Sunday, May 14 - Mother's Day Tea Show and Sale: taking place at Studio On 20th from 12-4p.m. Our studio will be open to the public on this afternoon to exhibit the most current work by artists Bridget Aitken, Nicki Ault, Kathy Bradshaw, Jan Corcoran, Ann Donald, Jane Harington, Miranda Jones, Brenda Kennedy, Karen Maguire, Amira Wasfy and Carol Wylie. We are located at 236A 20th Street Between Aves. B and C (door to the left of the Odd Couple restaurant).

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.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Midnight Blues

Midnight Blues
4.75 x 4.75"
oil on watercolour paper
© Nicki Ault, 2012

This is the last of the little paintings I did for the Ikea frames. Maybe I will find some takers on the weekend of Art Trek. This one was based one one of my recent daily paintings, A Dream Before Sleep. I like how it appears that the moonlight is illuminating the tops of the clouds.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Simple Life

A Simple Life
4.75 x 4.75"
oil on canvas paper
© Nicki Ault, 2012
sold

This is another painting I put in an Ikea frame... white frame with a white matte... and it looks sharp. I still have another to show you and then I will post the larger work that I created for (and sold at) the Family Tree show earlier this month. I really have to kick it into gear because Art Trek is in 10 days and I have not really got much in the way of larger work to show- mainly just my daily paintings. I planned to be at the studio all day today, but my son woke up sick and it looks like he has Strep throat. But once again, there is always a positive in each situation... after being at home all day (except for the jaunt to the doctor's office) my house is a bit cleaner than it was before!


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Layers of a Prairie Storm

Layers of a Prairie Storm
4.75 x 4.75"
oil on watercolour paper
© Nicki Ault, 2012


Late last week I painted 4 little landscapes (one won't see the light of day) to put in some awesome frames I picked up at Ikea two years ago. I thought they would be good to take to the show at the Forestry Farm. They actually look quite sharp all done up, but sadly the weather was quite miserable and therefore the park was not very busy. The good news is that now I have paintings for Art Trek on the weekend of June 8,9! There is always a positive in every situation! The buzz for our first annual Art Trek: Studio Discovery Tour is really building... lots of press coverage happening this week and the posters around town are getting noticed. I'm very excited! Here is a link to our Facebook page...


Head on over and hit that "Like" button! :)  And while you are there check out the albums of each participating studio.


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Art Show Eve and Some Tweaks



This is where I'll be tomorrow and I am getting excited! For those that are not familiar, the Forestry Farm Park is home to a beautiful picnic area with a fishing pond and a fantastic new playground. There are many trails to bike or walk, there is a small butterfly sanctuary and also beautiful (and I mean beautiful), peaceful Japanese-style garden. As if that wasn't enough, Saskatoon's zoo is located at the Forestry Farm and I hear there are two new little lion cubs this spring! It is a great way to spend several hours with family and friends.

The art show and sale is in the historical Superintendent's house; I will have my 30 daily paintings there with a few larger pieces. There will be eight other local artists besides me, one of whom is the spectacularly talented fibre artist Monika Kinner-Whalen.

I spent some time in the last couple of days tweaking four of the daily paintings that I was not 100% happy with- I knew exactly what I wanted to change...

   
The first one is the new version of #20- Good Night Sun. I added more branches, toned down that yellow background and added depth to it, and darkened some areas of the hill. (sold)



On the left is the revised version of #21- Waterlogged. The treeline bugged me- it looked like it was dropping off in an odd way on the left side, so I brought the trees up into the sky a bit more. 


The revision of #27- Loom is mostly in the colour of the water. I like the blue more than the green. I also tweaked the clouds a bit.


Finally, I thought the tree on the hill in #28- Unmade Beds and Buttercups was too dark and imposing, so I softened it and brought the Wolf Willow a bit higher. There were a few other small changes here and there throughout.

