Sunday, May 14 - Mother's Day Tea Show and Sale: taking place at Studio On 20th from 12-4p.m. Our studio will be open to the public on this afternoon to exhibit the most current work by artists Bridget Aitken, Nicki Ault, Kathy Bradshaw, Jan Corcoran, Ann Donald, Jane Harington, Miranda Jones, Brenda Kennedy, Karen Maguire, Amira Wasfy and Carol Wylie. We are located at 236A 20th Street Between Aves. B and C (door to the left of the Odd Couple restaurant).

November 10, 2016: I was interviewed by Daily Paintworks as their Spotlight Artist for a week! Read my interview on the DPW News blog!

Ongoing: my 8x8" original oil paintings are available exclusively at Darrell Bell Gallery in Saskatoon. For a limited time several of my large oil paintings are also available at
their new street front gallery on 21st Street (formally Lifestyles By Darrell Bell Gallery).

Ongoing: a selection of my larger work is available at The Black Spruce Gallery at Northside on Highway 2 just before the turn to Christopher Lake.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Upswept Sky

Upswept Sky
(shown above after 20 minutes)
8x8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2010
For Twenty Minute Challenge

I needed a break a couple of weeks ago from the focus on larger work for my upcoming solo show, so I pulled out a little panel and did a quick start on a sky for 20 minutes. I highly recommend this exercise for anyone. I worked on it again the next day and below is the finished piece.

Upswept Sky
8x8 
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2010
finished

The Open Studio was busy! I met some really great people and received some extremely positive feedback about my work. Several new names are now on my contact list for anything that I do in the future and I was approached by a gallery/store owner to be part of a group show in the new year with the theme of "Trees" . Apparently she has done this the past couple of years with artists but this year participation is by invitation only. I also sold ten paintings off my "grid" so that was exciting. With eleven artists sharing the studio and invitations going out to all of their contacts I definitely felt like I hardly knew anyone that came through. I felt quite shy and awkward so I will have to work on that for next year. And the big question on my mind that entire day was, why on earth did I wear high heeled boots and contact lenses??? Did I learn nothing from my show last year? And why did I not do the math to realize that unlike an art opening which is usually 1.5-2 hours long, the Open Studio was, in fact, 6 hours long!!?? Standing on concrete floors, I might add! I was so tired when I got home that I fell asleep twice between 6 and 9 p.m. at which point I just went to bed. 

As a side note, I was very proud of my boys for coming to the Open Studio. They didn't want to and resisted when I mentioned it. I was quite surprised and, I will admit, a little hurt. After a bit more talk it came out that they didn't want to go because they were afraid we would be in another car accident which is what happened a year ago after my last opening. My heart dropped when they brought this up. I was shocked that they had made such a strong connection between the two events. We talked a bit more and they asked if we could take a different road if they decided to come and my littlest said, "Mommy if we are in another car crash this time, you won't do anymore art shows, will you?" Bless them both. My husband brought them right at the beginning of the day and I am proud they were so brave.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Open Studio Tomorrow


I just got home from putting the last touches on my studio space. It looks really good and I took photos to share with you. If you happen to live in or near Saskatoon swing by and say "hi". All 11 artists will be there from 11-5 and we'd love to show you our work and where we create it. I'm nervous and excited at the same time. It's my first Open Studio and I want it to go well... I am hoping I will get a real positive response to my work from all the artsy types that may come through. I really want them to like me... sales schmales... I just want to be liked!


Standing in the doorway looking into my space.
You can see the wonderful sculptures of another artist
in the space just beyond mine...


Starting at my shelves and working clockwise around my workspace...
 

 
From the far end of the studio this wall looks pretty dramatic...


Standing by the sculptors space looking back at mine
toward the door where I took the first photo...


A close up of my "grid" of small work...


 
My drafting table/desk area with my awesome
Mastercraft rolling work station...


And finally a close-up shot of the top of the work station.


