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.

July - October, 2017: A small selection of my work,
courtesy of Darrell Bell Gallery, is available at Boffins restaurant (111 Research Drive, U of S campus).

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, July 31, 2011

Prairie Work In Progress

Deer Trail Through Wolf Willow
(in progress)
24 x 24" 
© Nicki Ault, 2011  

I am beginning a series of work based on some of the small prairie scenes I did in my "30 Paintings in 30 Days" project. This is the start of one. I don't usually do progress shots of my paintings, partly because I never think to take pictures as I go along and partly because I'm not sure my process/progress is that interesting. Anyhoo, I did take a few pictures as this prairie scene went along. At this first stage I am using acrylics to sort out the placement of things and to get the canvas covered with colour so no white peeks out later when I begin using oils. Really it's an underpainting of sorts.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Somewhere In My Dreams

Somewhere In My Dreams
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2011  

sold

I painted at the studio last Friday night. I was the only one there so I put on some music, loudly, and this is what I ended up with. I decided to try one of the recent challenges posted on Daily Paintworks (but I didn't submit it) which was to get inspiration from a song and paint your feelings. I used a photo I took awhile ago and then used the song "Chances Are" by Bob Seger as my inspiration. I have two versions of that song and I just played it over and over and over while I painted. One version is from the "Hope Floats" soundtrack and it is Bob Seger and Martina McBride singing. The other version is actually from an Ally McBeal (remember that show?!) soundtrack and it features Robert Downey Jr. (swoon) and Vonda Shephard singing. I love the lyrics, the power of the song and the softness of the song. I love how it is beautiful and so sad, too. Here is a link to the video.

I am extremely happy with this painting. I actually really do think it expresses how I feel when I listen to this song. I always well up with tears and the so the slight suggestion of rain by the wispy cloud bottoms references that. The power of the song is up in the darker, more active, stormy clouds. The gentle, more tender side of the song is suggested in the clearer sky, the calmer colours and the smoother brushstrokes near the horizon.

I hope you enjoy looking at this painting.

Monday, July 25, 2011

I've Been Tagged

Well this is fun! My pal, talented artist Suzanne Berry, has tagged me! Let the games begin...

A blog called TripBase (a travel blog) began the "My 7 Links" project with the goal of uniting "bloggers (from all sectors) in a joint endeavor to share lessons learned and create a bank of long but not forgotten blog posts that deserve to see the light of day again."


To participate I need to link to seven of my previous posts based on the following categories:

- Your most beautiful post
– Your most popular post
– Your most controversial post
– Your most helpful post
– A post whose success surprised you
– A post you feel didn’t get the attention it deserved
– The post that you are most proud of

Basically this is an opportunity to dig these posts out of the archives and allow them to be revisited. So here goes!


My most beautiful post....

 The North Side

Although this is the painting that went with the post, I chose it as the most beautiful not because of the painting but because of the words. It's about my mom. Please follow this link to read what I had to say. 


My most popular post...

You Can Go Back

I wasn't sure whether I should judge "popularity" based on comments or blogger stats, but this one got quite a few comments and is by far the most viewed post in my repertoire. It blows all the others out of the water! The post was called "A Full Day" and the above is the painting I posted with my story. Here is the link. And here is the link to the backstory of that link! (Feel free to have a chuckle at my expense!).


My most controversial post...

 Fire In The Belly

I'm not really about controversy on this blog and this post wasn't controversial in itself, but it raised a debate in my own mind that I shared in this post


My most helpful post...

30 Paintings in 30 Days Project
FFFH Art Show and Sale

I think this post on how to make a portable display wall could have been my most helpful.


The post whose success surprised me... 

 Waskesiu River

This was from the very early days of blogging and I was thrilled to get the support for this little painting (7 x 7") and the story, which you can see/read here.


The post that didn't get the attention it deserved...

Hmmm, how to choose? I have had a few posts that have only received attention from crickets! ;o)  I'm just going to go with an early post when I hadn't yet been discovered by any other bloggers and therefore didn't get much attention. This post explains my blog title "Nicki Ault: Me, Myself And Who Am I?" Here is the link


The post I am most proud of...

