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.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Autumn Dance

Autumn Dance
30 x30"
oil on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2011 

I began this one last November and then life got crazy so it was put away. I pulled it out in January and spent more time working on it. It's almost done- in fact I thought it was, but now that I see it on the computer screen there may be a few spots I want to tweak. I wanted to paint this old tree with a lot of expression. I wanted it to look like it was dancing; celebrating really. The tree I used as reference is on my street. We live in a very old part of town- my house will be 100 in a few years- so the trees lining the street are old and glorious. This particular tree is huge, the bark is old and weathered and deeply grooved. This tree has seen a lot in it's day. There was another larger tree beside it on the other side of my neighbor's driveway. For some reason the City decided both trees were diseased and planned to remove them. They took the larger tree down... and it was perfectly fine. Despite this fact, they still wanted to take the other tree down. I think it all had more to do with liabilities and insurance- if anything ever happened in a storm and part of the tree came down it would do some damage. Anyway, a neighborhood protest saved the second tree and it remains on our street as a piece of history.

I had fun with a bit of photo cropping and found little paintings within the painting. Here are some detail shots:


As I look at this piece I don't think it has the feel of looking up the tree that I initially had hoped for. I'm trying to decide if I am okay with that or not. I think the lesson learned is that a rectangular canvas might help me better create that type of effect as I have done in the past with "Looking Up" and "Backlit Birch"



This is a photo I took of the remaining tree last year when I was shooting some reference pictures. My 6 year old son is showing the width of the trunk. Amazing. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

In The Forest

In The Forest
7 x 7 "
acrylic on canvas
private collection
(commission)
© Nicki Ault, 2011 

A painting very similar to this, "Peace and Quiet", sold last fall. I had it displayed at the Open Studio in November and one of the other artists wanted it, so after realizing it was already sold she asked me to paint something similar for her. She is a dear lady- 83, I think, and although I am not huge on repeating something I have already done, for her I had to say yes. The problem is I almost forgot! There was so much happening at the end of last year- the Open Studio, the show at Moka, the International Women Celebrate! project... and Christmas- that I simply agreed and then put it on the back-burner! Luckily during one of the few times I have been at the studio this year, I remembered and got the job done. The painting is approved and now it is heading off to the framer. Today Tommy (6) helped me name it.

In other news, I will begin working very soon on another much larger commission for a forest scene.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Moving Sky

Moving Sky
14 x 4"
2001
acrylic on 200 lb paper
© Nicki Ault, 2011 
sold

Whew, I've been sick! This last week was a complete write-off! I don't remember the last time I slept so much. I am now emerging from my NyQuil induced haze and I finally have some energy back. Today, with that energy came some early spring cleaning. My kitchen and it's lack of functionality has been making me mental lately- actually I've been feeling like that about my entire house. I seriously wish I could be on the show "Love It or List It" - I'm pretty sure that Hilary could get me to love my house again. Anyway, after a week of NyQuil daydreams about a better situation in the kitchen, I decided to use my new-found energy to start to make it happen! I purged, I recycled, I scrubbed, I compiled, I sorted.... and I chuckled... when I found a film canister of shark teeth at the back of a drawer. Life with little boys is never dull.
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Obviously I didn't make it to the studio this past week, so today's painting is coming out of the archives. I did this en plein air the second year I ever went to the Emma Lake Kenderdine Campus. I had to work fast on this one because the sky and clouds kept moving. It is owned by the son of a family I used to work for waaaaaay back when. He had a real appreciation for gray and how it is so not a boring "colour". When he chose the painting we had a conversation about how gray can actually be any colour. It's true- and so cool.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Stoic

Stoic
16 x 20"
oil on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2010 
private collection

Another painting I had hanging in my show at Moka. The day I put the show up I realized I had not taken a photo of beforehand, but that task is now done... so here it is! Below you can see how I had "Stoic" grouped with two other paintings in the coffee shop...


This table grouping is right across from the ordering counter and it is a prime location in the coffee shop. It looked quite striking when you walked in. The painting in the middle, "Across The Lake", sold! (to a dear friend who loves my paintings).

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Water Striders- Street Performance

Water Striders- Street Performance
40 x 30" 
acrylic on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2010

This painting was in my show at  Moka Coffee Bar which I just took down the other day. Unfortunately it was hung in the least desirable spot... a very dark wall with poor lighting. These colours really did not show at all. It was a painting I posted before and then decided to rework... unfortunately resulting in a very rigid, monochromatic, lifeless painting that I ultimately didn't like. About 2 days before hanging my paintings at Moka, I thought, "What the heck- I can't hate it more than I do now!" so I got the paints out, turned the music up and went for it. I threw in more colour, tossed in more movement and worked fast. I like it now, even more than the original painting that I probably never should have tampered with in the first place. But in the end I like this version the best, so it's all good.

Note: This is one of several paintings I have done from photo references I took two summers ago at Spruce River, P.A.N.P. It is one of my favorite spots to paint en plein air and it looks different everytime I visit. This particular time the surface of the water was covered in little water strider bugs skimming along the surface. The water looked alive with rings of movement making the reflection of the forest above dance. All of the paintings are named with the theme of dance in some way. You can see a few here, and here.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

In My Aura - update

 In My Aura
24x 24"
mixed media
© Nicki Ault, 2010 
sold

Just a quick update...

I did a live radio interview with the local CBC station on Thursday, Feb. 3 at about 4:10 p.m. regarding my painting and involvement with the International Women Celebrate! project. That same morning I taped an interview with Britainy Robinson for CBC TV and it aired on the news that evening. My nerves were shot by the end of the day, but I think it all went quite well.

After consulting with Jill from the IWC! project I went ahead and answered an email that somehow made it's way to my inbox. It was an invitation to make a submission to another website, International Women's Day Global Arts Initiative, based in the U.K., so I did! "In My Aura" was accepted! It is now posted on their website! Check it out here and click on it's image... the more views it gets the longer it could remain on the site!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Haze

Haze
10 x 10
oil on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2011 
sold

This is the third and final sky painting I did in the studio last week. It happens to be my favorite of the three. I'm lovin' how it turned out, if I do say so myself! And even though this is going to sound repetitious, I love the Cadmium Orange ground peeking through. I'm trying to picture it in my mind's eye if I had just worked on a white canvas. I think without those hits of orange it would be a bit dullsville.

And now for a teensy update... CBC TV is coming to interview me at the studio tomorrow! They are excited about the International Women's Day collaboration I am involved in and want to tape a story (is that the lingo?) before my work, "In My Aura", is sent to AyrSpace in Ontario. I may not sleep tonight! I have never done anything like this! Please, let me not have anything in my teeth.... and please, let me not have the twitching eye that has been driving me crazy lately!