // (right) Santorini Art Print // ©2016 Yao Cheng Design, all rights reserved

Lake Como Art Print // ©2016 Yao Cheng Design, all rights reserved

Lake Como Art Print // ©2016 Yao Cheng Design, all rights reserved

Images of these adorably colorful houses by the Mediterranean have been swirling in my mind since our honeymoon to the Amalfi Coast over 2 years ago. I still remember sitting by the beach making watercolor sketches of the houses. What strikes me most about these landscapes of Santorini, Positano and Lake Como are the colors! Talk about being seductive eye-candy for me, how could I resist? I really could paint these for weeks on end, because creating each house leads me to the next one and to the next. Before I know it, I've fallen completely into that world and have gotten lost in a maze of shapes and colors. I like how refreshing it has been to paint with so much detail. It's definitely a departure from the way I usually create my pieces. Challenging myself in this way gave me a chance to fully indulge in the obsessive details...I wanted to capture every window shutter and every stoney step! Without sketching ahead, it also helped me hone my hand-eye coordination since I had to rely a lot on observation to stay in perspective and in ratio. The thrill of starting with one house and see a whole landscape build on top of each other is really neat too. Next time, I would love to capture that process in a video and share with all of you!

Here are some of the sketches that I made while at the Amalfi Coast. Sketching in real life is not something I get to do with all of my subjects, so having been able to be there to observe the light change throughout the day and hearing the hustle and bustle of everyday life was a bonus!

(Caroline Rose Bouquet) Art Print // ©2016 Yao Cheng Design, all rights reserved

(Caroline Rose Bouquet) Art Print // ©2016 Yao Cheng Design, all rights reserved

(left) (Wreath in Violet) Stationery // (right) (Wreath in Springtime) Stationery // ©2016 Yao Cheng Design, all rights reserved

(left) (Wreath in Violet) Stationery // (right) (Wreath in Springtime) Stationery // ©2016 Yao Cheng Design, all rights reserved

(Anemone Blooms) Stationery // ©2016 Yao Cheng Design, all rights reserved

(Anemone Blooms) Stationery // ©2016 Yao Cheng Design, all rights reserved

In addition to landscapes, we also have a few new florals to introduce! I was in the middle of finalizing our wedding Collection suites (more on that later!) when I felt like it was the perfect time to update with some new florals in our shop. Color-wise, in the last 2 years, I've very much steered away from violets and purples in my work. I'm not exactly sure why that was.  In my corporate job we didn't get an opportunity to explore that color family, so it felt very unfamiliar to me. However, I'm glad I'm starting to incorporate some purples in my work now. Roses with accents of periwinkle hydrangeas and deep lavenders like in the Caroline Rose Bouquet has a great balance of soft and bold colors. That one is perhaps my favorite to date! You can find these designs and more in our new greeting cards as well. Our new "Thank You's" will be perfect for Mother's Day!

Well, that's all for now. I'm heading off to San Francisco for a week of vacation with family and friends, hope you all will have a lovely weekend too!

Cheers,

Yao

GREETINGS!

Well hello,

I'm sharing a few new greeting cards today that we just added to our shop! I have been wanting to add a new assortment of stationeries to our shop for a long while now, but with all of the projects and everyday to-do's, it never made it into our schedule until early 2016. We're going to be introducing new greeting cards throughout the year from here on out, but we're starting off with some new abstract ones that you can find here!

Don't forget that you can always create your own mix & match box sets! This is by far our most popular option, as you can mix and match across regular-priced items to your heart's content. **At this time, regular-priced cards cannot be mixed with on-sale cards** 

In addition to the new assortment, we also have a few greeting cards left on sale, get them before they're gone!

Happy Friday,

Yao

NEW ART PRINTS!

Hello, hello!

Valentine's weekend is here and there's no better time than today to share some new art prints that have been added to our shop! You can check them out in our new section and also over on Etsy! In addition to prints, we have some recently added sale prints as well as more originals to select from. 

I gathered up days here and there in the last few crazy weeks to paint these new pieces. I'm not going to lie, I've really struggled with how much time I can block out to devote to just painting in the last year or so. It's one of my biggest challenges and something I'm striving to improve on in 2016! A lot of my days are spent running the business and making sure everything is running smoothly...But when I do see a chunk of time, I really try to take advantage of it and allow my mind to float to that ever-amazing place where everything falls away and it's just me and my paintings. I cannot explain how sublime and special that place is for me. It's as if all of the stress, pressures...everything! just disappears and I remember why I love what I do so much. Perhaps because I don't have weeks on end to paint anymore, like those early days when I started my business, I really savor every minute of it. 

