March 26 from 3-6 p.m.: I will have a painting in the biennial art auction in support of the Sexual Health Centre Saskatoon. Learn more about the auction and how to get tickets here.

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.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

All A-Glow

All A-Glow
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2012
available exclusively at Lifestyles by Darrell Bell Gallery 
sold


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Finale, Waskesiu

Finale, Waskesiu
8 x 8"
 oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2012
available exclusively at Lifestyles by Darrell Bell Gallery
sold

I was hit by the stomach flu late in the night on Christmas. I was thankful it waited until then to come (if it had to come at all) so that I was able to enjoy the earlier celebrations with my family, but the ensuing two and a half days were so very not enjoyable. The thing about being sick is that once you come out the other end and feel better, life seems a little brighter, a little clearer and perhaps a bit more do-able!

Anyway, I almost forgot to show the other two paintings I took to Lifestyles by Darrell Bell Gallery on December 23. This one, "Finale", is cousin to "Glory Be" who I recently heard is moving to England! I'll show you the other in my next post... and I was at the studio painting last night so I have four more to show once I get decent photos.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Through The Fog

 Through The Fog
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2012
available exclusively at Lifestyles by Darrell Bell Gallery



May there be peace on earth.


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Rolling In

Rolling In
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2012
available exclusively at Lifestyles by Darrell Bell Gallery
sold

This afternoon I took a Christmas card to Darrell Bell and his staff only to discover they had sold another four paintings which meant, again, they had no extras on hand. What a great surprise! I am so appreciative of their efforts and enthusiasm and I am so thrilled with the feature location they have given my work in the store. It is all very exciting and somewhat unbelievable!

I was a bit better prepared this time and had more work waiting on the sidelines. Since I am a bit of a keener, I went back a little later to drop off the newest paintings and I was happy to take my sister (who is in town for the holidays) with me so I could show her the store. She is one of my biggest supporters and always believes I can do things even when I don't. I'm not sure what I would do without her. Glad

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Meewasin Tapestry

Meewasin Tapestry
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2012
available exclusively at Lifestyles by Darrell Bell Gallery
sold

One of my favorite paintings of the year was "Morning Light on Meewasin: View From The Broadway Bridge" which I created for the Artist and Athlete Invitational Art Auction. It was a fun event raising money for the University of Saskatchewan Huskies and the Emma Lake Kenderdine Campus (click on the link above to read more and you can read more here as well). After that I decided to do three smaller studies with a similar Meewasin theme, two of which I have already shown you. This is the third and is actually based on the large canvas I did for the auction. In essence the 36 x 36" was a study for the 8 x 8"!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Trails and Beds- Deer Were Here

Trails and Beds: Deer Were Here
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2012
available exclusively at Lifestyles by Darrell Bell Gallery
sold

I'm not sure I will ever get tired of the Saskatoon Natural Grasslands. I just realized I have no wintery shots of the place, so there is an entire untapped season to paint. I think I need to grab a coffee and head out for a photo shoot on the next mild December day, but this does raise a question: Do you find winter paintings appealing?

Friday, December 14, 2012

Coming or Going?

Coming or Going?
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2012
available exclusively at Lifestyles by Darrell Bell Gallery
sold

I love the colours, shapes, brushstrokes and spontaneous feel of this one.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Veil - The Bessborough

Veil - The Bessborough
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2012
available exclusively at Lifestyles by Darrell Bell Gallery

So far in my time as a painter I have had very little interest in subjects that include man-made objects. I am more interested in nature and wild spaces, but who knows, that may change. I certainly appreciate other artists that paint everyday scenes of life in the city... specifically Edward B. Gordon.

Earlier this year, after I took my kids to school in the morning, I was compelled to travel around the riverbank and take photos of the foggy morning. It was so pretty! There was this soft, low veil over the city. I realized that I was quite intrigued by this diffused light caused by the fog and suddenly the strong lines of buildings, bridges and other man-made things seemed more appealing. This painting is of the riverbank and the Delta Bessborough Hotel in downtown Saskatoon.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Take Shelter

Take Shelter, Waskesiu
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2012
available exclusively at Lifestyles by Darrell Bell Gallery
sold


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Meewasin Meets the South Saskatchewan

Meewasin Meets the South Saskatchewan
 8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2012
available exclusively at Lifestyles by Darrell Bell Gallery
sold

This is my first Meewasin painting that actually incorporates the river. I think the colour is off in this photo, but you get the idea. It's already been delivered to Lifestyles by Darrell Bell Gallery so I can't re-take the picture.

