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!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Bark Study

Bark Study
(for Fire In The Belly)
oil on board

After I completed "By The Lake" (seen in my last post)- or at least did as much as I was going to do outside- I did a quick (and I am mean quick) study of bark using rich, thick, not fully mixed smudges of paint. I had done an under painting the night before and wanted to play with this idea I had for what I might do over top. It was so fun playing with the oils this way. I wanted it to look rough and chunky, which it does, I think. The colours are intense, especially the oranges, which I wanted. Sometimes I am shocked at the colours I see in the forest. I mean, really you just think green, green and more green, but if you get looking around and what you find is quite amazing. In this instance I had taken a photo (the day I painted on the wrong side of the board- good times) of a tree near me that was lit up by a sun beam. The fantastic part was that the lit area was a section where bark had pealed off revealing this raw, burnt orange, glowing sap covered area. It was specatcular! I have been working on a large canvas at the studio back at home with this as the subject.

I mentioned this was a quick study and that is: a) because working fast keeps me loose and b) because this was approaching...

It was a deceiving storm... it looked like I had more time than I did! When it hit, it hit hard. The rain was pouring down and erased any view of the lake past the beach!  

I ran to the cafeteria building and waited it out. The downpour lasted about 15 minutes and afterward there were rivers running down the paths of the campus! When it stopped raining I had to sandwich my painting between two cafeteria trays to get it back to the studio because there was so much water dripping off the trees. I do love a good storm, and a good adventure.


jdr said...

Okay, now I think THIS is my favourite!! I totally love the "chunky" look, as you described it. Love, love, love it!!!!

Pam Holnback said...

I love this bark!

Judy Adamson said...

I think this 'study' is great in its own right! And I love the way you 'play' with the colours - I do believe that's the way to go!

Barbara M. said...

Cool Nicki,

I think we had that storm here too. What a great bark study. It's true that when you walk outside colour pops out from everything. Amazing colour. I love this.


-Don said...

When I saw this beauty the song "Silver and Gold" from the movie Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer came to my mind and is now reverberating through my brain. Love the painting! Thanks for sharing your adventures. Living in Vegas I rarely get a quick summer shower to enjoy.


Nicki said...

Hi JJ,

Why thank you kind sir!!! :o)

Hope you like the larger ones I have been working on, although I don't think I captured the same spontaneity this one had. I guess I need the impending doom of a storm to really bring out the looseness in me!

XO Nicki

Hi Pam,

I'm glad!

Hi Judy,

Thank you for saying that. Although it is a study, I am pleased with the result. I might even frame this one up for the open studio that is happening in November where I paint.


Hi Barbara,

This one was fun to do and I really enjoyed working on the larger version back in town at the studio, but the end result is different than this study.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Nicki XO

Hi Don,

I'm thrilled my painting brought a song to your mind. I'll take that as a compliment!

We get some spectacular summer showers, but I really think what you need to experience is a winter blizzard!


Harry Kent said...

This painting, with its confident fast brush strokes and its unadulterated color, tells me about the strength of trees and the strength of the artist - it's great!

What you say about observation in nature so accords with my own experience, Nicki. In Tasmania, a landscape that simply looks green and grey to the casual glance, is actually full of mauves - in gum bark, shadows, distant hills. So i well understand the color richness of exposed resin in damaged pine bark.

But what excites me even more is when an artist amplifies those colors with her emotional reaction to them. Then i am taught to see nature more deeply, through other eyes. And i get to know another artist at a deeper level.

And that's why i love this painting so.

Nicki said...

Hi Harry,

Thank you so much for your visit. You have no idea how your words touched me. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave this message. I appreciate your reaction to this painting.