New Representation: my art is now available at the Assiniboia Gallery in Regina! They are located at 2266 Smith Street, a vibrant, bustling part of town.

November 15 - December 31, 2017: Holiday Salon - Small Works Show at Darrell Bell Gallery (street level ), running through the holidays, Darrell and his team have installed a grid of twenty of my 8x8's as well as a small wall of larger pieces at the front of the gallery. Lots of great gift ideas to be found by the many gallery artists on display.

Ongoing: my 8x8" original oil paintings are available exclusively at Darrell Bell Gallery located in the Canada Building in downtown Saskatoon. As well, some of my large oil paintings are now available in this beautiful local gallery.

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

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Grande Finale

My set up at the first  FFFH Spring Art Show and Sale

Today was a great day. Here is my "booth" at the art show. The space was quite different than I imagined, so the way I thought I would set up was not the way I actually could. My portable wall for my 30 paintings was the priority and once that was in place I worked the rest out as best I could. The show was in a beautiful old historic building (almost 100 years old) and my space was in the front room in the corner that could be seen from the entrance. It was perfect. I realized I hadn't made a sign for the 30 paintings project so my mom ran to the store to get some bristol board so I could make a quick one. Not professional but better than nothing. Both she and my sister were a huge help to me today.


I gave out lots of business cards and made some new contacts, plus sold 6 more paintings, so I am thrilled. Even if none of that had happened my day was made by the friends who took the time to come and see me. And I met a man who actually follows some of the blogs that I know and love! What are the odds?

At one point I was visiting with and admiring the work of another artist (you can see her fibre art and blog "My Sweet Prairie" here) when a customer walked up and began talking to her. I continued looking at her work not realizing that the customer was a friend of mine who was trying to get my attention! She lives a couple of hours away and we met last summer at the Emma Lake painting class. When it clicked that it was her I think I screamed and pretty-well tackled her with my hug. I was so surprised and excited I was shaking! We did a power catch-up as best we could and she made an investment in my art! Thanks CJ- call me... soon!

And thanks Judy, for letting me know about this event.

* I have no idea what I did, but somehow I reposted/moved the blog entry with painting #13 and it shows with today's date. Weird.

The Sun's Been Quite Kind

#13 - The Sun's Been Quite Kind
(30 paintings in 30 days project)
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2011  

sold


The storm is breaking up at day's end, the setting sun is glowing through the parting clouds and, although the wind has died and the whitecaps are gone, the water is still very choppy. 

The title again comes from an Elton John song. It is part of a line from "Your Song" which is one of my favorites. My cousin used it as her wedding song when she married her husband about 20 years ago. Now that I have my two boys I always think of them, and yes, get teary, when I hear the line "I hope you don't mind that I put down in words, how wonderful life is while you're in the world". At the concert last night Sir Elton told me (and about 14000 others) that the album he has out right now will be his last. He is not doing another one. The world has been lucky to have been given the gift of the music he and Bernie Taupin created together.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Show Time

#30 - Show Time
(30 paintings in 30 days project)
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2011  

sold

This is it... painting number 30! The project is done. And I am both very tired and very energized! The title of this painting refers to the show of colours that you can find in the grasslands and sky in the Fall, but of course it also refers to that fact that now it actually is show time! Tomorrow morning I will be setting up at the first FFFH Spring Art Show and Sale with nine other local artists. I will have the full series of 30 paintings displayed as well as some larger work. If you are in Saskatoon and have time to stop by, please come and say hello. The show runs from 12:00- 5:00. A bit of exciting news... 7 paintings have pre-sold!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Prairie Love

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

sold

I had to go back to the grasslands... I felt like there was some unfinished business. In my art I have always been attracted to the Boreal forest and the wonder of the trees, mosses and fungus in that landscape (and still am), but I was born and raised on the prairies and it is deeply rooted in my blood. It has been so fun to discover a new palette and new subjects through these small paintings. I can hardly wait to try them at a larger scale.
I see an area I need to fix before Sunday's show... the dark solid patch in the middle on the left hand side might need to be broken up a bit.

