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!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Day One, Abstract Two

acrylic on canvas board
© Nicki Ault, 2012

This is the second exercise from Day One at Emma. To be honest I can't recall the specifics of the exercise and my notes are at the studio, but we were supposed to continue working with the shape theme as before. For this one I decided to try some layers of drippy washes and glazes underneath and then use rectangles to describe more recognizable tree forms on top. I was not thrilled with this result at all, but when I showed my kids, my youngest asked if he could put this one in his room! 

I really struggled through this first day of abstraction. Part of this struggle involved the fear of working in front of a new group of people and then being analyzed, critiqued and judged by them (but we were all in that boat together). Another part of the struggle was that I was feeling a bit paralyzed by the strong desire to do a really good job and paint some awesome abstracts! However, even more than all of that, a thought came to me later in the day as I realized how much time I had spent staring blankly at my materials. My epiphany was that creating an abstract painting was so wide open that I actually found it restricting. Abstracts can be anything and that was just too overwhelming - I didn't know where to begin. I talked to the instructor, Alicia Popoff, about this struggle and she certainly empathized. She said we would be discussing that very thing in the coming days and we would talk about inspiration. She also made it clear that I needn't feel pressured to only create abstracts in this class- I could do more representational work if I wanted. As tempting as that was I knew the reason I was taking the class was to step out of my comfort zone, so I would press on like a good little abstract student! :)


suzanneberry said...

wonderful work and wonderful to see you trying new experiences. thank you for your lovely words my friend. they help more than you can know.

Nicki said...

Hi Suz,

What a treat to see a message from you. You are never far from my thoughts- I think of you often.


Kim Rempel said...

Yes! I think the pressure locks us up before we even begin! Seriously, I think it would be a good experiment to knock back a drink, put on some soaring music and go. I mean, that's not a method you want to put out there...lol but I think we focus on what we *know* we should do, what makes a good painting etc... and then our freedom and expression get cramped and lost.

Nicki said...

Oh yeah, Kim! I was locked up tight!!! I totally agree that a little nip and some loud music can really loosen a gal up! Probably not best to make it a habit though...