I'll post some pictures of my set-up at the art show tomorrow evening. My fingers are crossed for good weather.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Northern Curtain Call

#30- Northern Curtain Call
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2012
(30 paintings in 30 days - Project II)
sold
The last day of the project has arrived. As I sit here feeling quite proud of myself for doing 30 paintings in 30 days, I have to pause. Yes, some days it was a challenge not only to paint a little painting every day, but also take photos and blog about it, but compared to what some are doing it is peanuts! I say that because one of my favorite artists, Edward B. Gordon, is closing in on his 2000 daily painting. Today he posted #1988. Totally. Amazing. And I would say he pretty much nails it every time. I, on the other hand, have pumped out some duds between this project and the last one. :)

I took the reference photo for this painting last summer at Waskesiu Lake. It was probably about 9:00 at night and the half moon was glowing despite the fact that the sky was still quite bright. I took a little artistic license with the photo and I think the composition ended up working pretty well (I was worried it would have been better in a rectangular format).

At any rate, thank you so much for joining me over the last month to see what inspired me each day. I will be taking these paintings and a few others to an art show and sale on Sunday, May 27. Here is the poster for that event. I'd love to see you if you can come!





Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Thicket

#29- Thicket
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2012
(30 paintings in 30 days- Project II)
 sold

Since I am so close to the end of my project I kept changing my mind on what I wanted to paint, but I finally settled on a grasslands painting. Many people that came to the Family Tree show really loved the big prairie landscape that was hung over the fireplace and want to know when I have similar work done. I think this will be a study for a larger piece- it is quite possibly my favorite little (6x6") prairie scene to date.

I already know what I will be doing for painting #30... and it will be called "Northern Curtain Call". It's something I have been wanting to try for a long time. I'm slightly concerned because it could be better suited in a rectangular format rather than a square- we will find out tomorrow!


Monday, May 21, 2012

Unmade Beds And Buttercups

#28- Unmade Beds And Buttercups
6 x 6"
 oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2012
(30 paintings in 30 days- Project II)
sold

I've mentioned before that packed-down grassy areas at the Grasslands usually means that a group (pack? tribe? school? cluster?) of deers were resting there at some point. These areas are called Deer Beds. I came upon one such area last week, but I still don't know what the yellow flowers are. I've decided, for the sake of this title, that they are Buttercups!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Loom

#27- Loom
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2012
(30 paintings in 30 days- Project II)

Having this much fun painting should perhaps be illegal, but I am very glad it is not!!! 

This painting began in a very different way and about 20 minutes in took on a whole new direction. I don't know why that happens. I mean, in reality, most often the painting in my head is usually not what ends up on the canvas, but it is usually in the near vicinity. But every now and then the painting takes over and I guess you just go with it. This painting began with significant bushes and a shadowy field in the foreground, then the clouds started to emerge and it became about them. I was looking at one of my photos, but couldn't resolve the enormity of the sky with the original activity of the land, so I had to simplify. I am on a small quest to figure out how to make clouds look illuminated by light and this painting became about that. As I worked I was thinking about how storms at Waskesiu often look like they are swallowing up the distant shore, so besides the illumination of the clouds, I also wanted to try to create that effect.

Good clean fun!


Saturday, May 19, 2012

At The Hill Top

#26- At The Hill Top
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2012
(30 paintings in 30 days - Project II)
sold

I wanted to keep this one light, loose and sort of impressionistic. I loved the little rock nestled into the grasses with the Wolf Willow growing behind it. I think little Easter eggs would be right at home hidden in this scene.

Four more left 'til #30!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Bird Song

#25- Bird Song
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2012
(30 paintings in 30 days - Project II)
sold

In an effort to get myself motivated I took a little drive to the Saskatoon Natural Grasslands right after getting the kids to school this morning. I ended up walking one of the trails, but stayed smack in the middle of the path to avoid the long grasses that could be harbouring ticks. I realized that every time I have gone to the Grasslands it has been in the fall, so being there in the spring was definitely motivating. I saw it in a new, much greener, light! Some of the trees and bushes already have almost full sized leaves, but others have hardly started. The Wolf Willow I love so much were just sprouting their leaves which actually looked quite gray- not the silver I am used to seeing. Lots of green growth was coming up through the dead, dry, pale yellow grasses. And little yellow flowers were blossoming all over! Another thing that was different? The birds! They were singing their hearts out!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Abundance

#24- Abundance
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2012
(30 paintings in 30 days - Project II)
sold

