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!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Impacts and A-ha Moments

 Seeing The Light
acrylic on 300lb paper

Ahhhh, it's good to be feeling better. I am still stuffed up but I do think the cloud has lifted. I tried to nap this afternoon, but my mind wasn't settling down. I started thinking about more ideas for paintings, thoughts to share for my blog, what to do with paintings that won't be in the show.... you know... important stuff. When I realized I couldn't sleep I got up and did something I haven't done for (quite possibly) years... I had a bath! Now don't get me wrong and may I make it very clear.... I have showered in the last several years, albeit not as often as before I had kids, but I have not made the time for the luxury of a bath. It was a treat. I found some old lavender bath milk powder, put the jets on and soaked. The only thing that would have made it better would have been a great book.... and a glass of wine, so I'm drinking that now to make up for it. Excuse any typos that may crop up as this post progresses!

Speaking of books, there is one thing I know about me... I am a reader. I love a good book. I love it when I don't want to put a book down; when I am so engrossed that it hurts to stop reading, but at the same time if it is a really good book I love to make it last as long as possible. I stopped reading when I had my boys until a friend started a book club about 3 years ago and I got back into it. I'm not part of the club anymore, but I will be forever grateful that it got me reading again. The first book we read in the club was "The Secret Life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd. When I finished the book I felt weepy. Why had I allowed myself to stop reading? What was going on with this mother business that I halted so much of who I was before these little creatures entered my world? Was I supposed to erase who I was? Was I supposed to become something entirely new when I became a mom like a caterpillar does when it basically liquefies before it morphs into a butterfly? Did I sign up for this? Was I putting these constraints on myself or was there some sort of expectation I was feeling from somewhere? Or was I simply not able to be multidimensional?

But now I know I can read and I can raise children at the same time! Who knew?!!! It's a revelation.

There is a tie-in here between the book topic and the painting I posted. This is the first ever of my paintings that I liked. It was my A-Ha! moment. I had taken my first class at the Emma Lake Kenderdine campus in summer 2000 and I completely stunk out the joint, so I pulled myself together and took a technical painting class that winter. I stunk pretty royally during that class, too. Something possessed me to sign up again for Emma Lake in 2001 and halfway through that class we went to Spruce River. Three tries at a painting later something clicked and after 2 hours of "going with it" I had finished this painting. It was on the invitation to my first show at the coffee shop in town and although people wanted to buy it, there was no way it was for sale. While working on this painting I learned something about acrylics that I was missing- how to layer them, how to glaze with them, how to simply accept them. I also discovered that I needed to focus on what interested me compositionally as opposed to trying to include things I couldn't care less about (like the spruce trees above the sweeping grasses). The single event of painting at Spruce River that day had a huge impact in my painting life. Huge.

Which brings me to one of my all time favorite books.... which I have read 2 times since I discovered it this spring: "The Impact of A Single Event" by R.L. Prendergast. Buy it. Read it. Tell everyone! I just discovered that if you click on one of your favorite things on the profile page of your blog you will automatically be on a compilation list with every other person that also has it as their favorite thing. Super cool right? Well, I am the only person who has this book down as their favorite thing! This is unacceptable!!! :o) I realize I am no Oprah and I can't do for R.L. Prendergast on my measly blog what she can do on her international Emmy winning day time talk show, but darned if I'm not gonna try! People, get yourself a copy of this book and read it! Love it! Share it! Make a book club and talk about it. If nothing else put it on your favorite books list so I am not the only one!

I gave my copy of this book to my painter friend Debbie this summer at Emma Lake. I feel like the friendship and connection we made when we met there in 2007 has forever changed both of our lives. It was one of those single events that changes you. I told her someday we would go together to paint the place at the end of the book.

Do I have you curious enough to read it now....? I hope so and let me know if you do!


Anonymous said...

beautiful handling of the grasses and the blues and violets in the water are just wonderful Nicki. r.

Nicki said...

Hi Rahina,
Thanks so much for these kind comments.

Janie B said...

The Secret Life of Bees is one of my favorite books. Now you have me curious about The Impact...Event. I may have to buy it.

Nicki said...

Hi Janie,
You won't regret reading it. In fact, I bet you will be like me and read it over again... and you are a writer, you will appreciate how well he tells a story. Oh, it's so good!

Chuck Dilmore said...

wow, Nicki...
beautiful work!

and generous post!
i will look up the book you recommend.

and thanks for the comment re: the comments i left at Rahina's place... i was feeling loopy & couldn't shut myself up!

hava lovely!

Nicki said...

Hi Chuck,
Nice to meet you! You honestly had me grinning from ear to ear when I read Rahina's comments. Sooooo funny. I say you should be in a loopy mood as often as you want! Thanks for swinging by to check my stuff out. I really think you will be intrigued by the story R.L Prendergast has woven around this real life journal. It is so good. I'd love to know what you think of it, from an author's perspective. I'm going to check your book out too!
Take care,