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!

Monday, August 31, 2009


acrylic on canvas
This little baby is a bit of a departure isn't it? I think I will put it in my show because it perhaps introduces another side of myself... a side I am still discovering. I did it this summer when I went to a week long painting workshop at a northern lake in Saskatchewan this past July. The class was held at the Emma Lake Kenderdine Campus which is a satellite to the University of Saskatchewan and is the world's best kept secret. It has a fascinating rich history which helped shape the art world in this province for many years. I first attended a class there in the summer of 2000, went back again in 2001 and then along came my kids and subsequently my hiatus. :) I finally managed to suppress my mommy guilt enough to return in 2007, 2008 and now 2009. I love it there. It is my happy place. The place where I am not a wife or a mommy... I am just me. It is a place that is helping me figure out just who that is..

But, back to this painting I posted today. It is named "Fury" and not by accident, I might add. I painted it in the evening immediately following the last critique session of the workshop. I had been one of the last students to be critiqued and had just finished hearing ( from a very obnoxious lady in the class) that I should do something with the big red blob on one painting (it was an unfinished piece) and that my paintings had all been done before and that I should loosen up in my technique (I've heard this comment before). I was stunned into silence and later burst into tears in private with my dear painting friend, Debbie, who said all the right things. About half the class went down to the beach to paint the spectacular sky as the sun was quickly setting. After I regrouped I was so angry. I hit that beach in a serious fury (well, painting-wise anyway). I was all emotion and I laid it down on that canvas for the world to see! The next morning the instructor (and probably the artist who has the most influence on me) said, "Whoa, where did that come from?" I had to giggle because it came from some deep spot I didn't even know about before then.

Now, I am all for critique sessions because I can learn so much from really good discussions, but when comments are made that are in  no way constructive, that is where I have a problem. That is likely why I bristled at hearing the comment Edward B. Gordon received about his paintings being "trivial". How is that helpful to him as an artist? And who determines what is trivial? And why do I have to loosen up? And is there something that is inherently wrong with being tight? And...and...and...you're not the boss of me!!!!

On a lighter note, I was beyond pumped today to actually discover I have some followers! I am so appreciative and hope my little stories and paintings always make them glad they checked back in.


Janie said...

Fury is fabulous! Love the bold strokes and colors. Great work. And, you are right...no one is the boss of you. Enjoy your passion and don't worry about what others think. Keep on painting!

Tammy Hext said...

Well you loosened up all right. It is a fabulous painting. Let the criticism roll off and keep painting - only you know your own voice.

julie davis said...

Nicki, I'm so glad you commented on my blog because it piqued my curiosity enough to check out yours, and I have to say, I read every post and thoroughly enjoyed myself! You are a terrific writer, by the way, and you have a lovely painting style (which is plenty "loose!"). Your reflections in water are wonderful. I'm with your sister on the show name, by the way. It sounds like something my husband would've suggested to me. Best of luck with the show!

Nicki said...

Hi Janie and Tammy,
Thanks for your comments on "Fury" and I'm glad you like it. I like it because of how it pushed me, but I have definitely been nervous to find out how people respond to it, so thank you.

Hi Julie,
Nice to meet you! Thanks for being curious! I think I found your blog through Barbara Muir's. It is quite the amazing network. Looking forward to seeing more of your work.


Jeffrey J. Boron said...

I really like this piece Nicki...sometimes an artist gets inspiration from strange places...I always try to remind myself that as an artist all I can really do is paint and keep on painting the rest will always be there but it really doesn't matter in the end...just paint and feel the joy in that...


Nicki said...

Hi Jeffrey,

What a wonderful surprise to see your comments this morning. Thank you so much for taking the time. I appreciate your wise words.


Barbara M. said...

Hi Nicki,

I love the painting. I don't know about the whole system of critiquing. I've taken classes with wonderful people and felt that the critique part was more rote and put down than positive most of the time.
Ultimately you are the only one who knows what to do about a painting. Remarks about technique should be made by a teacher in private, and otherwise nothing but kindness ever helps an artist flourish.

Your work is superb, but you may face the odd jealous soul in the world. If so, try and say nice things about their work first. They're unlikely to run at you after that. Love this!


Nicki said...

Hi Barbara,

Thanks for these wise words. I always believe it is best to take the high road. Plus I am not much for confrontation, so it isn't hard for me to just keep quiet. In most of my (limited) experience critique sessions have been positive, supportive and helpful from a learning perspective.

Glad you popped by again.

Take care of that wasp sting!