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.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Canoeing and Painting In The Wild

Time is closing in on me, but I have to say that I am getting really excited about the adventure in which I will soon be immersed. In just a few weeks I will be traveling two hours or so farther north than I have ever been before (in this province). I am registered for the first ever "Canoeing and Painting In The Wild" plein air painting excursion by CanoeSki! The guide will drive us from Saskatoon five and a half hours north to Lac La Ronge at which point we will launch our canoes on Lynx Lake and make the seven kilometre journey to base camp. Within that seven kilometre distance we will cross three little lakes (Lynx Lake, Duck Lake and Sulphide Lake) and portage twice.

 
I'm a little concerned that my arms will rebel after that work-out and not co-operate when it is time to paint! It may end up being a photography expedition... if I can even lift my arms to do that! A little upper-body strength training over the next three weeks might not be a bad idea.

Each time I think about discovering this new landscape I feel giddy inside! Lac La Ronge is situated on the Canadian Shield, so I expect to see beautiful rock formations and weathered trees jutting out from craggy shores. Swoon. I really hope I will be able to channel my inner Group of Seven for the four days we are out in the "wild".

There is still room for a couple more people so if you are interested please contact Cliff through the CanoeSki website. The adventure runs from Thursday, August 15 to Sunday, August 18.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Day For Finding Hope

A Day For Finding Hope
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2013
sold



From July 8-12 artists and musicians and lovers of the Emma Lake Kenderdine Campus participated in a quiet protest of sorts; gathering on campus to paint, play music and share stories. All week long people came and went, neighbors of the campus dropped by to lend their support and happily the press came to find a story. 

I drove up for the day on the Wednesday of that week. I wasn't sure if it would be a good idea for me to make the trip seeing as how I am a bit of an emotional type, but I wanted to see some artist friends who I knew would be there. Sure enough the setting was somewhat depressing... instead of buzzing with life and vibrant energy, it felt lonely and like a ghost town. Cabins were boarded up, the tarp over the outdoor studio was rolled away, no bikes sat in the bike rack, no flowers welcomed you to the office and dining hall. Perhaps most noticeable to me, however, was the void I felt when the staff I usually expect to see there, were not there. 

It was a hard day in many ways, and I did a couple of mediocre paintings on the beach, but there was a general feeling of optimism amongst the group. Lots of ideas were being generated and the media is very interested in covering news about the campus. It is not a forgotten place and people are still passionate about it... I think the University of Saskatchewan is starting to get that message.

I left feeling a mixed bag of emotions. Tears were involved, but I expected that. I have to believe it will open again, that it will continue to be a place of creativity, growth and intense learning, and a place that offers respite to tired souls in need of rebooting. I truly hope it does, I want it available to future generations. But for me, I don't know if it will ever be the same again.

For more information please go to:



Friday, July 19, 2013

Moss Laden Spruce

Moss Laden Spruce
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2013

I was just at the lake with my kids and we had a great time on a few bike rides around the town-site of Waskesiu (incidentally bike rides are much more fun now that they are older). I remembered to bring my camera on one of our excursions and I am glad I did because we ended up following an old gravel road between the town and the golf course. We came across a marsh surrounded by a beautiful stand of trees and at one end was a spectacularly crafted beaver dam. Wild daisies were everywhere and a sweet deer was nibbling on the long grass across from us. It was rather idyllic... until the mosquitoes made us crazy!!! I snapped a few quick pictures and then we got the heck out of there! Back at the cabin I sat out on the deck, bug spray nearby, and painted "Moss Laden Spruce" from memory and reminders from the little screen on my camera. It is what I call a pseudo plein air painting!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Rain Swept Land

Rain Swept Land
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2013
commission through Lifestyles By Darrell Bell Gallery
sold

Gotta love stormy skies... and now this collector has three!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Distant Promise

Distant Promise
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2013
commission through Lifestyles By Darrell Bell Gallery
sold

Happily a painting called "It Won't Be Long" sold at Lifestyles in May and the new owner decided she would like another painting or two to complement it. I haven't done a lot of commissions, but since I have several resource photos from the day of the storm I was pleased to give it a try. 