Whew!!! As of about 4:30 today when the group show "Abstracts & Beyond" was dismantled, all of my obligations for 2012 are complete. This past year included: 3 art show and sales, 3 solo shows, 3 auctions, 2 studio open houses, 2 juried shows, 2 large group shows and the show I did with my Dad. I am tired... but oh so happy! Now it is time for me to set up my new studio space (which is currently a disaster) and play! That is my main goal for 2013...  to play and experiment. I also want to make mistakes (with the hopes of learning something valuable), take a class or two, get back to drawing, plan some plein air painting excursions, try new things and, here is a big one,... avoid worrying about outcomes (unless I'm working on something for Lifestyles).

Thanks for sticking with me through a busy and productive year. My posts for the next few weeks may be brief as I get ready for the holidays and spend time with my family and friends. 


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Blue Spruce on Meewasin

Blue Spruce on Meewasin
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2012
available exclusively at Lifestyles by Darrell Bell Gallery
sold

This was the study on which my recent painting "Morning on the Trail: Meewasin" was based.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Glory Be, Waskesiu

Glory Be, Waskesiu
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
©Nicki Ault, 2012
available exclusively at Lifestyles by Darrell Bell Gallery
sold

Often people ask which is my favorite painting. Usually this happens at the Open Studio, an art reception or where I have my "30 daily paintings" on display. It's a hard question to answer- I like all of the paintings that I "put out there" or I wouldn't put them out there (and trust me, there are many that don't see the light of day). But right now if someone said to me "which is your favorite painting?"-  here is my answer, without any hesitation.....

"Glory Be, Waskesiu"

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Floating Away and Another Tree Down

Floating Away
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2012
available exclusively at Lifestyles by Darrell Bell Gallery
sold


Another Tree Down
8 x 8"
acrylic and oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2012
available exclusively at Lifestyles by Darrell Bell Gallery
sold

Things are really busy right now, well, actually it's been like that all year. I am doing final preparations for the group show, Abstractions & Beyond, which starts on Friday... including trying to drum up a bit of media coverage for the Kenderdine Campus which is where the group met this past summer, and I am madly painting for Lifestyles by Darrell Bell Gallery. They ended up using all nine of the paintings I initially took to the store; they used all of them to make a 3 x 3 grid on a feature wall. Luckily I had already painted four extras after that initial batch because in the four days they have been open they have already sold four! Obviously this is awesome, but I have no back-ups. They need more to replenish the grid if/when others sell. Yikes! I have been up until 1:00 the last three nights painting and now have four more to deliver. I thought I was way ahead, but I feel very behind! I may have to pull out the acrylics because even with walnut alkyd the oils aren't drying fast enough.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Buffer Zone

The Buffer Zone- Looking North to the South Saskatchewan
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2012
available exclusively at Lifestyles by Darrell Bell Gallery
sold

The "buffer zone" is the strip of land between the river and the Natural Grasslands in the Silverspring neighborhood of Saskatoon. This undeveloped area allows animals a path to travel to and from the water... because when deer are chillin' in the Grasslands they get a bit parched now and again.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Power Over The Prairies

Power Over The Prairies
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2012
available exclusively at Lifestyles by Darrell Bell Gallery
sold

I love the colour palette of this one. I always feel proud when Degen Lindner likes my paintings and when she saw this at the Emma Lake Kenderdine Campus this summer, she really liked it.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Last Evening, Emma Lake

Last Evening, Emma Lake
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2012
available exclusively at Lifestyles by Darrell Bell Gallery
sold

It is going to be difficult to write this without crying. If this blog entry was written on paper you can be sure there would be tear stains all over it.

As I was looking in my file to decide which of my 8 x 8" paintings to show you today, I saw this one... and then I looked at the title, "Last Evening, Emma Lake". I got chills and now I feel sick. I painted this on August 17th, the last evening of the week-long class I took on Abstract Expressionism this past summer at the Emma Lake Kenderdine Campus. And now the title "Last Evening, Emma Lake" has taken on a whole new meaning.

Will this honestly be the last painting I ever paint at this campus? Will that actually have been the last evening I ever spend there? Ever again? Honestly, I can hardly stand the thought, but with the November 15th announcement by the University of Saskatchewan to close the campus for three years and review its future, it just may be. And if I knew at the time it might be my last evening, what would I have done differently? Thankfully, as I look back, I am not sure there is anything I would change.

