Funky, Fresh and Full of Spice: a group show of work that is a step outside of what we might do normally. Two days only... Friday, June 23 from 6-9 pm and Saturday, June 24 from 1-5 pm at Paved Arts in Saskatoon (424 20th Street W). Featuring work by Cynthia Blanchette, Robert Remando, Levi, Monika Kinner-Whalen, Angela Storry, Michael G. Remando, Laura Hosaluk, Emily M. Kohlert, Nicki Ault and Brandi Hofer. Please come!

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.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Fall Show

Fall Show
20x16
oil on canvas
(unfinished)

I started this last week at the studio and today went in for a third session. I didn't use as limited a palette as I did in the previous post, but I did try to keep my colours pared down. I definitely understand what oil painters mean when they say they will go back in and sharpen edges after the piece has dried a bit. Today I was able to do just that, but by the end of a few hours it was all wet again... and some areas were really thick with paint, so before making more mud, I packed it in and I will continue in a week or so. For this one I am using a photo I took last fall standing with my back to the river and looking at the glorious show provided by the trees and grasses.


So my two little paintings, "Shady River" and "Over The Point" have arrived in their new home! They are cozied up by the fire in a beautiful 300 year old English cottage and the new owner even sent me two pictures to include on my blog! How fun is that? Thank you R. for making this such an enjoyable transaction!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Weather Watch- TMC

Weather Watch
6.5 x 4.5"
oil on 200lb paper

My husband is away on an annual golf trip with his buddies, so tonight I got a babysitter and headed out to do errands with a bit of P & Q* !!! I picked up the 3 commissioned paintings from the framer, got groceries (not enjoyable even without kids) and went to the studio to water another artist's plants. I found myself with a half hour to spare before I had to be home for the sitter, so I did a quick 20 minute painting for the TMC. I was not in the mood at all, but I have been doing a lot of thinking about limited palettes and Googling that very topic, so without allowing any time to talk myself out of it, I just did it!

As I was driving tonight I noticed that to the north and south the sky was perfectly beautiful and calm, but to the east and west it was wild! In fact, there were tornado warnings today. This has been the summer for dramatic clouds... maybe that is why I feel inspired to paint so many and why that was my choice again tonight. I limited my palette to Phthalo Blue, Crimson, Cadmium Yellow and Titanium White. There was a point early on, maybe 4 minutes in, where I had the paint applied a bit thinly and the Crimson had things looking a bit too pink/purple with the Phthalo Blue and that is when I decided to use Burnt Sienna to help me get to a bit of a better gray. I initially regretted it thinking I should have used Burnt Umber, but then I never would have discovered how much I like Crimson and Burnt Sienna mixed together. The top left corner is darkened with this combo with just a touch of the Phthalo. I never did use any Cadmium Yellow. I am quite excited about what other discoveries I might make with a radically pared down palette and the guaranteed learning that will come along with it. Thanks TJ Lynde for encouraging me to limit myself!!! :o)

*Peace and Quiet

Sunday, July 18, 2010

100 Posts

This is my 100th post! Hard to believe. To celebrate, you will notice, I have a new look to my blog. I was planning to unveil a new look for my one year milestone, but when I was experimenting with the template designs last night I accidentally hit the "apply to blog" button instead of the "preview" button. Oops and... Voila! I couldn't figure out how to undo it so the revamping has happened a little sooner than planned. Next month will be my one year blog anniversary! Wow. I am planning to do something for my Followers - likely a draw for a painting- so if you want to have your name included in that little celebratory event please join sometime between now and August 19. You can become a Follower by clicking on the button to the right- it is very easy, but you do have to make an account (Google, Twitter, etc.-very easy) if you don't already have one. Friends and Family are included in this draw as long as you are a Follower. Please send me an email (nicki.ault@shaw.ca) if you do not want your name to be included in the draw- that is no problem.


For fun, on this 100th post, I thought I would show another side of myself. I used to collect porcelain dolls as a young girl and then when I was in my early twenties I began to learn how to make them. My mom and I would sew the clothes. Eventually my dolls were in a northern gallery for a few seasons. The above doll is "Emily" and she stands about 20" tall. She was the first doll I ever entered in a local competition and she won "First in Category" and "Best in Show". That was a pretty exciting time... and a huge shock.




These other dolls are a little sampling of the ones I loved making. The fairies were so fun (the seated one is about 4" and the standing one is about 6") and this little baby was a hit. I sold more of them than any other. Two versions of this baby (named Sugarbritches) are shown here; eyes closed and eyes open with glass eyes fit in. Sooner or later a few things happened: the cost of this hobby became prohibitive, I didn't have a kiln of my own which made it inconvenient, and I began a career... and John and I got more serious. Life happened and this hobby petered out. I still think about it now and then and, who knows, maybe I will go back to it someday.




As always, thank you for checking in on me!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

A Break In The Clouds- A Break For Me!

A Break In The Clouds
7x7"
oil on canvas
Sold

Three weeks into summer holidays and mommy needed a time out!!! I got a babysitter to come over yesterday afternoon so I could go to the studio. I hadn't been there for at least a few weeks and I was suffering from withdrawal. When I got there, however, I was paralyzed (so to speak)- I couldn't start anything! I felt confused, exhausted and rusty. For quite some time I just sat and stared into space. I managed to pull myself together and organize a few things, then I parked it on the couch and had a nap! I was tired for two reasons: 1) three weeks of an entirely different schedule than I am used to in the school year and 2) I woke up at 6:00 a.m. to the sound of a table saw and air nailer. (The house next door to us was bulldozed this spring and a brand new house is being built. Yesterday they started on the new garage). Anyhoo, after my catnap I made myself pull out some oils and this is what I added to the Twenty Minute Challenge painting I posted last time. I obviously added more clouds in subtle grays, blues and whites plus I added brighter greens in the ground (which I think show a bit better in life). I think I am happy with this one and looking at it beside the stormy ones, it is a nice change. 

