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.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Reflection at Dusk

#2 - Reflection at Dusk
(30 paintings in 30 days project)
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2011
sold

I found the time! It's my son's 9th birthday today and a lot was going on. Right now I have five boys on the floor with chips, drinks and sleeping bags watching a movie and planning to stay up all night! Yup- his first sleepover party! Big day. This evening while the kids played, I painted. Like I said, I found the time! So only 28 to go in my "thirty paintings in thirty days" project.

My usual photo editing tool is not working so I am getting used to another one and I haven't sorted it out yet. The yellows are showing a bit brighter than in reality. I will try to get a photo outside tomorrow to see if that makes an improvement. I've already learned that even if the day seems packed solid, I can probably find some time to paint if I want. And I've learned that possibly harder than painting every day will be making up a title. Two days in and I am already having trouble!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Prairie Pool

# 1 - Prairie Pool
(30 paintings in 30 days project)
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2011 
sold

A babysitter came this afternoon so I could get to the studio to paint. It felt good. I've been missing it. I am using "Field of Blues" as a study for a 30 x 30" canvas. I worked on it for quite a while then sat down and did this small painting with the same palette. I am stepping into the deep end and starting a small project... 30 paintings in 30 days! Okay, maybe it's not so much the deep end as the deepest part of the shallow end!!! I already have no idea how I will find time to paint tomorrow! I have always been intrigued by the "Daily Painting Movement" (started by Duane Keiser in 2004) and although I have no plan to continue beyond the next thirty days, I want to see what happens. This is going to be a real test and challenge. I'm definitely going to be scaring myself a bit each day! This project will wrap up at the end of May at which point I have committed to be one of ten artists in the first annual Friends of the Forestry Farm House Art Show and Sale. I will take my "daily paintings" to this venue along with some larger pieces and hopefully sell a few.

As an aside, one of my all time favorite Daily Painters, Edward B. Gordon (who started his project in 2006), just completed painting #1607! Doesn't make 30 look very ambitious does it?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Forest Above Revamp

The Forest Above (reworking)
8x8
oil and acrylic on board
© Nicki Ault, 2011


It's been slim pick-in's these days to find time to paint. And the paintings I have started are all large and not finished. I have two on the go that are 30x30" and 30x40", so they will take time to complete. And there probably have been times that I could have painted, but all of my supplies are at the studio. I am toying with the idea of making a small limited palette kit to keep at home for times I can't get to the studio. My hat goes off to the "daily painting" crowd, that's for sure!

This painting is a redo of one of my abstract reflections that I was never quite happy with. You can see the original version here. The photo of the original actually is way better than it was in person! And I rarely find that to be the case! Anyways, this may still get more work and it may even be repurposed... to kindling!

Other news: Judy of Judy Adamson on Art and Design emailed awhile ago and wanted to do a post based on a comment I made on my blog. If you have time please follow this link to read her words.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter 2011... Not For Sissies!

I don't often make a post without some sort of art or photo, but today is an exception. In the last 5 days my kids and I have been ravaged by some devilish flu bug that took us each down one at a time. Easter in our house this year was not for sissies! I will have more art soon- I promise!

In the meantime, today, while I was housebound with my oldest in the throes of his misery, I slowly plugged my way through the not-so-clear set-up of my Facebook Fan-page! It is quite rudimentary right now- I am not finding it as easy to navigate as Blogger. It's a start. I will figure more out. I really meant to do this much sooner. You see back in the fall I came across this quote by Eleanor Roosevelt: "Do one thing every day that scares you." I love that. It really inspired me. And I have- I've done some things that have pushed me out of my comfort zone- big time. However, I haven't done one scary thing a day as the quote suggests because, let's face it, that in itself is too scary! And setting up a Facebook page has been on my mind since reading that quote. It still freaks me out, but I am giving it a whirl. I'll let you know once it is really running smoothly.

Monday, April 18, 2011

On The Edge of Fairy Island

On The Edge of Fairy Island
8 x 24"
acrylic on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2009
sold

I've shown you this painting before, but I am in the position of needing to dip into the archives because otherwise I have nothing. April is a busy month for our family and there is just no way for it to be avoided. To top it off I got sick last week which, for a few days, had me down for the count. This week the calendar looks remarkably free, so my goal is to get to the studio. A lot!

I've found myself in a bit of a funk over a couple of relationships gone awry; one business (not art related) and one personal. Sometimes life throws things at me and I don't always know how to deal. I lose sleep, I over-think, I worry, I feel teary, I add to my growing collection of gray hairs. I am hard on myself because I figure I must have done something wrong. That's my way. I realize I am not unique in this; if you're human you go through these things and often blame yourself. I'm finding that the desperate situation in so many areas of the world, plus the stress of our upcoming election here in Canada and these particular relationship woes have really got me quite overwhelmed. However...

