July and August 2017: A small selection of my work, courtesy of Darrell Bell Gallery, is available at Boffins restaurant (111 Research Drive, U of S campus) throughout the summer months.

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.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Fire In The Belly II

Fire In The Belly II
24 x 36"
oil on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2010 
sold

I finally got a decent picture of this painting, which now feels finished. I think the colours are a bit brighter in person, but overall this is pretty accurate. This tree jumped right out at me when I was painting en plein air at Kenderdine Campus this past August. I was merrily working on my little board (the one that was not taking the paint well at all... read this post to find out more) when for some reason I looked to my right and saw the most spectacular sight. The sun was hitting this tree so that the exposed resin, sap and raw wood were lit up and glowing. It took my breath away. I had to stop and take photos! I was so excited that I started working on a canvas in the studio that evening which raised a controversy you can read about here. 

I have had some mixed reactions to this piece. A couple of people have found it to be scary, which surprises me because I saw the tree as a beautiful treasure and I tried to paint it that way. I do agree that the composition is maybe a bit "in your face", but at the same time I think that adds to it's power and impact. I have decided that I am happy with it, and that is all I have the energy to care about right now. I am thrilled with the brushstrokes- I tried to make each one interesting and fresh. This painting doesn't have the same intense, smoldering feeling that "Fire In The Belly I" had, but I was never going for that anyway. The underpainting for this piece is similar though! 

My opening at Moka Coffee Bar was a wonderful, intimate evening with friends and family stopping by. Unfortunately the weather didn't co-operate, so several people decided not to venture out. And I think they were smart- the roads were not particularly safe. Thanks to everyone for your well wishes!  

8 comments:

Pierre Raby said...

Wonderful work Nicki! I enjoy the two paintings, what an intense story.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts about the process. I think self-doubt is a natural part of any creative work, over time it can become an unexpected friendly tool.
Have a nice weekend!

Nicki said...

Hi Pierre,

Thanks for taking the time to read this story! Yes, self- doubt and I are becoming quite good friends!

Take care,

Nicki

-Don said...

At 36x24, I'm sure this piece lights up a room. It just GLOWS.

You're good.

-Don

Nicki said...

Thank you Don! I appreciate it!

And you're even better!

Nicki

Artist said...

wonderful piece!! love the colors! and yes art is way better in person!

Nicki said...

Thank you Artist!

Celeste said...

Well you've done it. And, wow, what a result you've acheived. I know this piece would be very impressive if I was able to see it in person. You've achieved a realistic rendering of a tree and yet the abstract elements that are within you're painting are leaping out at me. I can see a face within the belly, very clearly I might add. And that is of no usefulness at all, that comment. Just sayin'... Your brushstrokes, thick paint, lush application, composition, and use of colour are your signature, Nicki. Your work is strong, giving your images huge impact and intensity. If some people find that scary....Looking forward to your new painting project that you're keeping under wraps. There is so much to look forward to in the New Year!

Nicki said...

Hi Celeste,

Thank you so much for your comments on this piece. I was hoping I would hear from you because you know the whole story first hand. I really appreciate your educated words. I'm happy with it and I don't think it's scary... and I think I might see the face, too, now that you mention it.... (hmmmm, that might scare some people!)

You have to let me know when you will be in town... I'd love to take you to the studio to show you what I am up to with this mysterious piece. I think I just finished it, but I have to keep it under wraps for a couple of months!

Hope you are well and may 2011 be a creative and adventurous year for you.