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.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Above The Dugout

Above The Dugout
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2014
sold
Daily Paintworks Gallery

Although my recent paintings have been very Saskatchewan inspired, they have been very northern Saskatchewan inspired, so to switch things up I decided to do a little wide-open prairie scene. For this I used a resource photo of a dugout that I took last year as we drove to the lake. I love the cloud building in the distance and how it looks as it catches the light of the late afternoon setting sun.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Rocky Point, Lynx Lake

Rocky Point, Lynx Lake
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2014
sold

Another little painting inspired by the canoe trip. I think Cliff at CanoeSki is planning to organize another excursion this year, so if you like plein air painting and adventure, keep it in mind. (It is likely to be in August again).

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Islands, Sulphide Lake

The Islands, Sulphide Lake
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2014


I continue to be inspired by the painting and canoeing adventure I took last August with CanoeSki. I can't get it out of my system. I love looking at my photos and remembering the glorious landscape of untouched forest. I am still fascinated by the moss, trees and foliage bursting from what seemed at times like an impossible terrain. I had never experienced the Canadian Shield before and I think I might be hooked!

Saturday went really well at Hues Art Supply. I painted from about 10:30-1:00 and visited with people as they came by. It was a real treat, but I did have a bit of trouble remembering where I was going with the canvas I had started the weekend before. Right now I am at that precarious point where I am not sure if it is worth continuing on!



Thanks to all of you who stopped by on Saturday to say hello and check out my art as well as this great new store. You made the day a success! And thanks to those who even saw fit to purchase a painting. I am very grateful!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

I'll Be At Hues Art Supply Today

 

I am on my way over to Hues Art Supply to spend some time working on the above painting and then to enjoy the artist reception from 2-4 p.m. I began this canvas last weekend so I hope I can get back into the swing of it and continue where I left off. At this point it is just the rudimentary under-painting and sketch of the composition. Any guesses as to what it is going to be? I am also bringing with me three new 6x6" paintings.

Here is the invitation again... if you are in the neighborhood please stop by and say "hi"!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

View From The Canoe, Sulphide Lake

View From The Canoe, Sulphide Lake
24 x 30"
acrylic on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2014
available for the month of February at Hues Art Supply

I was able to get to the studio last week, despite the cold weather, and I managed to get another painting done for the show at Hues Art Supply. I am also working on a few little 6x6's which I will bring with me on Saturday for the artist's reception.

NOTE: the colour looks right in this image until I upload it to the blog- then it does not seem accurate- that has never happened before.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Willows


The Willows
48 x 36"
acrylic and oil on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2014
available at Hues Art Supply for the month of February

I was painting this one right down to the wire and we hung it wet! I made some rather significant last minute changes and improvements to the painting so hanging it without drying time was the way it had to be. It has some good impact behind the till. The above image was taken after it was hung, so once the show is down I hope to get a better photo of it.


The painting hanging on the left-hand side has now been switched-out for a new one, just painted last week. You'll see it in my next post.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Willow Tangle

Willow Tangle
30 x 30"
oil on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2014
sold

It has been awhile since I painted one of these close-up Wolf Willow and foliage pieces, so I decided to do a couple for the show at Hues Art Supply.


I think "Willow Tangle" looks quite dramatic against the dark gray wall.

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Descent

The Descent
12 x 12"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2014
Daily Paintworks Gallery
sold 

Same quiet evening at the lake. Same peaceful contentment in the air. Different part of the sky. Different point in the descent of the sun.

This new painting is available at Hues Art Supply for the month of February.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Hush

Hush
12 x 12"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2014
Daily Paintworks Gallery
sold 

I can almost hear the calm of the lake the night I took the resource photos for this painting. The water was gently rippling its way to the shore, making ever-so-slight lapping noises on the wet sand. The stillness and quiet of the forest was a perfect foil to the vibrancy of the sky.