I feel so grateful for this new relationship with Darrell Bell and his beautiful new store. I feel like it has opened my eyes and mind to new possibilities for my art.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Before The Valley

Before the Valley
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2013
available exclusively at Lifestyles By Darrell Bell Gallery
sold

The plein air painting day at Wanuskewin offered me a new look at the prairies. It was the way I like it- pretty and untouched (aside from where the archeologists are digging), but the hills and valleys offered a new perspective. It is so close to the city and yet when you are coming and going on the highway you would never know it was there. 

For this painting I was sitting on the edge of the flat prairie in front of one of my favorite things- Wolf Willow. They were growing on the hillside right before it dropped down into the valley. The hill on the other side of the valley was in shadow so the cool dark green really set off the show of colours in front of me. This might be my favorite of the three.

There is talk that we might return in the fall to paint a different season. Fingers crossed!


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Buffalo Jump

Buffalo Jump
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2013
available exclusively at Lifestyles By Darrell Bell Gallery
sold

Here is the second of the three Wanuskewin paintings I did on June 18. The sky went on forever and the clouds were beautiful. In the distance you could see the location of the buffalo jump where many bones, arrows and artifacts have been excavated. The hills and valleys in this area are so dynamic and a nice change from the flat prairie grassland I usually love to paint.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Early Morning Sun and Shadows, Wanuskewin

Early Morning Sun and Shadows, Wanuskewin
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2013
available exclusively at Lifestyles By Darrell Bell Gallery

On June 18 I was lucky enough to be invited to go to Wanuskewin Heritage Park for a day of plein air painting. This marked the first time that a of group of artists have ever used the site for an excursion and we couldn't have hoped for a better day. It was beautiful and so peaceful with only the sounds of nature to enjoy. Well, and the occasional voices and shrieks from students on a field trip! I have to admit that I was a bit nervous about ticks and would have been somewhat shriek-y if I had one on me, so I didn't go too far off the beaten path. I managed to complete three paintings for Lifestyles By Darrell Bell Gallery, so it was more than just a lovely and contemplative day, it was also productive!

Wanuskewin means "seeking peace of mind" or "living in harmony". Please click on the link above to learn more about this unique park, an active archeological site, which is only minutes from Saskatoon.





Sunday, July 7, 2013

Sunday Spotlight - Jacqueline Faye Miller

studio image © Jacqueline Faye Miller

It is a great pleasure to introduce to you a colleague, friend and wonderfully versatile artist, Jacqueline Faye Miller.

I met Jackie a few years ago through a mutual artist friend; they are both part of The Mix Artist Collective. Recently I have had the opportunity to get to know her better; last December she joined St. George Studio taking over my former spot when I moved over to my new location. There are many things I admire about Jackie, her loose brushstrokes, her use of colour (especially red, which I find tricky), her desire to continue to grow and learn, her lack of fear in trying something new, her willingness to grab an old canvas and paint over it without being all precious and sentimental about it. Besides these things, I especially admire her confidence and her versatility. Jackie is not tied to any one genre of painting- she confidently and boldly paints a variety of subjects and also ventures into abstraction. She is a fun studio mate who enjoys a good laugh, snacks and a nice glass of wine (as you can see by the glass on the table in the background) ... my kind of gal! 

Jacqueline is Saskatchewan born, but has also lived in Manitoba and Alberta. For many years she worked as a self-taught artist, but eventually began taking classes through the University of Saskatchewan Certificate of Art and Design and completed the curriculum in 2010. She highly recommends this program for anyone wishing to expand their artistic horizons as she found the instructors to be impressive and the learning experiences they provided to be invaluable.

Jackie is versatile in her art practice which, for her, creates somewhat of an internal struggle because she does not have a consistent theme and style to her work and she regularly ponders whether this is good or bad. She says, "I really have a hard time staying in the lines. I can do a series for a period of time, but then I have to switch it up a bit." Personally I don't think it is a question of good or bad, I think it is what is right for her and it is how she needs to express all that she needs to express.

