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, January 31, 2014

Bargue #2- Complete!

Bargue Drawing #2
graphite on Stonehenge paper
© Nicki Ault, 2014

It was a long road and that was a heck of a time-consuming beard, but I got there. My second Bargue drawing is finished! It was a love/hate relationship, but in the end love prevailed. A huge shout-out to the most patient and inspiring instructor I have had in awhile, Craig Berry at Atelier 2302 in Saskatoon. Next week I move on to a new challenge and start Bargue #3.

* If anyone has tips on how to get good photographs of drawings, please share them in the comments below. Thanks!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Winter on Meewasin and Winter Layers

Winter on Meewasin
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2013
available exclusively at Lifestyles by Darrell Bell Gallery

Winter Layers
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2013
available exclusively at Lifestyles by Darrell Bell Gallery

Both of these paintings were at Lifestyles for awhile last year, but I brought them home for the summer and then kept them a bit longer than that. :) It is time to let them go again, so I took them back to the store last week. I think they are the only two winter scenes I have available right now.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tree Line

Tree Line, Waskesiu
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2014
available exclusively at Lifestyles By Darrell Bell Gallery
sold

This is the last of the new paintings recently delivered to Lifetsyles. They have a 3x3 grid of my paintings on a feature wall in the store and it looks great! I dream of the day when someone says, "I'll take them all and can you install them just like that for me?!"

Monday, January 27, 2014

Homeland

Homeland
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2014
available exclusively at Lifestyles By Darrell Bell Gallery

Oh, how I love the wild prairies in Saskatchewan! I think I need to do a large canvas of this subject again soon.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Waves of Flax and Canola

Waves of Flax and Canola
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2014
available exclusively at Lifestyles By Darrell Bell Gallery
sold

Well, I have to say that I am thrilled with the relationship that has been established with Darrell Bell and the staff at his beautiful store, Lifestyles By Darrell Bell Gallery. I think it has been mutually beneficial, which I believe is the way it should be in business. I am excited that he requested more paintings after a busy holiday season, so today I dropped off some new work. I had a tiny panic when I got trapped in the elevator on my way up from the store to visit Darrell in his gallery. Right off the bat I was stuck at the lobby level inside the elevator; there was no movement for quite sometime. I was just there, trapped, with the doors closed. I hit some different buttons and went for a ride up to the eighth floor, but again the doors didn't open. I then traveled down to the second floor where I got off and made an attempt to go up the stairs to the gallery, but the door inside the stairwell to the fifth floor was locked. I managed to get back down to the lobby and luckily I ran into Ian who works at the gallery. He kindly reminded me that the gallery was on the fourth floor, not the fifth floor - a restricted floor- which was where I was trying with all of my being to go!!! Earlier, when I was on the second floor, I took the time to pop into the radio station and tell the receptionist that the elevator was not working properly and they may want to call maintenance to have it looked at. Embarrassing!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Available Work

Bright Prairie
30 x 40"
oil on canvas
© Nicki Ault
*slightly damaged on top edge, excellent price
sold

I have never done a post like this before, but I am looking at another studio move in just over a month so the lighter the load, the better! I am offering all of these paintings at 2013 prices for the next month- until February 24th. I have heard mixed opinions on whether or not to post prices online, so for now I will just say to email me (nicki.ault@shaw.ca) if you are interested in any of these pieces that way I can further describe the work and inform you of the price. Don't be shy! There is no obligation with asking. You can also inquire through my Facebook page by sending me a message at www.facebook.com/Nicki.Ault.Studio . If you are not in Saskatoon or area, shipping and payment can be worked out; I do have PayPal.

NOTE: There are two paintings that are noted as framed and I can email a larger photo showing the frame if you are interested. At the bottom of the post there is a photo showing how the little 6x6's are done in the shadowboxes. If you are interested in the above painting I can send a photo of the damage (I dropped a hammer on it and ripped the canvas on the top right-hand edge. Oops! It has been repaired, but still would be better with a frame that would cover that area and as such has been reduced below 2013 prices).  

 Red Sumacs, Georgian Bay
30 x30"
acrylic on canvas
© Nicki Ault

 The Big Finish
12 x 12"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault
sold
 
By The Lake
20 x 16"
oil on canvas
© Nicki Ault
sold

 Pasture Sketch, Georgian Bay
8 x 10"
oil on canvas board
© Nicki Ault
sold

 Patchwork Pasture, Georgian Bay
18 x 24"
acrylic on canvas
© Nicki Ault

Dogwood Arrangement
22 x 28"
oil on canvas
© Nicki Ault

 Rushing Water, Georgian Bay
30 x30"
acrylic on canvas
© Nicki Ault

 The Bog
20 x 16"
acrylic on canvas
(framed)
© Nicki Ault

 Against the Sky
20 x 16"
acrylic on canvas
(framed)
© Nicki Ault
sold

 Lonely Boulder, Georgian Bay
18 x 24"
 acrylic on canvas
© Nicki Ault

Interconnected
16 x 16"
acrylic on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault
sold