This painting is available at Hues Art Supply for the month of February.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

I Could Only Take So Much

image © Nicki Ault

It was bitterly cold yesterday. I had hoped to spend the day painting at the temporary studio, but despite layers of clothing and two space heaters propped inches from me, I could only take so much. It was cold! I got a good start to a new painting from Sulphide Lake in La Ronge, but I had to leave the studio after a few hours. My hands were soooo chilly and the paint was very stiff. It is supposed to be a bit nicer by the weekend, so I will have to take advantage of it. Let's hope!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Wild Grasses

Wild Grasses
16 x 16"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2014
sold

Here is another new painting that you will find hanging at Hues Art Supply for the month of February.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

It Was A Fun Night

The Shield
Mann Art Gallery, Prince Albert

The Shallows, Georgian Bay
Mann Art Gallery, Prince Albert

Whew! My nerves survived the night! I really wanted to bail out, but I pushed through and made myself go. When my friend Bridget Aitken and her husband picked me up, she let me know that she had received one of the coveted phone calls earlier in the week to say that she would be getting an award! I perked right up and at that point I just knew it would be a great evening.

I was very nervous to see the layout of the galleries and to see where my paintings were placed based on the hierarchy I had been told about. As you can see above, one of my pieces was in the main gallery and one was in the secondary gallery. The main gallery was curated beautifully and it felt great to see "The Shield" hanging in that space. Unfortunately the secondary gallery was somewhat jammed- there was more work than there was space- and it was really hard for any of the pieces to be properly seen or appreciated.  In some ways I was not surprised that "The Shallows, Georgian Bay" was there. As much as I like the painting, it is an odd composition and has a very unique feel to it. Initially I was going to send a different painting, but then I settled on it because it was a bit more of a risk- and this is the year of risk and challenge! In the end I felt no disappointment- I actually felt proud that I put myself out there in an uncomfortable way. In some respect there did not necessarily seem to be a rhyme or reason to the galleries, although the third gallery space did seem to be a bit more of the "novice" work- however an award winning piece was hanging in that space, so who knows? It all messes with your head a bit!

One of the best moments from the night was when a young woman and her friend came over to see if I was Nicki! It turns out she is an artist and watches my blog/Facebook page! We had a wonderful chat and I was so happy to meet her. She seemed genuinely excited to meet me and was pumped that her painting was hanging right beside mine (to the right of The Shallows). The sky in her piece had the most ethereal glow to it- really lovely.

Another great thing about the night was simply hanging out and talking art with friends. Several artists I know had submitted work and made the drive from Saskatoon to Prince Albert for the opening. They were all veterans of this show and were the reason I knew about it in the first place. One of them, Cam Forrester, also won an award last night, so that added to the joie de vivre!

On the drive home I was able to reflect on the evening and I came to some conclusions about this new experience. Number One: take it all with a grain of salt. While it can be a valuable learning experience and important to have your work adjudicated, the decisions are made by educated opinion, but are not absolute truths. A different pair of adjudicators might have come up with an entirely different show and awarded prizes to completely different work. It's fascinating really. Number Two: there are some fantastic artists in this province. Number Three: taking risks can be stressful, but can also be rewarding. Number Four: it is great to see friends succeed and be there to support them in their accomplishments. At the same time, it is really great to be with friends as support if there are disappoints. Number Five: they do not put submitted paintings outside under rocks!

The show runs until March 22- check it out if you can.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Why, Oh Why?

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

Why, oh why did I decide to have a year of risk and challenge??? The months ahead could potentially be very stressful! I entered these two paintings in the Mann Art Gallery Winter Festival Show and Sale which is a big public gallery in Prince Albert, Sask. This is a juried show and apparently after the pieces are adjudicated they are curated into one of three galleries. I hear, from colleagues who have entered other years, that you want to find your work hanging in the "main" gallery; it is okay to be placed in the secondary gallery, but you really don't want your work in the third gallery. UGH! 

