"Mood" at Assiniboia Gallery, Regina - June 7-30, 2018: This is my first solo show in a private gallery! Join me for the opening reception on Thursday, June 7th from 5-8 p.m. You can find the Asiniboia Gallery at 2266 Smith Street, Regina.

New Representation:
my art is now available at the Assiniboia Gallery in Regina! They are located at 2266 Smith Street, a vibrant, bustling part of town.

Ongoing: my 8x8" original oil paintings are available exclusively at Darrell Bell Gallery located in the Canada Building in downtown Saskatoon. As well, some of my large oil paintings are now available in this beautiful local gallery.

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, September 28, 2009

View From The Clearing

View From The Clearing
7 x 7"
oil and acrylic on canvas

This is a 7x7 acrylic on canvas painting I did this summer when I was at the Kenderdine Campus. It was done on a  windy afternoon when a few of us went over to paint on Fairy Island. I found a clearing near the water's edge and began to paint a cluster of water logged trees, but that didn't go very well so I began painting just one water logged tree thinking I needed to simplify the composition. Well, that didn't go well either so I looked up and started on the clouds; covering up the second tree painting. But, like I said, it was quite windy and those clouds were a-movin'! So the original sky I started painting changed every time I looked up and eventually became what you see here; a simplified quirky study of shapes with (hopefully) a moody, yet vibrant atmosphere. The curator was really drawn to it the day she came over, so it will be in the show and I am hoping to come up with possibly another painting along these lines that we can pair it with.

A comment was left for me a few posts ago by a talented artist, Deborah Ross, who has been blogging for almost 2 years. Lately she has been doing some really neat stamp and collage pieces that really get me excited. She first posted these experiments on Sept.20 and has done a few more since then. Anyway, she left me a message saying that I should take the word beginner out of my "About Me" profile because, in her words, "girl, you're no beginner". Well, it got me wondering, how you decide when you are not a beginner anymore? I really, really feel like a beginner. Really. I have loved art my whole life, but there is so much I don't know and have to learn; want to learn. So much. I read other artists' blogs and sometimes have never even heard of the things they are talking about. I feel like I am in serious student mode right now, but then, will there ever be a time in my life that I don't feel like that? Especially when I love learning? Do I think I am a beginner because I still think of myself as a student? So at what point do you take that word out of your vocabulary when you are describing who you are? Is it after you have amassed a certain size portfolio? Or when you have sold a certain number of paintings? Or maybe when you feel you have something to teach instead of learn? Is it after you have a BFA, or a Masters or maybe it's once you have collectors? Is it once you have had a certain number of shows? Has it got to do with confidence? I just don't know. Do you?

Comments and insight are always welcome!


Decibel33 said...

Beautiful...just beautiful!

As far as determining when you are no longer a beginner, just feel it in your heart. Do you feel art is you? Are you art? Do you worry about what people think of your art? When you've become one, you are no longer a beginner. Just my philosophy.

By the way, speaking of your profile, Are you still a stay at home mom? How do you (and your husband, I presume) manage financially? My wife just ran out of maternity benefits, and we are entering an unknown world...one income! It's frightening!

Nicki said...

Hi and thank you for the questions you have raised to try and help me get this sorted out.

Yes, I am still a stay-at-home mom. We are further down the road than you and your wife, my youngest is 5, but I do remember that fear of "how will we do this?" once I made the decision to be at home. It hasn't been easy, we haven't suffered, but we also haven't been able to do some of the things our two-income friends have been able to do over the years. I have been able to supplement my husband's income by working about 12 hours a week in a clothing store (kids and adults) when he is home (so we don't have to pay a babysitter). I get an amazing discount for the family which has helped out a lot.

Good luck... I wouldn't change my decision for the world.

Deborah Ross said...

Hi Nicki, wow! thanks for a mention in your blog...really, thanks.
I, too, would like to know what other artists think about what determines a beginner. I asked on my blog but did not get much response. I guess it's something we all have to gauge for ourselves, but since you have a solo show coming up, like I said, girl, you're no beginnner. :-)

KEITH PROCTOR Daily painting blog said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog, its been 27 years to get to this point for me and I am still learning every day for sure, I would throw away some of the paintings I did only months ago so take out the beginner word.
Your painting fury is 1st class it is true and from the heart , you can see it straight away it is very very good but I bet very hard to do another! youve got to care and not care at the same time Nicki, I plan out the painting in my head first then go at it with speed and loud music , sometimes it works, we are all in the same boat, you can paint though so take of the beginner tag ! / Cheers / Keith

KEITH PROCTOR Daily painting blog said...

Nicki, I have a link to your blog from mine now / Keith

Nicki said...

Hi Deborah,
You are welcome and thank you for the nod you gave me on your blog! It is very much appreciated as well. You have given me lots to think about...
Take care,

Hi Keith,
Wow, thank you so much for your comments on Fury. It came straight from the heart and was definitely wrought with emotion. I'm glad it came across that way when you looked at it.
I can't thank you enough for adding my blog as a link on yours... I really couldn't believe that when I read it. It means a great deal to me that you feel my work is worthy and that you are generous enough to share my blog with your readers. Truly... thank you. You made my day!
Kind regards,

Anonymous said...

hi Nicky, professionals? beginners? we all blog to put our art out there because art is for seeing. and as art is based on talent as well as hardwork there is no guarantee that after 30 years of painting you become an artist... nor that after a few months, that you are not... if you feel safe with 'beginner', keep it until you feel ready to let go of it. personally, i don't ever want to be comfortable with what i achieve in art lest i stop developing.... my greatest fear is to call myself professional:)r.

Anonymous said...

i forgot to say: i like the use of the various blues in this painting and the composition works really well. r.

Michelle said...

Hi, I love your artwork!
Thank you for checking out my sight, Creative Journeys and leaving a comment.
P.S. My studio is in an old school building that has been taken over by the local Park and Recreation dept.

Nicki said...

Hi Rahina,
Those are very wise words you left and much appreciated. You helped me with another light bulb moment! I am perhaps stuck on calling myself a beginner not so much because I feel as green as that, but because I feel so far from being able to call myself a professional. I, too, am hungry to learn more and to soak up all I can in anyway I can. To grow and develop. My painting "practice" (term used loosely) has been so patchy since I started out 10 years ago that each time I start up again I feel like such a rookie. Maybe I need to let go of the beginner status and think of myself simply as a student.

Thank you Rahina! Nicki

Hi Michelle,
I really enjoyed your portraits... and the new Van Gogh one you posted today. Well done and thank you for coming by my blog!

Barbara M. said...

Hi Nicki,

I see the feeling of being a beginner as a positive one. No artist can ever stop learning. Each time you put paint on a canvas, something new happens and you learn, and how delicious to be able to travel the world looking at other people's work sitting at your computer. I feel like a beginner every day when I sit down to paint, and sometimes feel like a pro when the work is done. The feelings come in waves, and both are good.

Take care,


Nicki said...

Hi Barbara,

You are so good at putting things into words and I agree with what you have said. New things do happen each time you paint... in fact two of the much more established painters at the studio I go to are both in this phase of growth and discovery. They are renewed and excited; it is inspiring to see.

All the best,