That's all folks! I have a bit more work to do for tomorrow and then I am hitting the sheets!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

River Fire

River Fire
4.75 x 4.75"
acrylic on paper
© Nicki Ault, 2010 
private collection

In my previous couple of posts you saw the series of three abstract reflections that I painted for a housewarming gift for a dear friend. I painted three others around the same time and "River Fire" is one of them. I think it is my favorite of all six - not sure why, maybe just because it is quite different from any other reflection I have done. The darkest marks you see are more purpley than they come across on the screen. I am pleased with the energy in this one. I put it in a black frame today and it looks great! Really dramatic.

It has a been a crazy few weeks getting ready for all of the art events that are happening right away. Tomorrow is the opening of the small works juried show called "Little Gems" in which I have three paintings. There are about 40 local artists participating and it is a fundraiser for the Food Bank. Then on Sunday it is our Open Studio, so I have been madly wiring, hanging, organizing, tweaking, varnishing, framing for that. I will have photos to show you of my space soon. I'm very excited to be a part of this- it's like a dream come true! A reporter and cameraman came today from Shaw TV Channel 10, so tomorrow a short piece will run approx. every 45 minutes in a continuous loop throughout the day.

I will quickly sigh with relief after the weekend, but then I will have a shot of espresso and start pulling together work for my solo show at Moka which goes up Dec. 8!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Joy of Another

The Joy of Another
4.75 x 4.75"
acrylic on paper
© Nicki Ault, 2010 
private collection

Here is the last painting in the series of three I gave my friend. This one is a little different from the others, but the colour palette was basically the same. This one had a lot more movement in it and to me it feels like happy energy. The title comes from me contemplating my friend's family again and thinking of her other true love- her daughter. This little girl exudes pure joy and innocence. She is kind, thoughtful, artistic and has this truly happy energy. She lights up a room and she is only in Grade Three! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that one of my boys will marry her!



The Strength of One
The Joy of Another
Three Loves 
© Nicki Ault, 2010 
private collection
 
Theses are the three pieces all together. Again, sorry the picture quality is not the best. They are brighter than these in reality. Thanks for stopping by to have a look.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Strength Of One

The Strength of One
4.75 x 4.75"
acrylic on paper
© Nicki Ault, 2010
private collection

This is the second in the little series I painted for my friend as a house warming gift. (Theses photos are dark. Curses! Why did my camera have to conk out? It has not been the same since it was fixed). Anyway, as I mentioned in yesterday's post, my friend is madly in love with her family. After she chose these three paintings the titles came easily as I looked at the images and thought of her. I named this painting "The Strength of One" as I thought of her love for her unique, clever, wonderful son. He is a miracle, as all children are, but when pregnant with him, my friend's water broke at 19 weeks and he was born at 24 weeks. The strength and determination he has shown in his short life so far is quite remarkable. He is a glorious, hilarious, healthy Grade 5 boy and he is the apple of my friend's eye.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Three Loves

Three Loves
4.75 x 4.75"
acrylic on paper
© Nicki Ault, 2010
private collection

My days have been so busy getting work ready for the Open Studio, the "Little Gems" juried show and my solo show that there has been no time for blogging. Well, there probably has been time somewhere between midnight and 7 a.m., but I decided to sleep!

The above painting is one in a series of three little pieces I did this fall for one of my very best friends. She and her family moved into a new house over the summer and I decided I'd like to give her paintings as a house warming gift. She is incredibly supportive and enthusiastic in regards to my artwork and has even purchased 5 of my paintings over the last few years. The sad part (for me) is that before they moved they lived right across the street from us! Now they are in a new neighborhood and I miss her terribly. What a difference it made to my day even if  I only waved at her in the morning as we were getting into our cars. We won't lose touch, but it is different.

I actually made 6 paintings this size and let her pick her favorite three to put in frames I bought at Ikea this past summer. Once she chose the ones she wanted I titled them so they had some relevance to her. She is a real home-body and adores her husband, son and daughter. I named this one "Three Loves" because of her true love for each of these people. I'll show you the rest of this series over the next few days. 

Hope everyone is well! Winter hit us hard in Saskatchewan yesterday! Brrrr!   