The Shield, La Ronge
48 x 36"
acrylic on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2013
sold

Here is how I can tell this scenario is stressing me out... I had a bad dream about it the other night. I dreamed that the adjudicators hated my paintings so much that not only did the paintings not make the third gallery, but the judges actually put them outside under some rocks! ARGH!

I have planned, with a friend, to drive the one and a half hours to go to the opening gala tonight, but my nerves are getting the best of me. Whatever fate my paintings have received is already done- I just feel like keeping my eyes wide shut about it!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Sweep

Sweep
16 x 16"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2014
sold

Sometimes I am my own worst enemy, both by the negative self-talk that happens in my head and by the expectations I put on myself. I definitely put pressure on myself to come up with some new paintings for my show at Hues Art Supply; "Sweep" is one of them. In part I felt like the work I had on hand didn't necessarily come together to create a show (not that it needs to be a specific theme per se, but I do think a show needs some element of cohesion) and, in part, I really wanted to have that draw of never-before-seen work. I hope the show will be a success for Paul and his store. For me, a successful show is not just measured by sales, but also by attendance. I really hope I can generate some traffic for him and awareness for his new art supply store.

On that note we have planned a date when I will be at the store for part of the day... Saturday, Feb. 22, so mark your calendars... more information and invitations will follow.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Best Surprise Thanks to Hues Art Supply


I announced on Saturday that I just put up a show of my work at Hues Art Supply, a great new art store in town. Well, the next day in the afternoon my doorbell rang and to my delight it was a friend with her six year old daughter, Phoebe. She and her dad had been at Hues on Saturday afternoon and happened to see my artwork. While they were there Phoebe got a great new set of double-ended markers and went straight home to make me this colour wheel!!! What a great surprise to have it hand-delivered. Already good things are coming from the show at Hues!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

I Have A Show at Hues Art Supply!

Last Morning, Sulphide Lake
16 x 16"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2014
sold

Whew! What just happened?! One minute I was going about my business and the next minute a text came in and I had an art show! You never know what the day will bring, do you? 

 Hues Art Supply
1818 Lorne Ave., Saskatoon
(on the corner of Lorne and Taylor)
306-653-1900

A week ago I was invited to be the first "featured artist" at a fantastic new art store in town, Hues Art Supply. This is going to be a place that is about the artist, the community and coming together to learn, so... did I want to be the first artist that they feature? Heck yeah! But there was a catch... the first featured artist was planned for February! From the time I got the message to the time the show went up (this morning) I had exactly one week. A sane person might have said, no, that was too quick, but what did I do? I said YES! Of course being the way I am it wasn't long before I decided that I needed new, never-before-seen work for the show, so over the last week I painted madly. 


Today I hung the show with seven new works plus a few that were in my inventory. It looks good! I left feeling happy and now people need to know... not just about my show, but about this store.

Hues Art Supply has been open less than a month and supplies are still rolling in, but already it has a great atmosphere and I just know inspiring things are going to happen there. The owner, Paul Trottier, is a friend and paints a mean picture his own self! (Check out the link to his website by clicking on his name.) I want to wish him all the success in the world as this adventure gets under way. I am honoured to be the first artist he is showing in his store. 




 



Just look at all of those delicious art supplies!!! Swoon! He is carrying Princeton brushes, Daniel Smith oils, Nitram charcoal and much, much more! He even has some fun things for kids. If you are in Saskatoon please stop in to meet Paul and see what he is offering. You won't be disappointed.

Oh yeah, about the painting... I got sidetracked by excitement over the store. "Last Morning, Sulphide Lake" was painted late into the night on Thursday evening. It was inspired by photos I took on the last paddle across Sulphide Lake when I was on the "Canoeing and Painting In The Wild" adventure in August. It was the most beautiful, calm, sunny, glorious morning. I will always remember that breathtaking day; just the thought of it can still bring tears to my eyes. I hope you like the painting and I hope it conveys the feeling of awe I had that morning on the lake.