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!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Reworked and...Getta-Load of This!


Inky Water  
The above is a 12x12 acrylic painting I did at Spruce River last summer. The first image shows it's original state. Time passed and I realized there were aspects of it that bothered me; in particular the dark space above the grass that seemed too uniform. I also began to feel like it was a little ho-hum in the colour department. A few weeks ago I decided to rework it; to see if I could get it to a place that I would feel more satisfied. Now that I see the images together I realize just how much I actually changed the original, but I think I am happier with it now. I definitely prefer the grass to disappear off the canvas at the top left as opposed to the original grass which seemed so straight across. I am also happier with the movement in the distant grass, whereas before it was all going upwards. And I like that the island grass is more distinct now from the distant grass. As well, I think the reflection seems to make more sense. I'd love to hear any comments and opinions... anyone? Hopefully no one thinks I've ruined it... don't tell me if you do.  :o)

A few weeks ago I had a couple of my best girlfriends over on a Friday night when my husband was out of town. We ate and drank wine and talked and giggled. I told them about this book (Landmarks by Terry Fenton) I had read on a famous Canadian landscape painter who happened to be from Saskatchewan and was a stay-at-home mom in the 50's and 60's. When the last of her three girls went to school full days, Dorothy Knowles bought herself a van and would go out into the country and paint. I told my friends that I couldn't believe the awesomeness of this idea. If I had my way, next year when Tommy is in school full time, this is what I would do.... roam the city and countryside in my studio on wheels... painting in my van down by the river! My friends were all over this idea for me- these girls really are so encouraging and supportive. Well, Shauna and Nancy, if you are reading... getta-load of this.... L'il Van Go.  I couldn't believe my eyes when I came across this yesterday. Oh the possibilities! How fun would that be... a studio in a van with a sunroof and all! I am in daydream heaven right now. However, there are a couple of minor glitches with this as a year-round idea in the prairies (what with the odd minus 40 degree Fahrenheit winter days, and in my case, a lack of a garage... read: frozen paint)... but it definitely has potential for 6 months of the year. Dorothy Knowles would go out and paint en plein air, but then she would spend hours in her studio working on massive canvases (one of the largest I am aware of is 40x90). She did it... she was a stay-at-home-mom... that means other stay-at-home-moms can do it, too! Maybe not to the same staggering degree of success that she has found, but that's okay... I'd be happy with a smidgen of success (and a part-time job).

Who knows, maybe someday I will be blogging about my upcoming show called "Nicki Ault: The Mini Van Go Series".


Anonymous said...

Nicki, they both look good to me, and the refections are wonderful! i agree the grasses in the back were too straight across in the first one.. good work. and as for the van idea... you are getting all of us day-dreaming, sounds like a brilliant idea:)r.

Janie B said...

I totally agree with your changes. The water looks more realistic. But, I love them both. Love the van idea! Pick me up and I'll go with you! We can paint away the hours. LOL

Nicki said...

Thanks Rahina,
Yes, sometimes when you put a painting away for awhile you can come back later with fresher eyes and on this one I knew the grass was one of the elements that wasn't right. I have the link fixed to L'il Van Go, so you can click on it now to see the write-up and some pictures.

Hi Janie,
Thanks for your comments and for not saying I ruined the original version! I see from your blog that you want some new wheels... maybe this is it!

Smiles to you both,

Deborah Ross said...

Hi Nicki, I like both versions, but I like the color of the mud better in the first, it seems so slippery and believable. Your reflections are reeeaaly nice!
The van idea is a good one, especially if you live here in the southeast, ten or eleven good months to go driving around. But up there, well, like you said...6 months. I can see how it would appeal especially to a mom of little ones!

Nicki said...

Hi Deborah,
I think overall I am happier with the changes I made and I like the second version more, but if there was one thing I wish I hadn't touched it would be the mud. And the banks really were muddy that day... you could see tracks in it.

Take care,

Barbara M. said...

Hi Nicki,

I love the reworked version, it's as though you moved on and resolved it. What you do with water and reflections absolutely boggles my mind.
As for the bus and Dorothy Knowles. I love her work. There's a huge one hanging in a bank downtown.

But if you paint, you're not a stay-at-home Mom, you're an artist with children.

Hence the home studio, which is where I work. A creative combo.

Good for you!

Take care,


Nicki said...

Ooooh, I like it Barbara! I'm an artist with children! I have to shift my mind-set!

Thank you so much for taking the time to view my blog again and offer your comments on my recent postings. I sincerely appreciate it.

Enjoy the weekend,

Linny D. Vine said...

Hi Nicki,

I like that the second version has a more abstract feel to it. And on the Saskatchewan van theme...(I started life in Saskatoon) and I have a van that I take painting and his name is Vinny Van Gogh and when I head out for a paint it's Vinny and Linny on a plein air adventure. I highly reccommend it plus I love the name of your upcoming show!!!

Nicki said...

Hi Linny,

Thank you for weighing in. I think the second one just reads better overall.

Oh, how lucky you are to have Vinny and I am sure you have had many enjoyable adventures together. And how interesting you were born in Saskatoon. I look forward to checking back in to see more of your amazing paintings.

Take care,