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!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Out On Valley Road

Out on Valley Road
acrylic on canvas 
private collection

I'm back and I had a great weekend! Just what the doctor ordered. I left Friday afternoon and headed out to the country for my scrapbooking retreat. It was strange driving off by myself because the other two years I have gone I had my pal Nancy with me. It was a gorgeous day and I thoroughly enjoyed the prairie landscape as I drove out. Many people think this part of Canada is so boring because it is such a flat area, but if you actually stop and use your eyes you will see that the shapes and colours in the fields are quite beautiful. And every time you drive into the country the land looks different. It's never the same. In a few months time there will be spectacular bright yellow fields of canola and mustard, or maybe you will see the soft periwinkle of flax blanketing the landscape. And then there are the skies- especially the stormy ones. They can go on forever. Sunrises and sunsets that could bring tears to your eyes. Yup, I'm a prairie girl! 

I took my paints with me and since I woke up early on Saturday morning I decided that I may as well start the day with a plein air excursion. I headed out and made a few turns on the nearby grid roads until I came across a field with a pool of water that had accumulated in a low spot. We had just had a lot of rain so water was everywhere. It really was so pretty- pale yellow fields cut short from the season before; some areas almost looked bleached, and then these pools of water reflecting the blue, blue sky. I parked, got set up, and turned on the music... Michael Buble... then painted for about an hour or so just sitting in the back of the truck, hatch up and enjoying the solitude. All thoughts left my brain except those relating to the landscape, the palette and the canvas in front of me..... until the music started to sound a bit wonky! I kept wondering what was wrong with this relatively new CD. Then a light bulb moment struck! The battery was dying in the truck! It was being drained by the music and because the hatch was up of course the lights were on inside the truck, also draining the battery! When I realized what was happening I think I actually said out loud, "Well this isn't good." The painting zone I was in came crashing to a halt as I tried to figure out what I was going to do out on this grid road. Not one person had gone by the entire time I was painting and I had no phone numbers of any of the people at the scrappin' retreat. I finally came to the realization that I was going to have to start walking, but the grid roads would have taken a long time. I figured if I cut across a field I would be able to make more of a straight line out of my trek... except that I couldn't exactly see the buildings of the retreat. Nothin' like an early morning gamble, so I left the certainty of the road and ventured out into the field. It took me about 15 minutes before I could see the buildings and knew I was on the right track. I had a few cows look at me funny- couldn't blame them really. It took me about 15 more minutes to reach the retreat and then I had to deal with the embarrassment of asking someone to drive me to my truck and give me a boost. I didn't tell anyone about this when I got home, but I guess some of my friends will know now! I don't think my husband looks at this blog so I don't have to worry about him giving me a hard time!

Anyway, the above is what I produced while the music was playing and while I was in the zone. It is a pretty limited palette for me and joins the very few paintings I have ever done without using any green at all. I like the simplicity of it and the blue pool in the field. It might be a sketch for a larger piece someday.


Sheila said...

Wow... what a little adventure. I'm glad you're not a shrinking violet when it comes to little bumps in the road like a dead car battery.

I am glad you had a great weekend overall and yes, I would love to see this painting in a bigger format though I love it at this size too!

-Don said...

Well, you were right, that wasn't good... Yikes! What a buzz kill... I hope your scrapbooking retreat pals didn't give you too much grief...

I love the colors and brush strokes in your painting. Nice job.

BTW, you know this will be the blog that your husband finally reads, don't you? It' Murphy's Law...


jdr said...

Nicki, you make me laugh ... this is the sort of thing that would happen to me!!! Except mine would have had some zany mishap with the actual cow or something, too!!!
I miss you but I am glad you had a nice weekend out in the country. I like the painting and I hope your scrappin' went as well as you had hoped, too.

Nicki said...

Hi Sheila,

Thanks... should I admit that I did feel like crying for a split second?! :0) I think I was just too motivated to lose as little painting/scrappin' time as possible, so I pulled up my bootstraps and headed out!

Thanks for your visit,


Hi Don,

The lady running the retreat helped me out and otherwise I kept it on the down low! I did tell the only two other girls I knew that were there, but they were pretty nice about it (to my face anyway!).And if my husband read that post he didn't fess up!

I'm glad you like this one and thanks again for your suggestions on "Spotlight". I reposted it with the changes I made, so take a look and see what you think.

Have a great weekend,

Hi Jj,

Yup, if it had been your battery that died there would have been even more twists and turns on your story fo sho!

XO Nicki

Diane Hoeptner (hep-ner) said...

Love that blue ribbon stream!

Nicki said...

Hi Diane,

What a wonderful surprise to see a comment from you! Thank you so much for coming to look at my blog. I am such an admirer of your beautiful flower paintings- I always leave your blog with a smile.

Yes, I chose that view specifically for the blue water in the middle of the field. I took lots of photos so I am hoping to try a few more in the studio.

Come again!


Anonymous said...

i like this: the simplicity and space appeal to me.

Nicki said...

Thanks, Rahina. I feel the same... I like the simplicity of it.