July - September, 2018: A selection of my artwork is now available for the summer season at Evrgreen, a charming coffee shop in the townsite of Waskesiu in Prince Albert National Park!

Representation: I am honoured to have my work represented by these well-respected professional galleries:
Darrell Bell Gallery located in the Canada Building in downtown Saskatoon
Assiniboia Gallery in Regina, 2266 Smith Street- a vibrant, bustling part of town.

November 10, 2016: I was interviewed by Daily Paintworks as their Spotlight Artist for a week! Read my interview on the DPW News blog!

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Gale

Gale
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2018
available at Darrell Bell Gallery

To be honest, I totally made this painting up. I created it from memories of images and emotions, all stored in my subconscious. After my trip to the lake this weekend, the weather I experienced on a couple of different days confirmed that I was bang-on with the mood and atmosphere in this painting. Here are a few videos I posted to Instagram of some of my experiences:

© Nicki Ault, 2018

© Nicki Ault, 2018


© Nicki Ault, 2018

Let's just say that a good portion of my time at the lake was not painting on the deck weather.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Clear Night and the Milky Way

Clear Night and the Milky Way
10x10"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2018
sold at Assiniboia Gallery


Friday, July 13, 2018

A Place of Love and Memories

A Place of Love and Memories
(commission)
16 x 20"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2018
sold

For a very long time I did not have a personal account with Facebook, I only had my art account. Eventually I caved and suddenly I was connecting with old friends from high school and even elementary school. It was pretty exciting. It was wonderful to see where people have gone and what they have done; to see lives in full swing. As time moved along, some have taken note of my art and become huge supporters by encouraging me, offering great feedback and comments, and in some cases, actually becoming collectors.

One long-lost friend from elementary school has been following my journey and now has nine pieces in her collection and has given five of my paintings as gifts. It is overwhelming to me. I am beyond emotional about it and filled with gratitude. When she contacted me at the end of 2017 to see if I might consider doing a commission, I really wanted to say yes, but was extremely nervous that I couldn't pull off something meaningful enough. You see, her parents had recently sold the beloved family cabin at Emma Lake; a place where the kids grew up and where so many of their memories were made. It had to have been a difficult decision and I am sure emotions ran high when each of them left the cabin for the last time. She wondered if I might be able to paint a scene of the view from the cabin and she wanted it to be a gift to her parents. Now if I had more confidence I would have said yes without any hesitation, but I am not, so I had to ponder and study her photos and ask lots of questions to sort out what she hoped for. Also, I really didn't want to disappoint her. 

I am sure I was a bit irritating.

In the end I did say yes, and I chose to work from my friend's favourite image of the ones she sent me. The composition for the painting was difficult because of the row of trees between the cabin and the lake. I decided to play up the sparkle of light on the water and the flutter of the backlit autumn leaves in the canopy. To me these things represent the joy of the place. I hope the overall feeling of the painting conjures up memories of children playing, adults laughing and quiet chats around the fire. If, when anyone in the family sees this painting, it starts a nostalgic round of "Remember when...", then I will have done my job.


Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Prairie Dust Storm

Prairie Dust Storm
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2018
available at Darrell Bell Gallery

This one was a fun experiment. It started as one thing and then, as I painted, it became something completely different.

I began underpainting a landscape scene with Burnt Umber and as it developed there was an energy about it that I absolutely loved. I hesitated to continue and yet, I knew it looked incomplete and, well, still like an underpainting, however I no longer wanted it to be a canola field under a cloudy sky.

I recalled a conversation I had with a dear friend who thought it would be cool if I tried to paint the wind. She definitely presented me with a challenge and immediately visions of Tom Thomson's "The West Wind" and Fred Varley's "Stormy Weather, Georgian Bay" danced in my head. However, I am on the prairies, and while there is no shortage of wind here, I remember wondering how I would express the idea of wind from a prairie perspective.... and without painting close-ups of bent and blowing wheat stocks.

As I looked at my Burnt Umber underpainting and the challenge of painting wind resurfaced in my mind, I realized I had in front of me the makings of a prairie dust storm! I moved forward adding more opaque pigments and building values, but keeping the overall palette quite monochromatic. Prairie dust storms are brown and dark... and windy!

It was really quite an exciting process for such a small painting. For those who don't paint or create, it is perhaps a little difficult to describe the adrenaline rush that can happen in those moments of revelation, but it definitely does. And as someone who has bungy jumped, I will take painting over that kind of rush any day!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Change of Season at the River, Waskesiu

Change of Season at the River, Waskesiu
12 x 12"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2018
available

The river last fall was magical... I want to keep painting versions of it!

Monday, July 9, 2018

Prospect Point - Painting Makeover

Prospect Point
(after)
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2018
available

The original was painted in 2015 (below); I liked so much about it- especially the clouds, and yet something always bothered me. I remember trying to make the water glow with the pale reflection of the sky. The water was calm that day but at the same time did not really reflect what was above. Over the years it never stopped bothering me, so I finally decided to make a few changes and add a bit of a reflection for the point of land. I think now it feels more like water and not a frozen-over lake. I also softened the edge of the shoreline which helps it read better; it no longer looks like the trees are sitting on top of the water.

  Prospect Point 
(before)
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2015

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Radiate

Radiate
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2018
available at Darrell Bell Gallery

Sun down. One of my favourite moments of the summer.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Not A Breath Of Wind

Not A Breath Of Wind
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2018
available at Darrell Bell Gallery

I love this calm, tranquil view of the Waskesiu River. It is not the direction I usually paint, rather this is on the other side of the bridge looking upstream towards the lake.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Evening Ripples

Evening Ripples
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2018
available at Darrell Bell Gallery

This was painted almost two months ago, but the sunset at the lake this past Saturday sure had similar vibes.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Silver Lining

Silver Lining
20 x 20"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2018
available

Another experiment with my tube of Gamblin Chromatic Black. 

We have had some really stormy skies over the last week that make me think of this painting. The fields are green and growing fast. I plan to head out in the next day or two to get more resource photos. I also have a few images burned in my mind from the drive home from the lake this past weekend- canola fields are in bloom! Stay tuned!