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!

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Graphite Sky At The Mann And Getting Something Off My Chest

Graphite Sky
36 x 36"
oil on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2018

"Graphite Sky" is my submission to the Mann Art Gallery Winter Festival Art Show and Sale this year. 

Whew! January was something else! So glad it's over and the daylight is staying a bit longer. My son is on the road to recovery after having surgery last month and he is back at school full-time now that second semester is underway. We are doing all we can to make sure he heals well and returns to his active life better than ever. On top of this stress, recent tragedies in our community have affected me in a deeper way than I realized. I have always had a heightened awareness of people and their emotions, but I find as I get older, this "sense" is becoming even stronger. As wonderful as it is to be empathetic and care about others, it is also extremely overwhelming. I have experienced dark times before, so I recognize the symptoms and, thankfully, as a result I am trying to muster the energy to be a bit more proactive this time around. I almost forgot I had a therapy "sun" light because I haven't needed it in the last few years, but I pulled it out the other day and it is already making a difference. A few other tweaks and hopefully my happy self will be back and better than ever in no time.

I actually haven't written on this blog for over a month. I have never gone that long before, but, to be honest, I have been disenchanted and have needed this time to regroup, reflect and reassess. 

It's funny (funny strange, not funny haha) how I find myself in the position of having experienced the most exciting and successful eighteen months of my artistic journey, and yet I have also simultaneously experienced some of the most discouraging and hurtful moments as well. I generally go through my days feeling grateful and believing that my glass is WAY more than half full, but somehow this last year I allowed the words of the naysayers to take a prominent place in my ear. Maybe because these naysayers were rather vocal and hard to ignore. Maybe because some of the harsh words came from unexpected places, people I thought were in my corner. Maybe because their negativity was more confident than my joy.

I think that's why it was important for me to write my first blog post of the new year as a celebration of my colleagues. I wanted to take the high road because what I really felt like doing was ripping a strip off my art community and how petty and jerky it can be.

Guess what? There is room for all of us and there is a place for all of us. There is room for people making political art, deep and symbolic art, abstract art, playful art, three dimensional art, disturbing art, expressive art, realistic art, stylized art and yes, GASP, there is actually room for art whose main purpose is to add beauty to the world.

I have been on the receiving end of a few too many jabs over these last eighteen months from other artists who "are not interested in simply painting pretty pictures" or who think "galleries are a thing of the past" or who think "everyone paints landscapes around here, they are so overdone" or who wanted me to know the idea for my solo show "Mood" was not that original. All of these things were demoralizing and felt mean-spirited and, yes, it got to me. It stung. It was certainly an eye opener. BUT...

I am still going to make art. I am going to move forward. I am going to learn. I am going to get better at what I do. I am going to be here in ten years.

I am also going to continue to celebrate Every. Single. Time a piece of original art sells, whether it is mine or someone else's, because you know what that means?  

It means it can be done and this dream IS possible!


Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Eight New 8x8's At Darrell Bell Gallery

After Christmas, there were a few empty spots on the grid at Darrell Bell Gallery in Saskatoon. That has now been remedied and they have even extras on hand! If you stop in, don't be shy... they don't mind pulling out the ones stored in the back!

Monday, January 7, 2019

Homeland - Makeover Monday!

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

Here's an oldie (2014 - below) that I reworked in 2018 (above) and never got around to posting. The new version is on the grid at Darrell Bell Gallery. Some areas changed entirely and others stayed almost completely the same.

8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2014

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

For My Artist Friends: 2018 Was A Good Year For You!

 found on Artist Quote of the Day Facebook page
This is the time of year when artists like to look back and recap all of their successes in both business and in paint that occurred in the previous twelve months. Rightly so, it's a hard gig and when things go well success is powerful motivation to continue. I have reflected and recapped on the blog in the past and I thought about doing it this year because it really was a pretty awesome year for me, but the catch is, I get tired of talking about myself. Offline and in my everyday life I am quite an introverted person. I push my shy limits daily in order to get my art out into the world.

As a result, I am fatigued. You could say, I am a bit Nicki'd out.

To combat this I decided to recap 2018 in a different way and I feel refreshingly proud and excited when I think about the things I am about to write, sooooo... are some of the 2018 accomplishments and successes of my local friends and colleagues!

1) My studio roommate, Bridget Aitken, is now represented by Nouveau Gallery in Regina

2) Craig Berry is teaching classes for the Community Arts program at the University of Saskatchewan (lucky students!)

