Sunday, May 14 - Mother's Day Tea Show and Sale: taking place at Studio On 20th from 12-4p.m. Our studio will be open to the public on this afternoon to exhibit the most current work by artists Bridget Aitken, Nicki Ault, Kathy Bradshaw, Jan Corcoran, Ann Donald, Jane Harington, Miranda Jones, Brenda Kennedy, Karen Maguire, Amira Wasfy and Carol Wylie. We are located at 236A 20th Street Between Aves. B and C (door to the left of the Odd Couple restaurant).

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, August 28, 2014

Coming Home

Coming Home
36 x 36"
oil on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2014
sold 

I'm feeling really happy - this painting went over well. I don't do commissions often, but when I have I find it a nerve-wracking experience. This week I delivered "Coming Home" to Lifestyles By Darrell Bell Gallery where I met with the client, her mom and Darrell. I was very nervous because I wondered if it would measure up to what she envisioned in her mind's eye. Her reaction was quite immediate- and she loved it! Whew! She has recently graduated from medical school and this painting is a congratulatory gift from her mom. I am honoured that one of my paintings was chosen to celebrate this special accomplishment; I am grateful that she connected with my work so much that she wanted a large piece for her home. She is planning to move down east in the future, so I hope that when she looks at this prairie scene she feels like she is coming home. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Georgian On My Mind

Georgian On My Mind
36 x 36"
acrylic on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2014
sold

The show is up!

Linda Stark, curator extraordinaire, took the diverse work of Bridget Aitken, Jacqueline Faye Miller and myself and created a wonderfully cohesive exhibition for us at St. Thomas More Gallery. I am so relieved it came together. And so proud of us gals! The trip to Georgian Bay last October was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity. Happily we made the most of the experience and, with this show, it continues.

Georgian Bay: Three Takes will be up until the end of October with the artists' reception being held on Friday, September 12 from 7-9 p.m. All are welcome. I am particularly excited to share our "three takes" work. The three of us got together with all of our photographs from the trip and, after a lot of narrowing down, chose one iconic image that represented our experience in Georgian Bay. We then each painted our own take of the picture resulting in three very different points of view. Fun! Above is my "take" which I have not shown until now, but I have done a couple of smaller paintings with a similar feel. I love the drama and colours- it is definitely better in person. As usual it is hard to capture the dark hues in a photograph.

If you have time in the next couple of months to go to the gallery (it is on the second floor of St Thomas More College at the University of Saskatchewan), please let me know what you think or leave a message in the guest book. Better yet, come to the reception and say "hi".

Sunday, August 24, 2014

That Was Close!

Palaeozoic Beach, Georgian Bay
36 x 48"
acrylic on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2014

I was at the studio late yesterday afternoon doing some last minute tasks in preparation for the Georgian Bay show which goes up on Monday. I am very excited about it and hope my work holds up next to Bridget and Jackie's. I can't help but feel insecure and nervous, but onward I go.

At any rate, it so happened that Bridget was at the studio doing the same, last minute tasks. In fact, she was even working on a painting for the show! Her husband was there helping her with some wiring and framing and he got looking at my work. He happens to be a geologist and brought to my attention that the original title of this painting was inaccurate. Yikes! It turns out I got my holidays from last year mixed up. Originally I named this painting "Pre-Cambrian Beach", but the rocks in this area are from the Palaeozoic era. Whew, that was close! The rocks from my canoe trip are the ones that are Pre-Cambrian. I got schooled today! (And I am grateful).

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Dark Cloud at Sunset

 
Dark Clouds at Sunset
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2014

Well, today is a special day- five years ago I gave myself this blog for my birthday. I didn't know what I was doing but I kept going through the steps on Blogger and the next thing you know I had a blog. I began because I found myself inspired by the daily painting blogs of Duane Keiser, Abbey Ryan and Edward B. Gordon. Although a daily painting blog has not been for me, I do believe my blog and your reaction to it has kept me producing on a semi-regular basis over the past five years. This blog has pushed me to continue to paint and work and grow. "They" say most blogs don't last more than three months, so I feel like this has been a bit of a feat. I mean, five years is a chunk of time. Each month I have approximately 3000 people checking in and viewing what I am producing. WOW! Thank you! Canada is my biggest audience, with the United States being a close second. Believe it or not the third country to tune into this blog is Russia- and at one time Russia was in first place!