In My Aura

Hands down this is it. I am proud of the painting and that it was accepted to the International Women Celebrate! project. I am proud that it was posted on a U.K. website. I am proud that the experience stretched my skills, gave me more understanding of my family history, and pushed me to face some fears. I am proud of the amazing women and artists I collaborated with and met at the artist's weekend in Ayr, Ontario.


Thanks Suzanne, that was fun. A little trip down memory lane is good for the soul. I am going to tag:

Barbara Muir Paints

all images, © Nicki Ault

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Fresh Air

Fresh Air
6 x 6"
oil on board
 © Nicki Ault, 2011 

I did this at the studio the other day when it was rainy and the kids were at their day camps. I used a photo I took a couple of years ago. I really liked how the clouds were heavy at the horizon and breaking up into the sky. The greens of the field and the blues in the sky feel like a fresh air day to me.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Soil Sample

Soil Sample
6 x 6"
oil on board
(after) 
© Nicki Ault, 2011  

This is the last of the Adirondack chair paintings from the three days I spent at Emma Lake. The class was done on Sunday morning and after lunch people packed up and headed for home. I decided to stay and paint because it was such a beautiful afternoon. This one is not a favorite, but as I have said before, they can't all be winners. I also dropped it face down on the ground when I tried to move the chair back into the shade. That is where the name comes from... there are actually little bits of dirt, sand and plant material stuck in the paint. I worked on this one a bit more in the studio because the original just seemed plain lame. Here is what it looked like before I tweaked it:
 (before)
Now that I am looking at them again I am beginning to like the first version! Well, I shouldn't say "like", because I don't like either, but I don't hate it as much as I thought I did. And this is my favorite section of the after version (or should I say least hated section):

Anyhoo...
To compensate you for the time you took to look at my mediocre painting I will share recommendations for two very different creative endeavors that went much better than mine...
Tonight I went to a movie with my sister. I didn't really know anything about it, but she had heard it was funny. And it was. In fact it is was side-splitting, can't breathe, tears-running-down-my-cheeks funny. Do yourself a favour, go see Bridesmaids and enjoy the scene where Maya Rudolph is saying "It's happening!"

On a more serious note, if you are in need of a good book you should pick up "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett. I brought it to read at Emma Lake. I hadn't heard of it before and I don't know why I picked it out of all the choices at the bookstore, but I am so glad I did. It was excellent. And I just found out it has been made into a movie.

I have some larger work to share with you soon based on some from my "30 paintings in 30 days" project, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sketchbook Sketch

Margot- Sketchbook Sketch
vine charcoal
© Nicki Ault, 2011  

This is the last drawing I have to share from my two day class. On the last evening the model offered to pose for an hour of her own time. She had fulfilled the obligations of her contract, but wanted to continue for anyone still wanting to draw! She was a good egg! I decided to do a quick portrait... well, only after I ditched my first effort which was a foot study. I had to crop this one because I really misjudged the placement of her head on the paper.

I'm no Barbara Muir, Suzanne Berry or Rahina Q. yet, but I'm not giving up and I'll get there someday! Thank you for watching me on my journey.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Ending

Ending
6 x 6"
oil on board
sold

Another end-of-day sky painted while sitting in an Adirondack chair in the evening after my drawing class at Emma Lake

I've been thinking of endings a lot lately. There are endings everywhere a person turns, but what I am trying to keep my focus on is that with every ending there is a new beginning. In the case of these skies, for example, there was something unique and beautiful with each one and I enjoyed sitting beneath them so much that I really didn't want the moment to end. Of course wishing for time to stand still didn't make it happen. I am aware now that if my wish originally came true there would only be one sky painting rather than four. So, as sad as endings are one must remember that there is hope in the light of a new day.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Margot- A Sketch

Margot
pencil sketch
© Nicki Ault, 2011  

Nearing the end of the first day of class I did this pencil portrait of our model, Margot. I didn't have time to finish or refine it, but the point was really to be practicing and getting the feel of drawing again. The cobwebs are slow to come off after 11 years!

