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!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Happy International Women's Day

In My Aura
24 x 24"
acrylic and oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2010
private collection

Today is the 102nd International Women's Day. Two years ago I created this piece for a collaborative show which took place in Ayr, Ontario. One hundred female artists from around the world each sent one piece of art (with the same dimensions) to the show to celebrate the centenary of International Women's Day. It was an amazing experience and I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the artists' opening and meet many of the women, including other bloggers I already knew online.

I am not a portrait painter, so my idea really scared me! It is a self portrait set in front of a collage of family photos- all female relatives and ancestors. The oldest photo I was able to find was that of my maternal Great Great Great Grandmother. I believe that as I walk (and stumble) through my life the women that came before me and that are with me today, influence who I am. I have grown immensely and vicariously through their stories. Creating this piece was more emotional than anything I have ever done from a creative standpoint. I felt the presence of these women as I worked. I reflected on what I knew about their lives: exceptional stories of love and loss, ambitious academic endeavors, world travels, emigration, unimaginable hardships, miscarriages, alcoholism, suicide, friendship, pioneer hardships, motherhood and battles with depression. It is all there, and more, in the faces of these women.

After a bit of research, I discovered that blue in an aura represents loving kindness, peace and universal compassion all of which I consider to be feminine traits. This worked out well because blue happened to be one of my grandmother's absolute favorite colours and so it is also a bit of a nod to her.

When I was pulling everything together to be part of this show, I got talking about it to one of the young teachers at my kids' school. She is from Bosnia and she told me that International Women's Day is HUGE in that area of the world. For women it is bigger than Mother's Day. Every woman receives flowers on this day, and a loaf of bread. When she married her husband she said she didn't care if he missed a special occasion here and there, but to never miss International Women's Day.

So to each and every beautiful, hard-working, loving, generous, struggling, laughing, crying, dreaming woman who reads this, take time today to appreciate those who came before as well as those who are in your lives now. And let's not forget the women in the world who have not yet found the freedom that many of us enjoy.

Happy International Women's Day!


Barbara Muir said...

Two years ago I met you in the flesh at that show, and what a joyous time that was. I can still feel the sense of excitement I felt meeting you, and the wonder that we could not stop laughing. So terrific. Happy International Women's Day to you, and I hope you have another great year as a woman artist.

XO Barbara

Nicki said...

Hi Barbara,

It was joyous wasn't it? Really it is such a fond memory and such a significant part of the journey I am on.

I was so nervous and excited to meet you and what a treat that we got along so well! My cheeks were sore from smiling and laughing so hard!

I hope I will see you again sooner rather than later.

XO Nicki