Again, working on a little painting took my mind off my exhaustion- I think I am really run down. Lately I feel more tired when I wake up than when I go to bed, but I hate to complain because things could be a lot worse and I know this will pass. Painting, more precisely creating, can be such therapy. As I worked today, my mind drifted and relaxed, troubles fell away for that bit of time. As I painted this prairie scene, I found myself feeling thankful for this protected land which is found right within our city limits. It provides safety, food and a resting place for animals that wander in along the river. It is abundant in so many ways and is a place of education for our children. And the natural progression was to think about the abundance in my life- not the abundance of material things, but the things that really count like family and friends (and art!). I am lucky. So the plan is to pick myself up by the boot straps, take a load of Vitamin D and start pumping the Cold FX to get the immune system back on track. And if that doesn't work I can always summon a calming manatee to help me feel better!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Transitions

#23 - Transitions
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2012
(30 paintings in 30 days - Project II)
sold

For an all-too-brief chunk of time painting this little picture helped distract me from how miserable I was feeling. Thankfully as the day winds down I am cautiously optimistic that I am on the upswing.

I am finding it difficult to stay away from big prairie skies on this project. I was attracted to the transitional layers of this particular sky. Once in awhile I feel like I can see green in the sky where the yellow glow of the setting sun meets the cooler blue of the sky. It doesn't happen with every sunset; I assume it must be when conditions are just right in the atmosphere. Right at that transitional spot I think I see the yellow and blue mixing to give a hint of pale green. Or am I imagining it? This was one of those skies.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Day's End, Waskesiu

#22 - Day's End, Waskesiu
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2012
(30 paintings in 30 days- Project II)
sold

All the busyness of the last several weeks has really caught up to me. I have not been feeling great over the last week; every other day I am achy, exhausted and feel flu-y. Well today I allowed myself to do nothing much more than sleep and rest. A two hour sleep this morning after getting the kids to school and then another two hour (or so!) nap this afternoon. And I am still sleepy! But I managed to get this painting done and make a decent supper for my people. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Waterlogged

#21 - Waterlogged (revised)
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2012
(30 paintings in 30 days - Project II)
sold

On the drive to Waskesiu Lake, right after you turn off the main highway and head toward the park gates, there is a very swampy, waterlogged area on the left hand side of the road. Last summer I drove to the Kenderdine Campus at Emma Lake to visit a friend who was there taking a class. On the drive back to Waskesiu (where I was on holiday with my family) the spectacular colours of the landscape were yelling at me to pull over and take photos. The deep, cool, blue reflection of the sky was so striking next to the greens of the marsh grasses- it was breathtaking... and very inviting. If I didn't have the paralyzing fear of bloodsuckers that I do, I might have jumped right in! And speaking of fears, when I got back in the van do drive away, I looked in the rear-view mirror and saw a black bear walking across the road about 50 metres away!

Waterlogged (original)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Goodnight Sun

#20 - Goodnight Sun (revised)
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2012
(30 paintings in 30 days - Project II)
sold

I have been lovin' the cloud paintings from the last several days and I could actually keep painting more and more of them, however for interest's sake I felt I should switch it up a bit. A little while ago I made a painting called Last Rays and I really liked the effect of the light so I wanted to try it again. I love that golden light at the end of a warm September day- it has a glorious effect on what is usually a cool, dark, shadowy forest. In this case, looking through the forest out into the setting sun, you see the glow of the warm light bending around the trees and branches. And now I am two thirds of the way through the Project!

Happy Mother's Day to my wonderful Mom who has 
a beautiful, warm, glowing light of her own!



Saturday, May 12, 2012

Lightness

#19 - Lightness
6 x 6"
oil on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2012
(30 paintings in 30 days - Project II)
sold
 
For #19 I thought I would play with some soft, light colours for a different effect.




Friday, May 11, 2012

Hover and an Announcement

#18 - Hover
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2012
(30 paintings in 30 days - Project II)
sold

Another painting I am really happy with! I love when I feel excited after the last brushstroke goes down and I love when I am left with more ideas churning. As I took photos of this it looked more and more like the hovering cloud was in the foreground and that the dark patch of land in the lower right was it's shadow. It wasn't planned, but it was a happy surprise!

So I have an announcement...

Since last November I have been on a committee planning an event for Saskatoon which we are calling "Art Trek: Studio Discovery Tour". Here is a bit from our press release:


Five artist groups are coming together on June 8th and 9th, 2012, to promote an urban art tour in the heart of Saskatoon!

