July and August 2017: A small selection of my work, courtesy of Darrell Bell Gallery, is available at Boffins restaurant (111 Research Drive, U of S campus) throughout the summer months.

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.

Friday, August 24, 2012

In The Thick of the Thicket

In The Thick of the Thicket
36 x 36"
oil on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2012

This is one of the large paintings I did for my show "Prairie Love" at Calories. The front section of the restaurant has a rather high ceiling, so large canvases work well in this area. It was a pleasant surprise to realize that the direction of the sun coming in the front window was the same as the light in this painting. I have to say this was a difficult painting, partly because it has a lot going on (which is why I made resting places of the distant field and sky), but also I struggled with whether or not to keep the dead branches in the front. After a bit of contemplation I realized I wanted the viewer to feel like they were in amongst the grasses, really up close and personal, so I kept them in. Initially all of the branches were coming off the front of the picture plane and it created a bit of a wall. As soon as I pushed them back into the grass at varying distances it started working better. Each painting is an education and I love the process of working through it all!

As an aside, I'm pretty excited because I bought a piece of original art for myself at local gallery/art supply the other day. I saw it before I went to Emma Lake and couldn't stop thinking about it the whole time. I decided when I got home that if it was still available I would purchase it as a gift to myself for my birthday... and happily it was! Yay! The bonus was that as I looked around the gallery one of the owners, who I recognized, asked if I needed help. I pushed aside my shyness and somehow mustered up the courage to say more than "I'm just looking". Who was it? It was my first and only studio art professor from university, Bob Christie!!! I didn't expect him to recognize me, after all, that was a long time ago, but never-the-less when I told him he had once taught me, he pretty much stopped everything and chatted for half an hour! It was fantastic! I felt like a sponge trying to absorb any art talk he was willing to share and I, in turn, let him know the lessons he gave that really stuck with me. It gave me the itch to go to art school! And I have never felt like a parking ticket was so worth it before!!! :)

4 comments:

newmexicomtngirl.com said...

how fun for you, go, go back to school, why not? this piece is glourious

Nicki said...

Yes, it would be fun... and scary... but fun! Thanks CheyAnne- I like that mind set... Why Not???

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Nicki,

I think you should open an art school. You are the teacher!!!!Love this painting and the story. I feel like I'm at art school every time I read your blog. A good feeling.

XO Barbara

Nicki said...

Hi Barbara,

Me? An art school? I could open one and run it but I am not sure I would feel confident enough to teach at it! But I have thought of community art classes for children. Hmmmm. I need to get past my self-effacing issues first!

You are too good to me!

XO Nicki