Thanks to all who have "liked" me on Facebook! I am very excited to have your support!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Under The Canopy - Forestry Farm

#28 - Under The Canopy - Forestry Farm
(30 paintings in 30 days project)
 6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2011  

(revised)

Today was the first day in this project that I really hit a wall. I did not know what to paint even though I had plenty of options. Sammy spurred me on to use a photo I took from the Forestry Farm, so with that boost I got to work. To capture the light from under the canopy of the trees I decided to channel my inner Edward B. Gordon. Turns out I don't have one. Nuts! I love how he catches that bright, intense light. I think he often starts with a board that is gessoed black as opposed to white. As I worked I thought that would have been a good idea. Today was his daily painting #1634. Unbe-freakin'-lievable!!!! 

As I stare at this on the screen I see some areas that could use a good tweakin', but first I have a seven year old to read with!

*note- I did make some changes and I am happier with it now.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Grasslands in October

#27 - Grasslands in October
(30 paintings in 30 days project)
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2011  

sold

This one is all about the grass; the silver Wolf Willow moves to supporting role in the horizon. I had lots of fun with the movement and patterns again. I'm feeling pretty excited about how the last four paintings have turned out- they look really great together.

As a side note, I took the kids to the Forestry Farm Park and Zoo this afternoon. It was sunny, but luckily cool so many of the animals were out. Both boys like animals, but Tommy, in particular, is a huge fan. He cracked me up because the two Grizzlies bored him completely, but the wild squirrels had him giddy with excitement! I took some photos of the blossoming trees and duck ponds (there were tons of baby Canada Geese- too cute), so I may use them for the last few paintings in this project.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Wolf Willow

#26 - Wolf Willow
(30 paintings in 30 days project)
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2011  

sold

This painting was so fun. Through my brushstrokes I really wanted to try to express the different directions of the grasses and wild growth. Van Gogh was in the back of my mind while I painted because of this small goal. I admire that he was a master at making strong, bold marks with his brush. I am under no illusions that this painting is comparable to his work, but it was fun trying to paint the grass with that expressive excitement.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Siver Fields of Wolf Willow

#25 - Silver Fields of Wolf Willow
(30 paintings in 30 days project)
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2011  

sold

I'm loving these colours together. I still want to do at least one more painting from these prairie grassland photos. I only have 5 more paintings left to do in this project which is hard to believe. I am feeling the pressure of a grand finale for painting number 30... pressure I am putting on myself. Silly. And I am really hoping the paintings I do this week will be dry enough to transport to the art show on Sunday.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Wolf Willow Field in October


Prairie Grasslands- Wolf Willow Field in October
(30 paintings in 30 days project)
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2011  

sold

This is from another photo reference I have been meaning to use, but never gotten around to. I took several photos while on a school field trip with my son in fall 2009 to protected grasslands right within our city. This area is actually very close to the Forestry Farm where I will be taking all of these paintings next Sunday for the first "Friends of The Forestry Farm House" art show and sale. Wolf Willow is very spectacular in it's subtlety. It has silver/gray leaves that look pale green, blue or lavender depending which way the light is hitting and which side of the leaf is showing most. In this particular photo reference there were masses of wolf willow in the distance giving an overall silver effect to the field. I wish I could remember what the rusty coloured bushes were called. Anyway, Mother Nature hit a home run with the combination of colours found in those grasslands.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Flat Bottoms

#23 - Flat Bottoms
(30 paintings in 30 days)
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2011  

sold

As I was driving home after getting a load of groceries, the sky was filled with what I think of as flat bottomed clouds. I'm sure there is a more scientific name for them, and a Google search would probably help me discover what that is, but I can't be bothered! I came home and decided to use my memory of these clouds to create my painting for today. I wanted the overall effect to be very soft and calm with pale, grayed down colours. I used a few of my Gamblin "Radiant" colours which have a beautiful glow about them.

Much to my delight, the boys wanted to paint with me today! They gave me permission to show you their artwork because they are very proud of their accomplishments...

 The Monkey That Swung on the Vine
6 x 6"
water colour on board
Tommy Ault
age 7

Pikachu
6 x 6"
water color on board
Sammy Ault
age 9

I gave them each a little board like I have been painting on for this "30 paintings in 30 days project", so I think they felt very official! And to make it even more official they titled and signed their work. It makes my heart melt. Sammy even brought his stuffed animal out to look at as he worked. It was his "resource".

