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