July - September, 2018: A selection of my artwork is now available for the summer season at Evrgreen, a charming coffee shop in the townsite of Waskesiu in Prince Albert National Park!

Representation: I am honoured to have my work represented by these well-respected professional galleries:
Darrell Bell Gallery located in the Canada Building in downtown Saskatoon
Assiniboia Gallery in Regina, 2266 Smith Street- a vibrant, bustling part of town.

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, October 2, 2011

Silverspring Grasslands at Auction

Silverspring Grasslands
24 x 24"
oil on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2011  

I am going to type this very quietly; let's just say I have a bit of a headache today. The following story will explain.

At the end of August I received a letter from the Director of the Kenderdine Campus inviting me to submit two paintings for the first annual "Artist and Athlete Invitational Art Auction". The money raised from the auction would be split between the U of S Huskies and the Kenderdine Campus and because it was "artist friendly" the artist would be able to keep a percentage of the sale. I was thrilled to be asked because they were trying to assemble a group of high profile, well known artists (Darrell Bell, Terry Fenton, Nancy Lowry, Degen Lindner, Grant McConnell, Lorenzo Dupuis, Greg Hardy) as well as bring in a few newer names, so clearly I was thrilled to be associated with these accomplished people. I was also really excited to be able to potentially help raise some money for my beloved Campus. I donated the above painting as well as one of my recent favorites, "Deer Trail Through Wolf Willow".

 Deer Trail Through Wolf Willow
24 x 24"
oil on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2011  

The auction was last night and they wanted the artists to be in attendance if possible so I made plans to go with a girlfriend, who is a huge supporter of my work. We had so much fun and I had just a smidge too much white wine. Ouch. The event was held at the new Huskie clubhouse which is a fantastic facility at Potash Corp Park (AKA Griffith Stadium). I was really impressed with the whole thing and the best part was the Huskie football players helped with the event. Two were at the gates directing guests to the clubhouse, three were at the building entrance welcoming us and taking info for bidding cards, a couple of football players were giving tours of the locker room, and best of all there were players by the paintings in the viewing area providing guests with information on the artists. The auction itself took place upstairs in a beautiful room overlooking the field which they had fully lit to great effect. Way too much fun.

Here is what was not fun... my piece "Deer Trail Through Wolf Willow" was first up to bid! Ack! Not a good position because there was no energy and excitement established at that very early stage, nor was there any precedent set for where bids were going. As soon as they began introducing my piece I left my date and bolted. I went and sat down the hall in the stairwell. I could hear things get underway, and I could hear the bids begin, but unfortunately I could also hear that they didn't meet the reserve I had set. My painting was whisked away (I saw it go by) and the auction continued. The next few pieces began to go (I could hear the claps), then another didn't meet the reserve, and then more went and then # 11 (out of 29 paintings) came up for bid which was my painting "Silverspring Grasslands". I drank my wine and held my breath... bidding went better on this one and then I heard clapping! Sigh of relief... it was sold! Whew! I gathered my nerves and quickly went in to join my friend in the audience. I thoroughly enjoyed the auction and watching the process. It was really exciting and some of the pieces brought in great numbers. With about 4 paintings left before the auction was done I got a tap on the shoulder from one of the organizers. He wanted to know if I would be okay if they brought my painting back to try again right before the very last piece. I whispered "Yeah, just do it!" I was feeling quite warm and fuzzy at this point, not much of a care in the world you might say, so I stayed put and braced myself against my friend crossing my fingers that we would not hear crickets! Well, the bidding price began where it left off and it was quickly met. Soon the bids increased to reach my reserve, then they kept going... and going... and going! It was soooo thrilling. When the bidding was finally over and the painting was sold I let out a big "Woohoooooo!" People were laughing and clapping! It was crazy! I sincerely hope my enthusiastic outburst was seen for what it was, relief and excitement. I really hope it was not perceived as obnoxious and rude; my friend assured me on the way home that it was cute and that it put a big smile on many faces. I really hope they invite me back again next year.

My journey continues and let me tell you, there is never a dull moment. And I am grateful for that.


Anonymous said...

what a great story Nicki...and congratulations:)

Pierre Raby said...

Wow Nicki, you're a born story-teller!
I agree with Rahina, a great story.
I'm happy for you and must add that these 2 paintings are just wonderful and unique with their "tapestry" qualities. Great pieces of art from a highly generous & natural artist.

Nicki said...

Thank you Rahina, glad you enjoyed my tale and that it had a happy ending!


Many thanks Pierre! I appreciate that. My sister is the writer (published) in the family, but I do enjoy it and can call her with the odd question when I want to be especially accurate with my grammar. :o)

I admire your work immensely and it means a great deal to me that you find my work worthy of comment. I like the word "tapestry" as a descriptor for these pieces.

All the best to you,

Barbara M. said...

Hi Nicki,

What a roller-coaster ride that evening was. You are a brave one to sit it out. And isn't it great that it all worked out so wonderfully!

The paintings are beautiful, and the new owners are lucky indeed to have them.

XO Barbara

Nicki said...

Barbara, it was quite the night! One to remember, that is for sure. I hope the new owners enjoy the paintings for many years to come.


-Don said...

Thanks for telling this story the way you did. I agree with everyone else, you're a good story teller. Congrats on the success of the selling of your works. You had every right to be giddy and overcome by emotion. I'll bet it was, as your friend put it, "cute".

Now, go nurse your boo-boo head.


Nicki said...

Thanks, Don. I do enjoy hearing a good story and if I have one to tell, all the better!

I'm just going to think of my whoop as cute because it's easier that way! And my head is feeling much better now... a solid three hour nap on Sunday helped.


Kim said...

I could feel your nerves!! Pain and then GLORY!! ; ) I loved your story and those 2 pieces are seriously great. You are prairie grasslands ruler!!! And glad your head is better ; )

Nicki said...

Thanks Kim, it was quite a night. I've been thoroughly enjoying the grasslands and I'm thrilled if it shows in the work. My head feels like it is back to it's normal size now. ;o)