July and August 2017: A small selection of my work, courtesy of Darrell Bell Gallery, is available at Boffins restaurant (111 Research Drive, U of S campus) throughout the summer months.

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


Ongoing: my 8x8" original oil paintings are available exclusively at Darrell Bell Gallery in Saskatoon. For a limited time several of my large oil paintings are also available at
their new street front gallery on 21st Street (formally Lifestyles By Darrell Bell Gallery).

Ongoing: a selection of my larger work is available at The Black Spruce Gallery at Northside on Highway 2 just before the turn to Christopher Lake.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Seven and Inspiring

The last two evenings have been very exciting around here. We have been trying to get Sammy (7) up on two wheels! My dad bought him a bike last summer, but he had no interest in figuring it out. When we tried again this spring he gave up after the first try. He is the kind of kid who just wants to be perfect at something from the start. He doesn't like to be embarrassed and he doesn't want to disappoint anyone.  He can be very hard on himself and for the most part things have always come pretty easy for him. Anyway, we had a bit of a chat and I said I  wanted him to try again. I reminded him that he wouldn't be such a good swimmer if he didn't practice and I thought he would have so much fun riding his bike if he could just give himself a chance to learn. He agreed so out we went... and he is really close to having it sorted out! (All the protective gear probably helped subdue his large fear of wipe-out pain). It was an absolute thrill as a parent to see the determination in his eyes and the single-minded focus which was then followed by intense pride. The speed at which his confidence jumped was amazing to see and it wasn't long before he was helping his little brother ride his bike (with training wheels). Sammy was totally teaching Tommy the way John and I had been helping him just moments before.... "that's right, you've got it. Keep your eyes looking straight ahead. Find the balance. Good job. You're doing it!!!" It was one of those Hallmark moments of life. And yes, I had tears in my eyes. 


On the Edge of Fairy Island
 8x24"
acrylic on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2009
sold

Watching Sammy struggle with his fear of failing and all of the emotions that go with it really made me think about how afraid I am of failing as an artist. I'm still not convinced I have the right to call myself an artist. It is something I need to get to the bottom of. The fear of failing can be almost paralyzing. Today, however, I was inspired by my seven year old and so I will take a deep breath and post another painting. This one is going in my show this fall because, well.... I like it! How is that for mustering confidence?!

2 comments:

Barbara M. said...

Hi Nicki,

I love this! I too have a son named Sammy (19) and his personality sounds very similar. But he is the youngest. Your story moved me. I ask my students in my writing and motivational psych classes how long they practiced walking before they gave up and stopped. Sometimes they sit there stunned and tell me two or three times. Then I say "Really! Stand up" Then they all laugh and get the point. Last year I was on crutches at the beginning of the term, and that made the lesson even more powerful.

Call yourself a painter. You are a good one.

Take care,

Barbara

Nicki said...

Hi Barbara,

Again, thank you for stopping by. That is a terrific point you make with your students. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to keep on going after you fall or something shakes you up... or you receive mean/thoughtless criticism. I guess I want to make sure my kids see me walk-the-talk so to speak. If I expect them to step out of their comfort zones so that they can learn, well then I better be willing to do the same.

Thanks for your supportive words.

Nicki