At a time when I have been kind of stuck in my head worrying about people and what we are all doing to each other in this big complicated world, the kindness of a stranger tapped me on the shoulder and showed me something downright good. And REAL- not in my head! I have been uplifted by this woman and without realizing it she has reminded me that a) people care about other people and b) I must not be a total jerk if someone wants to do something so nice for me! Here is the story...


A woman came through the Open Studio last fall, and although we didn't actually meet she must have taken my business card. She found my blog and has left the odd comment and even emailed a few times, but I wouldn't have recognized her if we passed on the street. She read the post about my easel troubles and contacted me soon thereafter. She had an easel that was given to her years ago, but which she never ended up using. Here's the amazing thing... she wanted to give it to me! Give. No strings. Now if that doesn't make your heart swell a little...

I met her today when I picked it up (and gave her a small painting as a token of my gratitude). She is extremely interesting, an artist, and an amazing photographer. I got a tour of her studio- she is into collage, photo transfers, acrylic skins and encaustic right now. She is incredibly innovative and has inspired me in more ways than one. Her studio is a great big experiment. She has no fear of getting dirty and just trying... maybe it works and maybe it doesn't, but she is learning with each effort. Hearing her talk fired me up! My problem is I need to get over my concerns of the cost of experimenting so that I can let loose and see what might happen.

Thank you for your patience with my sporadic posting. May a stranger make your day today!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Go Gently

Go Gently
48 x 30"
acrylic on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2011 
sold

I'm done this large, not-so-official "commission". I'm quite happy with how it turned out and, in person, I think it has an impact that the small photo here can't quite translate. The woman I painted it for (unofficially) really loves the forest; it makes her feel calm and centered. She talks of wanting to tiptoe on the moss and find a place to lay down for a nap. I hope she likes the end result of this painting, she saw it in an an early stage, but if not maybe it will be discovered by another forest lover someday.

My little boy turned seven yesterday- it is so hard to believe- it isn't quite right to call him "little" any more. He had a great day and it just so happened that there was a teacher conference, so school was out. We had party with six of his little buddies and may I just say that they completely exhausted me!!! Wow. And then this evening I had a baby shower for a friend, so tomorrow I just might stay in my PJ's all day and rest! There was a slight method to my madness of doing these parties back to back... I only had to clean and tidy the house once!!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Water Striders- Jitterbug

Water Striders- Jitterbug
7 x 7"
acrylic on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2011
NFS

This is the painting I did this week as a gift to go with the two other "Water Strider" paintings purchased by a friend. I have done several in this series, some quite large, and the inspiration comes from a visit to one of my favorite plein air painting locations, Spruce River. On this particular time I was there painting, the river was alive with little water strider bugs on the surface. The water was swirling and spinning causing the reflection of the forest above to be completely abstract. It was dancing and alive. It was beautiful! I hope these little paintings gives my friend joy. Below are the two paintings that will go with "Water Striders- Jitterbug".

 













The show in Ayr celebrating the centenary of International Women's Day is winding down. It will close on Sunday, April 10th. You can see my contribution to this collaboration here. From the updates I have received it sounds like it was a huge success in every way, but most importantly over $4000.00 has been raised for Haitian relief for the women and children in desperate need. To see images of all the work in the show, please click here. Also, a book has been created showcasing all of the artwork as well as narratives written by each artist. If you are interested in purchasing one please contact Jill Yuzwa at AyrSpace Gallery.

Monday, April 4, 2011

I'm Still Here!

My new easel!

I have been painting, but don't have photos to share yet. Once I get a good picture (hopefully tomorrow) I will show you the big "commission" I have been working on. You can see part of it in the corner- it is a mossy scene from deep in the woods in Northern Saskatchewan. I call it a commission, but it is not a formal situation. I am painting it with someone in mind and what she loves. She has some of my paintings already and told me what she was looking for, so hopefully this will fit the bill.

I finally purchased an easel! I found one I wanted online and patiently waited for it to go on sale and finally it did! Woo hoo!... except that it came damaged. The brush/paint tray was cracked. It actually thought I would live with it, so I built it. As I built it, however, I found more and more problems- for instance, three of the four casters were bent so it rolled like a wonky shopping cart! Finally I decided to take it all apart and send it back. The customer service was (thankfully) exceptional, and because of that I took my chances and had them send me a new one on the condition they packed it better. They did and this one is problem-free (mostly)!

You can see on my fabulous new easel that there are three little paintings. Two have been sold to an old high school friend that I have reconnected with through a mutual friend. I am painting a third to go with them as a surprise gift. She is in the midst of an unimaginable situation right now that I can hardly bear to spend much time thinking about. Is it crazy to hope that she will feel loved and supported just by looking at each brushstroke? Is it crazy to wish that my little painting could emit healing energy to anyone it was near? If only...