3) Four of my friends in the painting group Men Who Paint ( Cam Forrester, Ken Van Rees, Paul Trottier and Greg Hargarten) went on an epic plein air painting trip to Germany culminating in a month-long exhibition of their work at the Kuntsmuseum in Schwaan, Germany! (fifth member of the group, Roger Trottier, was unable to go)

4) Michaela Hoppe secured a month long art residency (KIRA) in St. Andrews, New Brunswick (read about it here)

5) Kathy Bradshaw received The Mayor's Prize and Best In Show for her mixed media piece "I Once Roamed This Land" at the Mann Gallery 42nd Annual Winter Festival Art Show and Sale.

6) Jane Harington is now represented by Art Placement in Saskatoon

7) Paige Mortensen launched her online course "Introduction To Watercolour Batik"

8) James Clow submitted his painting, "Arizona Sun King", to the prestigious and internationally renowned Birds In Art exhibition at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wisconsin. It was accepted (obviously- it's awesome) and the museum bought it for their permanent collection! Read more about it here.

9) Monika Kinner-Whalen was published in a juried book "Depth/Tiefe" by the Swiss Hand Embroiders' Guild and also participated in the fourth episode of the Citizens of Craft podcast series.

10) Jacqueline Faye Miller is now represented by Assiniboia Gallery in Regina and Art Interiors in Toronto

11) Ceramic artist, Paula Cooley, and glass artist, Louisa Ferguson, spent over a year collaborating on a project which culminated in a smashing hit of an exhibition called "Passages" at the Saskatchewan Craft Council in November.

12) Diane Larouche Ellard mounted her first solo exhibition, Topophilia, at The Gallery at the Frances Morrison Central Library

13) Denyse Klette celebrated the one year anniversary of the opening of her gallery, Boheme Art Gallery

14) Laura Payne received a grant from the Canadian Light Source to create an installation for Nuit Blanche in Saskatoon. 

15) Darrell Bell returned to northern Saskatchewan to paint the landscape he hadn't visited for years. The result was a series of fresh new work, Lake Paintings, that caught the interest of Galleries West magazine who wrote a feature on him here.

16) Lindsey Love had TWO solo shows this year! One at Darrell Bell Gallery and one at Assiniboia Gallery!

17) Robynn Olson tackled her first daily painting project when she was eight months pregnant with her second baby which she delivered on the last day of her project!

Aren't these people amazing? They are all diligently and passionately working on their art, creating original pieces to enhance your life, to make you wonder and question, to help you see beauty and truth in the world. They make me so darn proud I could scream it from the rooftops! Because of them I want to be better every time I step up to the easel. I am likely missing big news and accomplishments of other artist friends and colleagues, but this is what my brain could conjure up today (and it did take all day), which I have to say is pretty good considering my brutal memory.

Next time you meet an artist, give them a heartfelt thank you or a high five. We appreciate it!

Happy New Year!!!

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Merry Holidays!

untitled (Wonderland)
24 x 18"
acrylic on canvas
© Nicki Ault, ~2009

I painted this a long time ago - before I ever had a studio space of my own, but it isn't dated on the back, nor titled or signed, so I have to make an educated guess as to when I might have done it. It is also acrylic and on a thin canvas, neither of which I use any more. I brought it home with the intention of throwing it out, but my youngest son intervened and wants to hang it in his bedroom which is so sweet. I have decided to call it "Wonderland".

All the best to everyone who keeps tabs on my blog and artistic endeavors. I am constantly humbled, and slightly bewildered but extremely grateful, that anyone other than my parents might be interested. 

In 2019, may you find and pursue a passion you love.

With gratitude,

Thursday, December 20, 2018

A Moment of Grace

A Moment Of Grace
10 x 10"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2018
available at Assiniboia Gallery

LOVE this one! Delivered last Friday to Assiniboia Gallery in Regina. 

Trying to capture the moment when the setting sun delivers such wonder that you, as a mere human, must stop everything to watch and you realize how lucky you are to be here on this earth as a witness to it all.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Turquoise Transition

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

Playing with a soft turquoise and periwinkle colour palette and some thick-ish paint here and there on this one. 

The grid of my 8x8's at Darrell Bell Gallery has gift ideas galore for the special person on your list... and if my art isn't your cup o' tea, there are so many more pieces of art to choose from by some extremely talented artists. On Saturday they will be serving tasty treats to anyone who pops in, so if that doesn't motivate you to check it out, I don't know what will!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Winter Dreams

Winter Dreams
10 x 10"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2018
available at Assiniboia Gallery
A little winter nocturne for you.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Wolf Willow and Wild Grasses

Wolf Willow and Wild Grasses
10 x 10"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2018
available at Assiniboia Gallery

A prairie scene from Bridget's acreage this fall.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Navy Blue Marsh

Navy Blue Marsh
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2018

A snippet of Saskatchewan.

Sometimes on a bright but windy day, the dugouts and marshes take on a deep, dark blue colour.