On a completely different note... it is so humid here! What is up? I am in the middle of the prairies with no significant large body of water anywhere to be found and yet the air honestly feels like the tropics. My skin is lovin' it, my curls/frizz... not so much!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Whisper Goodbye

Whisper Goodbye
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2011
sold

Another Adirondack chair plein air painting from the second evening at the Emma Lake Kenderdine Campus. Drawing all day, painting at night... doesn't get much better.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Quiet Reflection

Quiet Reflection
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2011  

sold

I did this little plein air painting after supper on the first night at Emma Lake. Again I went down to the beach to paint. The sky was beautiful as the sun was going down. It was calm and peaceful and I could feel myself moving to that place of quiet reflection.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Sitting Pose

Sitting Pose
graphite on paper
© Nicki Ault, 2011  

The model we had for the drawing class was a pro. Her gesture poses for the warm-ups were excellent and her longer poses were well thought out and interesting. She could hold a pose like no other (even with the mosquitoes!)... until this one. Bless her heart, she actually fell asleep! She kept sinking lower and lower until her chest was more caved in and the arm propped on the back of the chair was at a very different angle than when we began. 

I like areas of this one; I like her right leg and the overall gesture of her seated position. I think you get a real sense of the way her body weight is distributed in this pose. However, I do feel a bit bad about the man-hand I gave her! She really did have the most graceful and beautiful hands, but you would never know it by the big honkin' mitt I put on her! It's like a paw!!!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Standing Pose

standing pose
vine charcoal 
© Nicki Ault, 2011  

This is possibly my favorite drawing from my class at Emma Lake. It is obviously not finished, and something is not quite right from the belly button up, but I don't care! How's that!? I still feel really happy with how this one went. I love it from the belly button down. I wish I could remember what the time limit was, but I don't. Thirty minutes comes to mind.

 Cabin #11
a little piece of heaven

Did I mention how much I loved my little cabin? I had it all to myself and although I wouldn't want to be away from my family permanently, it was a glorious respite from never ending Lego pieces, Bey Blades and Pokemon card debris!!!

Friday, July 8, 2011

More Sketches

more sketches done with new info
© Nicki Ault, 2011  

Here are a few more sketches from my drawing class. With this exercise the instructor, Wes Schafer, suggested that we use line to help describe the contours of the body as opposed to relying solely on value. This was a new concept again and I had trouble getting the hang of it... it is way too easy to slip into my usual way of doing things. I'm quite happy with the drawing on the top left.

© Nicki Ault, 2011 

This is a detail of that drawing to show the lines used to suggest the roundness of the leg and arm and the gentle curve of the belly.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Alone With The Sky


Alone With The Sky
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2011
sold   

After I settled in to my sweet little cabin at the Kenderdine Campus last week I enjoyed an Adirondack chair and some plein air painting down at the beach. Really I couldn't wait to get going, the sounds and smells of the outdoors were calling me and my brush! I had returned to the place where I could let my breath out, step away from it all and feel what it is like to just be me.

 in the distance you can see the chair 
where I sat to paint this sky
© Nicki Ault, 2011  

I watched the sky. I painted it. And I felt alone, but in a good way.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I'm Rusty

 
quick studies
© Nicki Ault, 2011  

One of the exercises we did on the first day of class (after gesture studies to loosen up) was draw poses focusing on shapes and masses, not so much on line. This was a stretch for me because normally I would instinctively begin drawing the outline and then shade afterward. The top two are ten minute studies, one in pencil the other in vine charcoal, and the bottom one was a 15 minute study in vine charcoal. At this point I am definitely feeling rusty and like there are cobwebs blowing around in my head!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Gesture at Emma

© Nicki Ault, 2011 

I am back from the Kenderdine Campus and wish the drawing class I took was longer! It was all day Friday and Saturday with a bit of a recap on Sunday morning. I was extremely rusty, but loosened up a bit by the second day. If I hope to improve I am going to have to make more of an effort to draw more than a few times a decade. Anyway, I will share some of my work with you despite the fact that I am not overly thrilled or fired up about it. Above is a fast gesture drawing and I am happy with the marks; I even like the look of the adjustments I made (i.e. changed the position of the right arm and dropped the right foot down). The instructor, Wes Schafer, was really good and offered a different spin on things. It was his first time teaching and he did a great job. I'd like to learn more from him someday.

My little cabin
Home Away From Home




To me this campus is magical... when I am there I feel the history, I love the setting, I feel like I am part of nature in a really grounded way, I learn and grow and I have art talks that make me happy, happy, happy.