I made minor tweaks and adjustments on two other paintings, but couldn't muster the gumption to do more than that. I didn't want to waste my freedom so I decided to do an art related errand that wouldn't be fun with kids in tow. I went to Home Depot and got some panels cut! I'm pretty excited to give the boards a try, but they will have to be prepared first. On that note I wanted to put a question out there to any artists that might read this... If I want the colour of the board to show through my paint what would I use to seal the wood? I don't know if I will use acrylic or oil on these panels, so it needs to be a clear primer of sorts that could work with both. If anyone has a thought, tip or idea please leave a note in the comments or feel free to email me.  

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Break In The Clouds- TMC

A Break In The Clouds
(unfinished)
7x7
oil on canvas

Here is the painting I did yesterday for the Twenty Minute Challenge blog. I was painting in the backyard using a photo I took a few weeks ago. In fact it was still on my camera, so I was looking at it on the camera's little screen. It is not finished. I would like to add in more light/white clouds somewhere in the middle section. I didn't want this painting to be quite as stormy as some of the others I have done. It is on it's way; I think I will like it when it is finished. (NOTE: I changed the name- on the TMC blog it is titled "Windows").

Painting with oil is quite enjoyable, but the transition from acrylics has not been completely smooth. I really don't get this "medium" thing. I bought some turpenoid, but I keep wanting to use it like I do water with my acrylics! And my brush keeps getting thick with paint, partly because I like the rich, buttery feel of oils, but also because I am too cheap to wipe the brush off and waste the product! I'm still at the base of the learning curve and might be there for awhile.

My blues lifted a bit today. The kids both have coughs so we stayed at home and took it easy. I got loads of organizing done and installed some new blinds in our master bedroom. I kept busy and didn't even crack open "Eclipse" once!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

This Day

This Day
(revised)
7x7
oil on canvas

This was how I felt today. I felt like these colours. I felt like these marks. I felt light and I felt dark, but mostly I felt blue. This was my mood. 

So much was right today. I went for a wonderful brunch with two of my best friends at Calories which is one of my favorite restaurants. When I got home, all my boys were out. My husband left a message saying I should do my own thing; maybe paint or read my book (yes, I am now on the third book of the Twilight series- I could only stay away for a pathetic 24 hours). To top off all of this wonderfulness, I picked up my Edward B. Gordon painting, Savignyplatz 15:30, from the post office! (More on that in a bit). It all sounds idyllic, right? And yet I have been near tears for most of the day.

I ended up painting two 7x7 pieces in the quiet and solitude of my backyard on what was a beautiful summer's afternoon. I needed the "exercise", so first I did a painting for the Twenty Minute Challenge which I will post next time. Then I just played with oils. I tried to paint from an emotional place, but to give myself a bit of direction I envisioned the swirling reflections that I love to paint. This painting is what I ended up with. I have no idea if it is any good. But it is what I felt, so at least it is that. For me, it is this day, in oil paint.



 
Savignyplatz 15:30 is beyond my wildest dreams. It sounds impossible, but it is a thousand times better in person! I think I gasped when I took the lid off the perfect little box and saw it there in full living colour. It was packaged so beautifully in a box especially designed for it's size. Tied around the crisp white box was a citrus orange ribbon printed with Edward's name. Alongside this, I unexpectedly received an assortment of postcards which I will pin up in the studio for inspiration. The painting is a jewel. I have already stared at it several times exploring the brushstrokes that you just can't see clearly enough on a computer monitor. It is amazing and I can't believe it is mine!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Popcorn Clouds

Popcorn Clouds
20x16
acrylic on canvas
sold

This painting was part of my second solo show in 2008 at a local cafe and was actually purchased by the same neighbor that commissioned the three pond paintings.  The reference photo for this painting came from Degen Lindner (the artist/instructor I consider a mentor) and although I didn't see this sky in person, I felt comfortable painting it because I have seen skies like it. Maybe you know the type; dark skies, brooding clouds, imminent storm... and these puffy little white clouds going about their business without a clue that there is something bigger happening around them. I have always thought these clouds looked like popcorn. I love stormy skies and have been thinking a lot about working on a series with that as the theme for.... drum roll... my next show!!! Yup, I applied for a show at a new coffee shop in town called Moka- very chic, very good area, and they liked the little portfolio I submitted! The paintings will go up on December 8 and run for two months! Yay!!!It will be great to have a goal and a focus again.

I dipped into the archives to find a painting to show you because I have not done anything new lately; the kids are out of school now and so getting to the studio is hard. We just went up to Waskesiu Lake for Canada Day and then stayed for about 6 days. It was so relaxing and the boys absolutely love it there. I took my paints with me thinking I would get up early and do some plein air work, but nope, that fresh air knocked me out and there was no getting up early... in fact, there was also a lot of napping in the daytime! And then to top it off I began reading "Twilight" by Stephanie Meyer. Big mistake. I couldn't put the darn thing down! And since we got home I have now read the next book in the series, "New Moon". It's really bad! I am addicted! Keep reading or feed the kids? Keep reading or have a shower? Keep reading or maintain the house? Keep reading or, dare I say it, blog? I'm sorry I haven't been commenting on my favorite sights lately. The story of Bella and Edward has consumed me in a ridiculous way. I am going to force myself not to start the next book, "Eclipse" until I reconnect with my life and get some painting done!