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.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Entangled, Georgian Bay

Entangled, Georgian Bay
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2013
sold

On our trip we took an afternoon to visit the Tom Thomson Art Gallery in Owen Sound- it was excellent. While there I was inspired by some of Tom's sumac paintings and ended up painting this deep forest tangle of foliage.

 The hard-to-see quote on the image of Tom Thomson standing 
on the dock are his words, 
"Someday they will know what I mean."

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Rocks and Rapids, Georgian Bay

Rocks and Rapids, Georgian Bay
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2013
sold

We went on several hikes during our painting trip and were able to get some good photographic resource material. On this particular day we stopped to sketch and paint and this is what I came up with as I sat right on the edge of the rushing water. The rapids rounded the corner and then went over a waterfall at the top of which someone had built an Inukshuk. It was a beautiful location.
I am planning to tackle a large canvas with a similar theme.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Gentle Morning On The Shore, Georgian Bay

Gentle Morning on the Shore, Georgian Bay
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2013
sold

We hit such beautiful weather while we were in Georgian Bay- we couldn't have asked for better. I spent some time one morning enjoying the beach: listening to the sound of gentle waves, studying the rocks, wandering along the shore looking at the glorious red Sumacs, and hunting for fossil rocks to bring home for my two boys. Simple pleasures.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Little Sumac on the Beach

Little Sumac on the Beach, Georgian Bay
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2013


I loved that this sweet little Sumac somehow managed to grow between the rocks on the beach near Bridget's cottage. Where there is a will there is a way!

Friday, November 22, 2013

A Grand Welcome, Georgian Bay

A Grand Welcome, Georgian Bay
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2013
sold

After a long day of travel from Saskatoon to Toronto, Bridget and Jackie picked me up and we drove to Kleinburg (where we went to the McMichael Gallery to see the Group of Seven work) and then on to Georgian Bay. It was evening as we made our way through Owen Sound and around the south part of the bay to the cottage. All the while the sun was setting in the most spectacular way. The clouds were completely illuminated by brilliant pinks- it was a grand welcome indeed. 

After we ate and I saw the work my travel mates had already produced before my arrival I was excited, if not somewhat intimidated, to start painting. I decided to play with the idea of the pink clouds that lead me to my home for the next week and the above is what materialized.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Maple, Georgian Bay

The Maple, Georgian Bay
30 x 30"
acrylic on canvas
 © Nicki Ault, 2013
sold

It was fun to paint this bold statement on what I teased Jackie and Bridget was the only Maple in Georgian Bay. And the funny thing was it wasn't actually a Maple tree- it was a Birch down in front of Bridget's cottage, but I "Mapled" it up for effect! I enjoyed playing up the never-ending horizon line and giving the whole thing a bit of a graphic effect with the bands of water and sky behind the tree.


Monday, November 18, 2013

The Last St. George Studio Open House


Photos of my space at the last St, George Studio open house. The building has been sold and we have to be out at the end of the month.




all photos © Nicki Ault, 2013

Man, I am sad to leave this place.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Heaven on Sulphide Lake

 Heaven on Sulphide Lake
36 x 48"
acrylic on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2013
sold

I've finally completed another large painting from my canoe trip experience in La Ronge. It really got off on the wrong foot and for awhile I was thinking it was going to be what my kids call an epic fail, but I kept working at it and solved some of the initial problems. I'm quite pleased with the result- I really like the depth of the forest and how some of the under-painting shows through.

This Sunday, November 17 is the last St. George Open Studio. The studio has been running for about 24 years and this is the 15th annual open house- I have been part of the studio for almost four years. I am feeling very sad about the end of this era, although I do know that change can be good. My little 13x14' space has provided me with a place to create, to be me and to sneak away from my everyday world. I will miss it.


If you are in Saskatoon this weekend please come by and say hello- I will be there from 1:00-6:00 p.m. The entrance to the studio is in the back alley behind 1932 St. George Ave. I will have my work from the canoe trip and Georgian Bay to show you.


Friday, November 15, 2013

Birch Forest, Autumn

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

I painted this quirky forest scene before my trip to Georgian Bay. Little did I know that it would mostly be Birch forests in that area and that my quest to paint red Maples on that trip would not really materialize.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Rock Collection, Georgian Bay

 Rock Collection, Georgian Bay
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2013
available exclusively at Lifestyles By Darrell Bell Gallery
sold

A good photo was hard to get on this one. I find dark images hard to photograph and the colour red is also difficult to accurately capture. Anyway, hopefully the drama comes through. When I delivered the paintings to Lifestyles this was Darrell's favorite. He was immediately drawn to it.