I am excited to have been painting for five years and I am even more excited with the response I have received. When I was a little girl all I really wanted to be was an artist and a mother. Today I am both. Thank you for watching me on my journey and for both bearing with me in my ruts and for helping me to celebrate my accomplishments. I hope in the future I will produce work that will be worthy of your attention and that will make you feel proud of my growth. I know that with help of Craig Berry at Atelier 2302 I will be able to paint at a higher and higher skill level. The thought of that is exciting to me.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Tilt

Tilt
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2014
http://www.dailypaintworks.com/fineart/nicki-ault/tilt/250923 
sold

A tricky composition, I realize, but I love the way this little pine tree was tilting off the rocky hillside and leaning over the lake, so I had to try. I found this scene while I was on a bike ride on the Red Deer trail in Waskesiu. So many trees are down in the area from harsh wind storms earlier this season, but this little fella is hanging on for dear life.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Ravaged

Ravaged, Sulphide Lake
12 x 12"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2014

I wanted to paint another depiction of the ravaged, old growth forest- sometimes the mood isn't over and I have to keep going. I hope you like this version.

On a related note, the "Canoeing and Painting in the Wild" trip leaves today! I had such a great time last year and I really hope the weather is kind to them. It is so beautiful in this area- I can actually tear up just thinking about it. Sulphide Lake is a little piece of heaven here on earth. I know one of the participants so I am anxiously awaiting stories when she gets back in four days. Paddling and painting- it's a good combination.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Calm Day, Sulphide Lake

Calm Day, Sulphide Lake
12 x 12"
oil on cradled panel
As I browsed through my photos Saturday evening I came across a shot from the "Canoeing and Painting In The Wild" trip last summer. The treeline and reflection really captivated me (which must be why I took the picture in the first place), so I stayed up late and painted my interpretation. The forest in the area had really taken a beating by the Spruce budworm and, as saddened as I was by that, I found it beautiful; the ravaged forest co-existing with new growth. I find it amazing that trees, grasses, weeds and plants can spring up on such an unlikely rocky terrain.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Waskesiu River In August

Waskesiu River In August
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2014

I got to feeling very restless yesterday, not exactly grumpy, but definitely mildly agitated. I am on holidays with my family and brought my supplies with me hoping to get a chance to paint. A week into the vacation and the opportunity had never materialized. I think that was what was eating at me. A few chances to take reference photos around the lake had worked out, but never enough time to paint en plein air. Finally, late yesterday afternoon, I decided to be proactive and deal with my mood; I pulled out a board and my paints and worked on the deck using a picture on the screen of my camera. The relief was almost instant. It meant I didn't shower before supper with my parents, but the priority was to be a pleasant person to be around! It worked.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Living In Harmony

Living In Harmony
6 x 6"
oil on cradled panel

As I was organizing my 6x6's the other day I came across "Living In Harmony" which I painted last summer, but realized I had not posted it on the blog or the Daily Paintworks Gallery. Better late than never I suppose, so here it is.

I have spent almost all of the summers of my life, for some length of time or another, in Waskesiu Lake, Prince Albert National Park. It has changed and grown over the years and is perhaps a bit more commercial than it used to be, but I still love it. It is now a real source of joy to see my children playing and exploring in this environment; we all feel a bit more relaxed and free. The kids are old enough to take off on their bikes and tour around, but they are young enough to still enjoy biking as a family. For two summer seasons as a young adult I lived and worked in Waskesiu. I was a waitress at the golf course restaurant and I LOVED making tips!  The first summer I saved every last penny of my tips which paid for a two month trip to Europe with my sister. The second summer I saved all of my tips and bought furniture for my first apartment. As time unfolds it will be interesting to see if my boys want to work at the lake.

Waskesiu Lake is situated two and a half hours north of Saskatoon, where I live, in the Boreal forest. Both deciduous and evergreen trees grow in the Boreal forest- they live in harmony, so that is where the title for this painting comes from. Clever, eh?

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Prairie Dugout and The Canadian Organic Grower Magazine


My copies finally arrived! It's the Spring/Summer issue of The Canadian Organic Grower with Prairie Dugout on the cover. It was exciting to see how the magazine looked in person- it felt like a bit of an accomplishment. A huge thank you to Beth and her team for using the image of my painting and for making it look so good. The Canadian Organic Grower Magazine is run by volunteers; if you would like to learn more please go to their beautiful website at http://magazine.cog.ca/about-2/.