New Representation: my art is now available at the Assiniboia Gallery in Regina! They are located at 2266 Smith Street, a vibrant, bustling part of town.

November 15 - December 31, 2017: Holiday Salon - Small Works Show at Darrell Bell Gallery (street level ), running through the holidays, Darrell and his team have installed a grid of twenty of my 8x8's as well as a small wall of larger pieces at the front of the gallery. Lots of great gift ideas to be found by the many gallery artists on display.

Ongoing: my 8x8" original oil paintings are available exclusively at Darrell Bell Gallery located in the Canada Building in downtown Saskatoon. As well, some of my large oil paintings are now available in this beautiful local gallery.

November 10, 2016: I was interviewed by Daily Paintworks as their Spotlight Artist for a week! Read my interview on the DPW News blog!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Dance

The Dance: Wolf Willow and Dogwood
36 x 48"
acrylic and oil on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2013

This one is big! And heavy! And awkward to carry! 

It has been quite a work in progress and kept me busy all through Art Trek weekend and beyond. The colours are a bit fantastical, but I'm okay with that- I wanted it to be full of life, even though it is in the fall when foliage is actually dying away. I wanted it to feel hopeful and celebratory; I wanted the leaves to feel dance-y. If this painting makes you smile and maybe brightens your day, I'm a happy girl.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sunday Spotlight - Walden Sweet

 
image © Walden Sweet
 
A few years ago when I was quite new to St. George Studio I met a great couple who were renting space in a room down the hall. To access their space at the time, they had to go through my space, so if our paths ever crossed we would have a bit of a chat and a few giggles. Wayne Jorgenson and Dana Mastel are screen printers and I loved visiting their space to see what was hot off the press so-to-speak. And on the topic of their space, it was always so clean and organized; so inviting and inspiring. Their print-making business is called Walden Sweet and I hope you enjoy this sampling of their work:

image © Walden Sweet
 
 image © Walden Sweet

image © Walden Sweet

image © Walden Sweet

Admittedly I don't know much about printmaking, but I do know when I like something and I like the work of Walden Sweet. I find Wayne and Dana's designs simple, whimsical, fun and livable. What I find inspiring is that their art can be enjoyed during everyday moments because what they create can be printed on everyday objects. 
 
 image © Walden Sweet
 
image © Walden Sweet
 
I am also extremely inspired by the way Wayne and Dana work to promote handmade goods in our community. They are true supporters of art and craft; they work hard to spread the word about talented local craftspeople. They also eagerly share opportunities for craftspeople through their own online network. Wayne and Dana are two of the founders of the indie handmade market in Saskatoon called Flock and Gather which I was thrilled to be a part of this spring. It is a runaway hit and they should be proud of the top-notch event they have created for our city.

image © Walden Sweet
 
Here is a little blurb they sent for me to share with you and I hope you take a few minutes to explore the links they provided...
 
 
Hi. We are Dana Mastel and Wayne Jorgenson, and we are Walden Sweet.

It all started with one screen printing class at Emily Carr Institute and we were hooked. As anyone who has screen printed will tell you it is alternately infuriating and exhilarating, often within moments of one another. We have chased those exhilarating moments since, printing on most anything we can find.

These days we are focusing on limited edition posters and screen printed fabric household items. We really enjoy making them and hope you'll enjoy them too.

Places you can find us online:
 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Heartland

Heartland
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 two paintings I delivered to Lifestyles yesterday. I worked from the same photo reference I used for Mi Amor, but did not really remember how I painted it. Turns out Heartland is quite similar. I love it so much I may have to try it on a grand scale! However, I do believe it is time to go on a photo-shoot to get some new inspiration.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Waskesiu River

Waskesiu River: Grasses and Reflections
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2013
available exclusively at Lifestyles by Darrell Bell Gallery
sold

Today I delivered two paintings to Lifestyles by Darrell Bell Gallery... just in time for Father's Day weekend. Perhaps they will be the perfect gift for someone to give Dad this year.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

"Bargue" Drawing - Stage Five

Bargue drawing - stage 5

The light wasn't great in the room when I took this photo, but hopefully you get the overall effect. This is the fifth stage of the drawing, or the big form modelling stage. I was anxious to begin working on this stage, I really wanted to tackle the details and subtleties of the shadow areas to make it come alive (in-so-much as a drawing of a statue can come alive!) Many hours have been invested in this stage and I know there is still more work to do. When I look at the Bargue drawing of this same plate by instructor, Craig Berry, I am amazed at how smooth and fine his work is. None of the texture from the paper shows through his graphite work, it almost seems impossible that it could be a pencil drawing. I do wonder if I will ever be that refined in my work. I'm looking forward to my class tomorrow night to learn how to get such a soft, buttery effect and how to bring this drawing to a high-end finish. Once it is officially complete I will be sure to get a really good photo to show.




Friday, June 7, 2013

Turmoil Overhead

Turmoil Overhead
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2013
sold

This is the other piece I did in the backyard the other day, trying to muster up emotion through memory. I love the Kenderdine Campus, and as much as it is my happy place, it also has been a place where I have experienced many deep emotions. I clearly remember the internal conflict I felt when I went back to the campus in 2007 after a 6 year hiatus (I had babies in the meantime). I was giddy to be at Emma Lake again (I had been in 2000 and 2001), ready to immerse myself in the art I had been missing while in the throes of child-rearing. But I recall feeling enormous guilt for leaving behind my then three and five year old boys so that I could do something so indulgent as to paint for seven days. Let me just say that it has gotten easier every year since then!

On another note... Art Trek is about to start, so I better do my last minute preps and errands. Hope to see you there- I'll be at St. George Studio and don't forget it is a back alley entrance! Here is the info. one more time:


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Calm Emma

Calm Emma
6 x 6"
oil on board

Rarely do I paint entirely from memory- usually I work from one of my photos or within the environment itself. I did two paintings yesterday, both from memory, sitting in my backyard enjoying the sounds and gentle breeze. I worked on capturing an emotion; in this case a feeling of calm, peace and tranquility with an element of levity or hope. This was how I often felt at the Emma Lake Kenderdine Campus sitting on the dock or in an Adirondack chair at the beach looking across to Fairy Island. It is a place where I simply felt good and like my truest self. 

It is not always easy to get to my truest self in the city with schedules and activities and work pulling in all directions. Maybe I just need to look around and I will find a replacement for this magical place, but I'm not convinced. And I don't think I am ready to move on... and yet I am a bit lonely for my truest self. I find myself in a smidge of a conundrum!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Art Trek: Studio Discovery Tour


It's that time... the second annual Art Trek! Grab some friends and coffee and see if you can get to all locations in and around Saskatoon. There are three new "studios" involved this year which makes eight altogether and a total of about 60 artists to meet! It should be a lot of fun... go to Facebook for a map and more info:

www.facebook.com/ArtTrekSaskatoon

I will be at St. George Studio ("H" on the map) working on some new paintings and making shadow boxes. Please stop by and say "hi"!