Friday, May 20, 2011

Drama at the Dugout

#22 - Drama at the Dugout
(30 paintings in 30 days project)
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2011
sold  

The green strip in front of the trees is actually some sort of algae on the surface of the water. I always think it looks like pea soup.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Night Glow

#21 - Night Glow, Waskesiu
(30 paintings in 30 days)
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2011
sold  


This was painted on a solid Cadmium Red ground. I wanted the red to show through in little hits of colour as well as give some of the blues a purple tinge. I've got to say, this one is quite striking in person; very dramatic. It is from a photo I took awhile ago and always felt drawn to, but never quite knew how to approach. As I stared at it today I realized it made me think of how the moon looks over the lake when it is glowing through thin clouds and creating a reflection on the rippling water. The photo was actually of a distant storm late in the afternoon, so go with me on this one! The moon is where my mind was as I painted it and that is what I see when I look at it. Join me in my dream, won't you?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

To Places Unknown

#20 - To Places Unknown
(30 paintings in 30 days project)
 6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2011 
sold

This painting may look familiar. I used the same reference photo for "Low Spots", and I wanted to try it again with a few changes. I included the trees on the right hand side and added subtle hints of a bit more colour (there is a pale lavender in the road and in the grass). I also added some wispy clouds. I wanted to play with some of these ideas because the larger painting I am doing (based on "Field of Blues") has lost something in the translation to a bigger scale. Now I have a few ideas that may help it along.

The main reason I wanted to do another prairie scene is because this past Saturday I received the kindest email /letter from an old elementary school friend who had found my work online. The way he talked about his reaction to my art was exactly what any artist would want. It made my day. Anyway, he said he loved "Unexpected" and "Low Spots" and that they made him think about driving his motorcycle into the Saskatchewan countryside "to places unknown". And from that a new painting was born with a title all ready to go!

On a side note, my husband and I went to see Shaun Majumder tonight.... H-I-L-A-R-I-O-U-S! Go see him if he hits your Canadian city.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Duck Pond Reflection

#19 - Duck Pond Reflection
(30 paintings in 30 days project)
6 x 6"
acrylic on board
© Nicki Ault, 2011
sold

This painting took waaaaay too long today. I am out of practice with my acrylics! They seemed very slippery on the board, and dull. I ended up glazing many layers which helped to create some depth. It was a rainy day, so no plein air for me. Instead I used a favorite photo from several years ago. It is of the duck pond at the Saskatoon Forestry Farm in October. The colours were spectacular in the reflection. I had to wait patiently for the ducks and swans to swim by so I could get the photo I wanted. You can see two other paintings I created using this photo here and here. In the next week and a half I would love to get out to the Forestry Farm to paint. The show and sale I am going to be part of is taking place on the park grounds, so I was thinking it could be neat to have some paintings from those surroundings. Our local Sunday paper had a write up about the show and sale this past weekend, so I am crossing my fingers that people have put it on their calendars. I also discovered that I am listed as one of the ten participating artists on the Friends of the Forestry Farm House website. Check it out here.

Thanks for your encouraging comments on this "daily painting project"- it's been a real eye opening experience and I am so impressed by those of you who have made it a permanent part of your lifestyle. Only eleven more left! And thank you KJ for coffee tonight and for your never-ending excitement and support of my art!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Overwhelmed

#18 - Overwhelmed
(30 paintings in 30 days project)
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2011 

sold

I feel a bit like this little pine tree- overwhelmed. My saving grace has been painting everyday. It has been a great surprise that this little project is far from being yet another thing I need to get through in a day, but has actually become the thing I look forward to as I muscle through everything else.

I had hoped to paint outside today, but it was incredibly windy. I used a photo from yesterday's excursion instead. Finding subjects everyday is definitely a bit of a challenge. Another reason to admire the die hard Daily Painters.

Swift River (revised)

#17 - Swift River
revised
(30 paintings in 30 days project)
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2011 

It wasn't just the photo that bothered me with yesterday's painting- I really wasn't happy with the painting either. I tweaked it today and I am more satisfied with it now. There was just too much going on before. I took out the water-logged bush and boosted the colour in the water among other things. I can live with it now.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Swift River

#17 - Swift River
(30 paintings in 30 days project)
6 x 6"
oil on board

Well, they can't all be winners. I'll get a better photo tomorrow- the colour is off on this one. I decided to post it, however, because I am excited... not necessarily about the painting, but about the experience. I went out to paint by the river at about 4:30 this afternoon. This was my first en plein air excursion of 2011! When I got to the riverbank I realized just how high and how fast the river is right now.