The final day had been a good one- finishing up projects in the studio and then the two classes, painting and sculpture, took tours of each others' spaces. What inspiration! The two groups got along famously; twenty-one people had come together to learn, grow, share, inspire and encourage. And it didn't stop there. The two instructors, Alicia Popoff (abstract painting) and Les Potter (sculpture), offered so much knowledge, insight and support the entire week, and then during the tour they were like proud parents! They honestly wanted to brag about each one of their students work; their enthusiasm was genuine and touching. 

That evening was the weekly Friday Fish Fry where the kitchen offered an open invitation to the lake community to come to the campus for a delicious supper at a great price. This was one of the succsessful and creative initiatives established by the Director to bring some revenue to the campus. It was busy and wonderful to see members of the wider community enjoy and appreciate the historic Kenderdine Campus. But I digress. My new friends and I had a lovely, fishy supper together and afterwards I decided to grab my paint box and head to the beach to do one more plein air painting. I joined some others around the unlit fire-pit and settled in an Adirondack chair to paint a view of the Point. This is perhaps the most painted spot in all of Saskatchewan- the tip of Fairy Island that can be seen from the campus. As I painted we chatted, some read, others sat quietly and listened to the fish jump... and we all watched the sky dramatically change as the sun set. It was perfect- except for the fact that I knocked my camera lens-down off the arm of my chair into the sand. But again, I digress. 

Eventually the sun went behind the island and the air got cooler. We dispersed to clean-up, re-group and find warmer clothes. It didn't take long before people began wandering back down to the beach and this time a fire was lit- a spectacular, crackling glow in the dark, northern night. Picture this: twenty-one friends (not just students anymore) sharing benches and chairs, laughing, chatting, watching the fire... some wandering down to the dock to lay on their backs and observe the stars and satellites travel the night sky. Each-and-every-one-of-them gloriously exhausted, yet completely rejuvenated and inspired. The next day these people would go back to their "real worlds" as lawyers, teachers, stay-at-home-moms, graphic designers, city planners, artists and counselors to name a few. And when you think about it, the spin-off from this experience is huge. Immeasurable, really. It is not just the twenty-one students that reap the rewards of their week at the Kenderdine Campus, but their families and workplaces do as well, for they are getting back a person who is filled up. A person who is excited, happy and can envision possibilities. In a world that is moving so quickly, that is so focused on money, technology and the next-best-thing, what a powerful gift to offer your population... the gift of a quiet, accessible place where spirits and imaginations can grow and be nurtured.

And now it might be gone.

You or someone you love might never have a chance to experience this place. Or a stranger. Does it matter? I might not know you, but I wish you could experience this place.

I wouldn't change that night, but I would like the opportunity to have another.

But that might have been our last evening at Emma.

Ever.


Please sign and share the petition: Stop the closure of the Emma Lake Kenderdine Campus




Saturday, December 1, 2012

There is Light Beyond The Darkness

There is Light Beyond The Darkness
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
©Nicki Ault, 2012
available exclusively at Lifestyles by Darrell Bell Gallery
sold

I just got home from the beautiful new store that opened today... Lifestyles by Darrell Bell Gallery in the Canada Building (21st Street E.) in Saskatoon. I have been so excited to see it that I decided to fight the traffic and take them a box of delicious Harden & Huyse chocolates to say congratulations on their opening. It is a stunning space. Gorgeous, really, and I am so proud to have my 8 x 8" paintings on their wall. My paintings had a great location- a little wall to themselves and they looked awesome displayed in a three by three grid. And guess what? "Wild and Free" sold while I was there! I'm delivering four more paintings to them tomorrow, so they can refill the grid and have extra on hand.

As an aside, back in university I actually worked at Harden & Huyse! I packed chocolates and handled orders that came in for their wholesale business. I also worked the front store area and sold chocolate. We were allowed to eat as much of the damaged chocolates as we wanted and I remember one slow Saturday when a friend dropped by - he started laughing as soon as he saw me... it turned out I had chocolate truffle dust all over my lips! A bit embarrassing. That was my job while I worked on my university degree. It was a good gig! It was and still is a family-run business and they make the best Belgian chocolates ever! The factory is in Saskatoon, but most of the family now lives out east. I became good friends with one of the sons who is still involved in the business and it turns out he and Darrell Bell are good friends! It is a small world after-all.