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!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Day Two - The 1,2,3 Exercise

16 x 16"
acrylic on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2012

I showed you the above piece in the last post. It is here again because it pertains to the exercise we were given on the second day of the class. The instructor, Alicia Popoff, called it the 1,2,3 Exercise. The idea was to do three paintings: the first painting was to be done quite quickly and realistically, the second painting was then to use the first painting as a reference and begin to abstract it, the third painting was to ignore the first painting entirely and use the second painting as a jumping off point to really abstract what we saw. Pretty cool. She said you could actually reverse the exercise as well by first making an abstract painting, then move to a second painting by trying to find an image or direction in the first that would lead to a more recognizable painting, and finally in the third painting you would create something more entirely based in realism. Again, pretty cool.

Well, after following the rules rather rigidly the first day I loosened up and wasn't quite so by-the-book the second day! I decided to stay away from realism and I used the larger "reflection" you see above as my first painting. I found an area I liked in it and tried to create a more abstract painting with the lines and shapes. I also did a positive/negative flip, making the lines light white/gray instead of dark and the negative spaces a bit darker in colour compared to the first. This is the way I painted it:

Take Two
12 x 9"
acrylic on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2012

 But I actually like it this way a bit more:

...possibly because the horizontal lines are on the bottom as are some of the darker colours. The blocks of yellows and oranges are actually the under painting showing through.

My third painting actually ended up being another detail of the first painting rather than a more abstracted version of the second painting, so I didn't really follow the instructions like the good student I was on Day One! I would still like to do that third step of the exercise with both of these paintings and really see what I could do to abstract the heck out of them! That may be a goal at the studio in the near future after I get a couple of projects off my plate.

Water Lines
16 x 20"
acrylic on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2012

I didn't feel quite so frozen on Day Two and I am sure going out to paint en plein air the night before helped. Finding a familiar thing to cling to with the reflections gave me the stability I needed and then I was able to play and experiment with that in the 1,2,3 Exercise. These are nothing like the abstract reflections I have done in the past, so I ended the day feeling like I stepped forward.


Kim Rempel said...

Thanks for posting Nicki! I probably sound like a broken record but I love hearing about your experiences at Emma Lake. This one is very cool!

Nicki said...

Hi Kim... I enjoy broken records! :) I'm glad to know that the recounting of my experience is interesting to you. I think you would have soared in this class- especially given the great strides you have already made with abstracts. I think you will like the one of the paintings I will post soon from Day Three... you'll know why when you see it! ;)