What used to be the river's edge is now flooded and water is swirling around the little trees and bushes. The sound of the water was amazing as it rushed by- what a treat to listen to as I painted.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Dugout

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

Here is today's effort. I am pleased with it. I like how crisp the reflection in the dugout looks. I was completely relaxed while painting it tonight and felt very calm despite my fatigue and scratchy throat. I used a new colour that I got recently with a Michael's coupon- Cobalt Turquoise. Mmmmm. I'm not sure there is anything in the material world that makes me more happy than art supplies.

Worlds Away

Worlds Away
(30 paintings in 30 days project)
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2011 

sold

The first painting I did yesterday was a complete wiper!!! Big time. It stunk. I regrouped and did this one later at night, but was unable to get a photo, so here it is today. I painted it using a resource photo I took a few years ago on Mother's Day when I went for a walk along the river with my family. I painted a larger piece from the same photo which you can see here. It is basically that time of year right now and so the riverbank looks just as the photo does. Everything is kind of gray and muted, but a bit of green is beginning to show. What I love are the bushes or trees that have the most gorgeous red/purple branches, so even against nature's neutral palette are these stripes of beautiful colour. I'm not sure what they are- dogwoods maybe?

Anyway, my precious little 7 year old tried to make me feel better by saying that the first stinky painting was really good and one of his favorites. He couldn't convince me enough to make me think I should post it though!

Friday, May 13, 2011

See The Way I Feel

#14 - See The Way I Feel
(30 paintings in 30 days project)
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2011 
sold

The behind the scenes operation of Blogger was down yesterday, so I was unable to post this painting. Hopefully I will get today's painting posted later tonight.

Blogger was down... and so was I. I've been sick three times within a month so I am not sure what is going on, but I am going full tilt on the vitamins at this point. The best I felt yesterday was when I was painting. I decided to look for my Elton John CD to listen to as inspiration, but couldn't find it... which leads me to believe that what I actually had was a cassette tape! Ha! Anyway, in my search I found an old Genesis CD and an old Peter Gabriel CD, so the mood was sufficiently set for my painting session. The Elton John concert is still ringing in my mind, though, so I named this piece using lyrics from "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me". Mmmmm, love that song.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Don't Wish It Away

#12 - Don't Wish It Away
(30 paintings in 30 days)
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2011 

Did I mention I was in the mood for wild clouds and skies?

I had a feeling I should get my "daily painting" done this morning, which I did, and sure enough at lunchtime when I brought the kids home from school there was a message from a dear friend needing to know what I was doing tonight. I called her back and got the most wonderful invitation to go with her and two other friends to the Elton John concert!!!! Woo hoooooooooo!!! Luckily the painting was done, so the afternoon could be spent the way it needed to be in preparation of seeing Sir Elton... shaving my legs!!! I'm pretty sure he waved right at me when he came to our side of the stage. And he definitely sang "Nikita" for me! Ha!

Anyway, the name of today's painting had to be changed in honour of my concert experience. The words "don't wish it away" come from one of my favorite Elton John songs, "I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues". Sigh. I haven't been to a concert for ages and had forgotten how much I love that moment when a new song is beginning and it just takes a few chords to realize what it is going to be and then you can't help but screech because you are so excited to hear it. That happened to me a few times tonight... "Rocket Man", "Daniel", "Crocodile Rock", "Bennie and the Jets", "Your Song", "Levon", "Candle In The Wind", "Sad Songs Say So Much". Hmmm, I guess that happened to me a lot tonight!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Living Sky

#11 - Living Sky
(30 paintings in 30 days project)
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2011 

sold


This was so fun. I love the power in this sky and the complimentary colours of yellow with dark purples. This is the time of year that we have some great skies in Saskatchewan. The phrase on our license plates is "Land of the Living Skies" and so the painting was named.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

As The Night Comes

#10 - As The Night Comes
(30 paintings in 30 days project)
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2011
  
*Update 09/15/11: this painting has been reworked 
and no longer exists as you see it here! 