Jackie spent quite a bit of time preparing for this blog post, which is much appreciated. I love that she sent me a list of words which she feels are good descriptors of herself and her practice:

- versatile
- prolific
- varying styles
- diverse
- changing genres
- series (driven)
- creative phases
- experimental
- multiple directions

She also sent a wonderful write-up which I will share with you rather than re-writing it:

"I have this ongoing conversation with myself – whether to focus on one style, genre or theme or not. At any one time I can be working on a still life, landscape, cityscape or abstract. Even my studios are diverse. I usually work on acrylics in my home studio and play with oils in my St. George studio space. They are both places to experiment and expand my styles. The one consistent thing I can say is that I have become known for my cityscapes and residential views, although my style for these has evolved over the years.

 Dento Fuori - Inside Outside
© Jacqueline Faye Miller

I am rarely without my camera when I am visiting cities. I compose the view I see and use this as a reference for my work. I am intrigued with certain angles the homes are at and the architectural interest of each home. Most of the homes I paint have been in their spots for a long time lending to beautiful large trees that engulf the structures. I am inspired by the way the sky filters through the leaves, the details of the power lines and poles. I value the way the light reflects off the structure and the different colors of the homes and buildings which give each place their own personality.

I am not limited to what I paint. I can be caught up in the detail of a view, paint it as I see it then edit half or ¾ of it out in the next brush stroke. I love the confident strokes in my floral paintings the looseness and color pops of my prairie scapes. When I look back on my abstracted pieces the common thread to these works is space and pops of color here and there. Most have definite depths of texture, but most recently the depth of texture is gone and replaced with very little texture. There is something very pleasant about that. 

I have always been creative in some form as far back as I can remember and have the greatest support and receive amazing encouragement from family, friends, collectors, art friends and acquaintances. My focus became more intense in visual art after I made a decision to move to Saskatoon. I finally decided to let art in and opened the door to it. Since that time there have been many opportunities pushing me forward into the art world. Not every opportunity is ideal, however every opportunity offers a teaching moment. I’m always looking forward to what will be the next opportunity coming up. It seems one thing always leads to another."

It is true that Jackie is extremely prolific and also extremely busy as you can see by the list of current and upcoming exhibitions of her work...

"ROSSO" - City Perks coffee house - on now (through the Stall Gallery)
- painted specifically for the newly renovated space: a practice in taking a previous painted piece and cropping and editing out the detail:

Rosso Per Speranza - Red For Hope
© Jacqueline Faye Miller

“SPIRIT” - Calories restaurant - July 14th  – August 25th
  a representational exhibit of residential areas from Montreal and Saskatoon.

Il Bagliore del Sole - The Glow of the Sun
© Jacqueline Faye Miller

  
   Ingresso Distanto - Distant Entrance
© Jacqueline Faye Miller


“INSPIRATION” - Black Spruce Gallery - July 19 – August 1st
- representing the lake and cabins of the Christopher Lake area north of Prince Albert.
- opening reception Saturday July 20th, 7:00 – 9:00 (located on Hwy #2 at Northside just south of the junction to Christopher Lake)

Wind Through the Trees
 © Jacqueline Faye Miller

Towering Spruce
© Jacqueline Faye Miller

Jackie has many avid collectors and her work can be found in private, public and corporate collections throughout Canada. Earlier this year she received the Kyle Memorial Award  for "Red Sky at Night" at the Mann Art Gallery Winter Festival, a juried show and sale in Prince Albert, Sask. As well, the non-profit

 Red Sky at Night
© Jacqueline Faye Miller
 
group that creates the content for Herstory: The Canadian Women's Calendar (published by Coteau Books) has invited Jackie to have her work represented in the calendar for 2014. With the year only half-way through, I am excited to see what else might materialize for her!

Jackie is inspired by and finds energy through two other passions in her life: her beautiful yard...


 images © Jacqueline Faye Miller

... and one of her best friends...

image © Jacqueline Faye Miller

You can find Jackie online by clicking on the following links:

Other website affiliates:

The Stall Gallery

Something you wouldn't know about Jackie unless you read this post... she really gets a kick out of  "Marcel the Shell with shoes on"!

I hope you have enjoyed discovering another wonderful Saskatchewan artist. With any questions or queries please contact Jackie at jfmiller@sasktel.net.