The public is invited to visit the working spaces of the St. George Studio where paintings and sculpture are in various stages of completion. The 330 Design Group is a delightful grotto in the basement of a former church where artistic ventures are imagined and realized. The MIX Artists’ Collective is located in a charming little gallery just a stone’s throw from the river’s edge. Exciting works can be expected from the Artists’ Workshop who have a large dedicated following to their yearly spring exhibition. Finally, we can’t wait to see what The Men Who Paint do next! 

This is going to be THE weekend in Saskatoon for art lovers! Take the studio tour at your own pace to discover some of Saskatoon’s finest artists. Also check out the Waterfront Art and Craft Sale at River landing on Saturday, the 9th. We hope you can join us!

Date and Hours: Friday June 8, 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Saturday June 9, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.


I am really getting excited because things are now falling in place- sponsors, printed material, the Facebook page- it's really happening!

Here is a link, please check out the albums of work from each group. More photos will be added in the upcoming weeks:


Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Day To Be Determined

#17 - A Day To Be Determined
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2012
(30 paintings in 30 days - Project II)
sold

It's one of those days... is there a storm on it's way or is it going to be blues skies and fluffy clouds? It's a day to be determined.

I am having so much fun with these daily paintings. I feel so free and experimental with them. It's fun to play with brushstrokes and colours to create a mood. I think some of these paintings are going to look really good in groupings; mini grids if you will.



Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Happy Birthday Dad!


I wanted to make another quick post today because it is my Dad's birthday. It seems like the perfect opportunity to highlight some of the beautiful woodwork he had in the "Family Tree" show this past weekend. I am immensely proud of my Dad for fighting his nerves and adding an art show to his list of life experiences. It is not easy to put your creations on display for others to see and comment on, but he did it. I am inspired by the way he has embraced life in his retirement- he wants to be taught new tricks! Next on his agenda... a trip to China with my sister! 

Happy Birthday Dad, I love you!

Three In A Row

#16 - Three In A Row
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2012
(30 paintings in 30 days - Project II)
sold

I was really wiped-out after this weekend and I still haven't quite recuperated. Which is why this post is so short!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Rising

#15 - Rising
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2012
(30 paintings in 30 days - Project II)
sold

It felt good to get this one done earlier in the day and be able to get a decent photo while there was still daylight! I like this one and now I am half-way through the project!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Ice and Bulrushes in November

#14 - Ice and Bulrushes in November
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2012
(30 paintings in 30 days- Project II) 
sold

Unfortunately this is not a great photo. I will try to get another shot tomorrow. Must sleep....


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Silver Dance

#13 - Silver Dance
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2012
(30 paintings in 30 days - Project II)
sold

I got up early again today so I was going to get my daily painting done but had no board to work on. Quite frustrating! However, I crawled back into bed and rested while listening to the rain pound on the roof. Just as well really because the second day down at the "Family Tree" show was extremely busy! Maybe even busier than yesterday. Dad and I are both overwhelmed by the response. I'm basically shell-shocked (in a very good way)... I sold 21 paintings! What? Is that for real? Unbelievable. And all sizes... from the 6x6's right to the largest one I have ever done (30 x 60). And I think Dad sold 34 out of the 48 bowls he brought, plus a bunch of beautiful wooden topped wine bottle stoppers. Craziness. I am extremely grateful for the support and reaction to my work and I loved seeing each and every friendly face that walked through the doors. I only wish it was easier to visit. Thank you so much!




Saturday, May 5, 2012

Ground Swell

#12 - Ground Swell
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2012
(30 paintings in 30 days- Project II)
sold

I was so excited for the show today I woke up at 7:00 and couldn't fall back asleep... so what is a girl to do? Get up and do a daily painting! As you can see I played with the stormy part of the sky being at the horizon line. I really enjoyed swirling the thick paint around.

I had such an enjoyable day with my dad... my whole family, really. My mom handled the coffee and food, and my sisters helped with Dad's sales and meeting and greeting people. And my husband and the kids came for awhile. And people actually came! It was BUSY! What a wonderful turnout. I got to meet some of my dad's friends that I have never met before and I was able to introduce him to some of my friends, too. We are both exhausted tonight, but very content. Here are some more photos of the set-up...
 
Now off to get a good sleep for round two tomorrow!