I felt like switching it up a bit. I'm in the mood for some wild clouds and skies. Actually this little painting should have been called "White Wine Wonderment"! He he! Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

At Water's Edge

#9 - At Water's Edge
(30 paintings in 30 days project)
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2011 
private collection

I am thoroughly enjoying myself with this painting a day business. My mood is brighter, my step is lighter, I feel more ... me!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Daydreams and Decisions

#8 - Daydreams and Decisions
(30 paintings in 30 days project)
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2011 
sold

This is the second painting I painted yesterday. I was so excited about the first one I had to keep working. I'm really happy with this one too, so yesterday was a good day. This little series has been fun and I've used colours that have not ever really been part of my palette before. I did paint today, so for now I am going to be one painting ahead of what I am actually posting. I could put two up at once, but now if I have a day where I can't get a good photo I will have a painting on standby. I don't like showing photos that are not a good representation of the work, so now the pressure is off.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Patchwork Prairie

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

After yesterday's painting, "Patchwork Sky" I started thinking about shapes and patterns and how, really, there is nothing more conducive to the patchwork theme than the landscape of the prairies. I decided to play around with that idea for today's painting... and I love the result if I do say so myself! I am extremely happy with this piece. I was actually so excited by the way this went that I did another painting right after! I didn't want to lose the vibe! I'll show it to you tomorrow... this raises another question... how do Daily Painters handle a small backlog? I still plan to paint tomorrow. Hmmm. Maybe I should be showing both paintings today. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Patchwork Sky

#6 - Patchwork Sky
(30 paintings in 30 days project)
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2011
private collection

Paintings 2 through 6 have all been done using the resource photos I took on a spontaneous drive out of town at dusk. The sun was beginning to set and the clouds in the west were glowing with these gorgeous reflected colours. I've been using the little screen on my digital camera to work from and it has allowed me to be a bit more loose and not so hung up on details. While working on this one I kept thinking about the patchwork nature of the colours; quite abstract and collage-like in my mind.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Soft Spring Day

#5 - Soft Spring Day
(30 paintings in 30 days project)
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2011
sold

I began this painting after 9:00 this evening, so my dilemma continues on how to get a good indoor photo. I will get a better one outside tomorrow. I find myself wishing for an overcast day! The main thing is I got a painting done and the project is well underway... I'm 1/6th of the way there.

* update: This is a better photo now... I did get the overcast sky I wished for this morning.... and rain! Sorry Saskatoon!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Glory at the City Limits

#4 - Glory at the City Limits- revised
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2011
sold 

 (30 painting in 30 days project - original)

Four days into this project and I am finding it interesting how I have managed to squeeze painting into my day, whereas before I really thought I had no time. Nothing has changed except that I have simply made the time (she says as a light bulb flashes over her head!). 

I have always taken photos of my work soon after completion and usually outdoors on the soonest overcast day. I've had very good results and rarely feel the need to do much more than crop and sometimes sharpen the image. The colour is usually so close that I rarely feel the need to tweak. With this project I want to paint and post everyday, but the photos have been tricky to get; it has been very sunny and a couple of times I have painted later in the day and then can't get a good outdoor photo. Intriguing dilemma. What do the hard core Daily Painters do, I wonder? Maybe they have a set-up with proper lighting and diffusers, etc. Or maybe they paint early in the morning and then have more of a chance to grab the right light outside when it occurs. Hmmm. At any rate, there was a decent overcast sky when I finished today's painting, so I grabbed #2 and #3 and took better photos. What a difference! They are way more true to life now... and I have switched out the images so my blog posts now reflect the best versions of the paintings.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

End of Day Wetlands

#3 -End of Day Wetlands
(30 paintings in 30 days project)
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2011
sold

We were all very tired today, but the first sleepover party was a hit and all the kids were really good. The remainder of the day was definitely a jammie day and right now bed is looking really good! I managed to squeeze in a late afternoon painting session and got this little baby done. I'm using photos I took earlier this month when I was out doing errands after supper. The light was gorgeous- the sun was setting and the clouds in the east were glowing with oranges, lavenders and pinks. Next thing I knew I was heading out of town to take some photos. The ditches, dugouts and low fields were filled with runoff from melted snow and were showcasing the colours of the sky. It was breathtaking.