These paintings came out of those afternoons where I put on my headphones, listened to a great playlist, and allowed my mind to wonder wherever it was inspired to go! The series of cactus paintings were one of the first ones I made this year. I knew I wanted to challenge myself and really study how to paint succulents. I've struggled with them in the past, never quite being able to get the right texture down or the process of what to lay down first. But, after painting many failed versions, it finally clicked with me! It was all about the patterns of the various spines and areoles on the cacti. It wasn't important to me to get them to look totally realistic, but rather, I just wanted to paint all of those tiny patterns! It was soothing in a strange why, and also one of the few times I use gouache in my work. The gouache medium helps the little details pop because they are opaque enough to lay on top of the watercolors. In the end, that's what makes those paintings for me. The various patterns really help them come to life, it's what gives the different succulents their characters. 

When it came to abstracts, I had lots of different sketch paintings of what I wanted to create. But, whenever it's been a while since I've created abstracts, I always need something easy to jump start my creative-brain. That's why I love painting simple shapes like squares or hexagons and just focus on the color aspect of things. Other than being incredibly relaxing, it's a really good exercise to figure out how to use color again. It's like practicing your scales on the piano. Those sensibilities don't always come right away, however instinctual they are for me. Anyway, that's where Color Shift in Violet and Color Shift in Teal and Coral came out of. I wanted to do away with thinking about shapes or compositions, and just focus on what gets me excited the most- color! So I chose a few inspirations for color to use as my reference, and went to town to making these tiny, simple little squares of colors. What's so interesting is that when it's all finished, the pieces feel more visually complex and has this great, shimmering effect. I tend to create movement and life in my work a lot, and these square paintings definitely achieve this effect!

I will be making a larger series of landscapes soon, but for now, this Evergreen print was a really good start! Sometimes, like the abstract Color Shift pieces, I love the painting after the first attempt. But, in a piece like Evergreen, I went through three different versions of finished paintings before arriving at this one. Each one before had a piece missing for me, and I just knew I had to keep painting them until I felt like everything I wanted to say was there! This piece says a lot for me, and reminds me of my lovely trip up to the Adirondacks last summer with Eric and some close friends. I remember very clearly on that trip, as "Hey Moon" by John Maus was playing and as we were driving into the heart of the mountains at sunset, that I needed to remember every detail of those trees. I wanted to show how tall they felt, how individual, yet dense they all were and how grand nature is when you are standing in the middle looking up at them! The soft fades of trees that recede into the background is reminiscent of the morning fog and create depth within the painting.

Well, I hope you all will enjoy browsing through some of our new prints and will have a very lovely Valentine's weekend! 

Cheers,

Yao

CREATIVEBUG FACEBOOK Q&A

Happy Friday!

For those of you who have specific questions about my Resist Painting Techniques class or any of the other classes in that series, I will be hosting a live Q&A session on Creativebug's Facebook page tonight from 8pm- 9:30pm EST. You will be able to join in whether you have something to ask that you have been wondering about or are simply curious to know how I approach a certain technique! I will be happy to take any questions or comments you guys have about the series of online tutorials. In addition, I will be announcing the winner from the Pretty in Paint giveaway at the top of the hour, so definitely stop by and see if you will be the lucky painter!

I collaborated with Creativebug on a Facebook takeover previously and it was a hit! Many of you stopped by and asked a lot of questions that I didn't have the time to go into depth about in the tutorials. I really enjoyed being able to nerd-out on the medium and talk in detail about why I love painting...There's so much to watercolor that I am even discovering or still learning about all the time. It's definitely a process medium and something that needs a little bit of time to understand how to work with it and get the results that you envisioned. For me, that's what keeps me pulled in and constantly intrigued! I have certain tools and tricks that I have learned over the years from trial and error, but I know there's still lots of techniques that I don't know about yet. My goal for this series of online tutorials was to introduce a few ways to try out watercolor, but I wanted to leave it open-ended so that you guys can try things on your own too!

And so, I look forward to having another open conversation with any of you tonight who would like to stop by and talk about what you love or find challenging about painting with watercolor. This will be a great chance for me to see what questions are asked often and possibly, new class ideas in the future! My mind is already spinning in that direction...I will also be announcing the takeover on Instagram and Facebook.

That's all for now, hope to meet you guys there tonight! 

Yao