I have stated a few times already that my trip to Georgian Bay was amazing. It really was a dream. What if life afforded a person that kind of unincumbered time to paint day in and day out on a regular basis? Would it be special anymore, or is it made all the sweeter because it is a rare occurrence? All I know is that I am extremely grateful to my family to help me co-ordinate blocks of time to have adventures and focus on my work. My trips this year and my art classes have not been easy on anyone, my kids miss me and my husband has juggled a lot, so I am feeling very fortunate (and a smidge guilty).

So as much as I have raved about the fabulousness of my trip you must be thinking, "But Nicki, was it totally perfect? Surely it couldn't have all gone smoothly." Well, you are right!!! 

At the end of the trip I had made plans to go from Owen Sound to Guelph so I could have a day and night to spend with my sister. I had to transfer buses in Toronto and when we arrived I got my suitcase and headed straight in to the depot to use the facilities. When I came out I began looking for the gate where I was supposed to catch the bus for the trip to Guelph. Nothing. I went to the desk to ask where to go and the man looked at me with shock and panic and said, "You got off at the wrong stop!" I said, "WHAT???"  He said, "You got off one stop too soon, you were supposed to go downtown." I said "WHAT the... what???" He suggested I catch the subway because it would get me downtown in half an hour and I said, "But my bus leaves in half an hour! Should I get a taxi???" He said that was why he thought I should take the subway... it would be quicker than fighting traffic on the streets of TO. He very kindly gave me instructions... verbal and printed out. My first thought was that if they actually have printed out instructions on hand for people like me, this clearly is happening way too often and maybe it is time for the bus drivers to announce their stops!

I hoisted my backpack on my back and whipped out the handle of my rolling suitcase and booked 'er out to the street, across the freeway on the pedestrian over-pass, scrounged $3.00 in change out of the depths of my purse and found the platform where I had to catch the southbound train to St. Patrick. Suddenly, out of desperation, I was the most non-shy person I knew- I was asking random strangers if I was in the right place, which train should get, when would it come and was I going in the right direction. When one girl didn't answer me fast enough I ditched her and asked a business man! Come on people! I had a sister to visit!!! I got on the train and we slowly made the stops leading up to St. Patrick. When we got there I burst out of that tunnel ASAP, but managed to get my suitcase stuck in the turnstile, so I lost a bit of time as I untangled myself. I burst into the daylight with determination- I was not missing this connection! I used all of my intuition and previous Toronto experience to make my best guess as to the direction I was supposed to go and soon enough I was passing a few people that had been on that first bus with me. I felt relief and panic all at once! I appeared to be in the right vicinity, but was I too late? Just to solidify that my internal GPS had me going the right way, I asked another stranger for help; with his confirmation I knew I was hot on the bus depot trail. I wove in and out of the throngs of pedestrians only to bump right into the bus driver who let me get off at the wrong stop!!! I said, "Hi, I clearly got off where I shouldn't have and now I need to know where to go to catch my bus to Guelph." He directed me with absolutely no emotion to the terminal across the street and moved on with his day. I don't know why I was expecting some sort of apology, but he gave me sweet nothin'.

I caught my connection with minutes to spare and now I know what it would be like to be on the Amazing Race!

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Beach, Georgian Bay

The Beach, Georgian Bay
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2013
available exclusively at Lifestyles By Darrell Bell Gallery
sold

My trip to Georgian Bay was made in heaven and in the end it was quite inexpensive because we stayed at Bridget's family cottage. I feel extremely fortunate to have had this opportunity, never mind the luck in having a place to stay the entire time away. The cottage was adorable and located about twenty minutes outside of Owen Sound right on the water. We set up a make-shift studio in the garage and constantly had fires burning in the fire pit just outside of the "studio". The cottage was set up on the hill overlooking the Bay and just a short walk down took you to the beach. The painting above is the beach to the left of the family property. Rocks, rocks and more rocks! It was quite fascinating because many of the rocks were sheared off and flat and a large number of them had fossils. That definitely had me missing my boys because I knew they would have loved to explore and find interesting treasures.




I actually painted this scene first with acrylic on a 30 x 30" canvas (as you can see in the middle photo) and I was so happy with it that I wanted to try another version in oil, so I decided to paint a small one for the Lifestyles store. I am really happy with the palette of colours. Hope you like!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Cloud, Georgian Bay

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

Even though I have now flown over Georgian Bay and seen its magnitude from the sky as well as physically driven around the area, I still have trouble fathoming its size. It is huge! And it is just a bay off an even larger lake! My experience with lakes is that you can see the far shore in the distance. In this case I felt as though I was looking out to the ocean where all you see is water and sky. Some late afternoons were hazy so the horizon line was soft and vague. It was like that the evening I sat out to paint this scene. Initially the painting was a yawner because the plan I had of abstracting the bands of colour of water and sky just did not translate. Oh my, it was boring!!! The solution... create an interesting cloud based the ones I saw at sunset on my first day there which contained lots of pink. I also tried to get some movement happening in the water. Voila- a less boring painting!