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Kickin' It Old School

 You Can Go Back
16x20"
acrylic on canvas
(created en plein air)
© Nicki Ault, 2009 
sold

About two weeks ago I received an email from Judy Adamson, an artist in Wales, who writes an informative blog regarding topics in art and design. She had recently been contemplating why some artists prefer to stick with traditional methods of producing art as opposed to using digital tools. She approached seven traditional artists to give their reasons why they have not made the change and I was one of them. To see the article and the responses click here.

To be honest, I have not given digital art much thought. I don't have a great program to use and in many ways I feel I am just scratching the surface with paint- especially in oils. Maybe the time will come when I want to dabble digitally- I'm certainly not against it and believe it is growing and growing as a strong and distinct art in it's own right, especially with all of the amazing, rapid advances in technology. I would enjoy the opportunity to sit with a digital artist to see their process and watch how they create. It would be quite fascinating to me.

For now in my own practice, however, I'm going to keep kickin' it old school!

Thanks to Judy for including me in this interesting discussion. I sent her the above image of a painting I did last year to include with my part of the article. (Click here for the original post that went with this painting- turns out it was one of the first few posts I ever made to my blog and fun for me to look back on).

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Across The Lake

Across The Lake
30x24
oil on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2010
sold

This is an attempt to take my little stormy skies to a larger format. A little dramatic and a lot fun! There are approximately three other attempts at skies (in acrylic) under this final one, the first of them done years ago. None of them ever felt right and they all basically stunk. With this one I feel more satisfied and like I might finally let this canvas be done. I especially like the marks in the water; they went in quick and I didn't fuss with them, so they are a very direct and immediate representation of my energy as I was painting that day. Before I began painting this I covered the existing sky with a solid coat of Cadmium Orange, and I left little jolts of it popping through here and there.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Embrace Life - An Anniversary of Sorts

video
"Embrace Life-
always wear your seat belt"


Today is a significant day for me as an artist and also for my family. It marks two things: 1) the one year anniversary of the opening of my first gallery show which was a dream come true and 2) the one year anniversary of the traumatic car accident that was a nightmare come true.

I wanted to share this beautiful and powerful commercial with anyone that may come across my blog with the hopes that it will reinforce the importance of wearing your seat belt. If you have children please make sure they are in the proper car seats/ boosters for their size, weight and age. Doing so is your best defense if you are ever in an accident. While it doesn't guarantee a positive outcome it certainly increases the odds. In our case, wearing seat belts prevented a traumatic experience from being devastating. My head can't even go there to imagine the injuries, or worse, if we weren't wearing them.

Embrace life, it can change in an instant.

Nicki

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Enchanted

Enchanted
24x36"
oil on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2010 
sold

Another large painting for my show at Moka coming up in December. This painting was thoroughly enjoyable to paint. Everything just flowed and felt right. Once again, I had difficulty photographing it, so I hope the depth of the forest shows well enough.

Have a wonderful weekend and thanks for looking at my blog!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Good News

Cool Blue Sky
7x7
acylic on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2008

I have shown you these three paintings before, but I am doing so again because recently I decided to submit them to a "small works" juried art show. It is taking place the same weekend (Nov. 27,28) as the Open Studio, so it will be busy, but I decided I wanted to be part of it because it is a fundraiser for the Food Bank. And you never know what a little extra exposure could do. Anyway, I was allowed to submit three pieces and all three were accepted! I guess there will be about 40 artists participating and I am sure all of the work will be quite varied.   

Out On Valley Road
10x10
acrylic on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2010
private collection

At the end of the summer, I was disappointed to receive a rejection letter from a public gallery in town, but I will try again. In hindsight I think my proposal was lame and that I didn't receive the best advice in how to write it. Proposals are not something I know much about and I think I need to learn how to play the game with a bit more of the artsy lingo.

  Spring On Janzen Road
10x10"
acrylic on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2010
sold

At any rate, I am pleased to have had success with this application and hope the show raises lots of money for the Food Bank.