View of the Bay, Georgian Bay
10 x 8"
oil on canvas board
© Nicki Ault
sold

Patchwork of Raw Emotion
24 x 24"
oil on canvas
© Nicki Ault
sold

Ripple Effect
24 x 18"
acrylic on canvas
© Nicki Ault
sold

River Dance
24 x 36"
acrylic on canvas
© Nicki Ault
sold

The Wall, Waskesiu
30 x 30"
oil on canvas
© Nicki Ault
sold

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


Hillside Sketch, Georgian Bay
8 x 10"
oil on canvas board
© Nicki Ault
sold

Water Lines
12 x 16"
acrylic on canvas
© Nicki Ault
sold

Rocks, Georgian Bay
30 x 30"
acrylic on canvas
© Nicki Ault

I also have the following 6 x 6" paintings available; they are all framed in white shadow boxes and you can see how they look at the bottom of the images:

Little Dead Spruce
6x6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault

Late Day Drive North
6x6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault
sold

Moss Laden Spruce
6x6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault
sold

Roy G Biv
6x6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault
sold

Watering Hole
6x6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault
sold
 
 Fast Moving Clouds, Mekewap Lake
6x6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault
sold 


Thanks for having a look!

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Mann Gallery Winter Festival Juried Show and Sale

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

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

Two years ago my goal for the year was to organize and be part several shows and to work hard at getting my name and paintings "out there". I think I did something like three solo shows, four group shows and participated in a handful of artisan markets. I was tired by the end of all that! Last year my goal was to take the time to learn and find new inspiration, so I took classes at the new Atelier in town and went on some fantastic adventures to paint and take resource photos; a plein air painting and canoe trip to the La Ronge area of northern Saskatchewan, a week-long painting trip to Georgian Bay with two friends and a day of four-wheelin' it through the prairie country-side with another friend. A lot was accomplished in those two years.

With the beginning of a new year I have decided, with hesitation, that this will be the year of taking chances, taking risks and challenging myself. I say that with hesitation because I do wonder if I have the guts to follow through with some of my ideas. Time will tell. The good news is that I have already taken on a risk... yesterday I submitted two paintings (the ones you see above) to The Mann Gallery Winter Festival Juried Art Show and Sale. This is the 38th annual show and sale for the public gallery in Prince Albert, SK which is about an hour and a half north of Saskatoon where I live. I know several people who have submitted work over the last few years- some of them with great success, winning prizes and awards and even having their work purchased for the gallery's permanent collection. At any rate, the risk involved is that this show has jurors who may or may not like what they see! Ack! But I don't want to be a chicken and take the safe road all the time. It is uncomfortable to be put in the position of judgment, especially in front of your peers, but I think it is the next step on my journey. So I did it, despite my initial attempts at finding excuses as to why I couldn't send anything.  My friends Bridget Aitken and Jackie Miller (who I traveled with to Georgian Bay) took a car-load of submissions to the gallery yesterday, including mine, and there will be a big opening on February 7th. I hope to go, but my husband will be away, so we will see if I can work something out.

So now that I have stated that this will be a year of taking on challenge and risk, I guess I better follow through or you might call me on it in December!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Studio Time And "Out The Blue" Opening


I have had a bit of a dry spell since moving to the temporary studio in late November. Other than producing a few small pieces for Lifestyles By Darrell Bell Gallery, I have painted zilch. The conditions at the studio were a bit extreme for a good chunk of December; no heat and -40 degree Celcius does not make for ideal painting circumstances. Aside from that I was busy with home renos, the craziness of the holidays, illness (both me then my son) and serious winter malaise. Here we are past the middle of January and I am finally starting to feel motivated again. I was at the studio this week easing into things by doing odd jobs: wiring, painting edges, varnishing and tidying. By Friday I was in the mood to start a new project and began feeling excited about other projects I have in mind. What a treat to feel this way again!

I went to the studio yesterday and got to work on a 30 x 30" canvas. Above you see the "under-painting" and no, it is not the start of an abstract! When I left for the day the composition was taking shape and I woke up early this morning thinking about it. There was no way I was going to fall back asleep, so I got up and went to the studio. I did not take into account, however, that the sun had not risen and since the lights don't work in my part of the studio, it was very dark. Thanks to the myriad of extension cords which get the space heaters going, I was able to rig up a spotlight and get to work. Ooooh it felt good. The painting looks way different now than what you see here. Hint: it is a piece that will join my Georgian Bay series.


Tonight is the opening of "Out the Blue" at Prairie Star Gallery and I am so looking forward to enjoying a night with my art friends. I am anxious to see how my two paintings, "Breaking Free" and "Incredible Lightness", look in the space and with the rest of the work. Gallery hours are limited and can be found on this poster. Thanks to Kim Ennis for inviting me to be part of this show, I am honoured to be included!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Group Show - Out The Blue

I am very excited and honoured to have been invited as a guest artist in a show called "Out the Blue" at Prairie Star Gallery, a new gallery in town. It is an exhibition of work showcasing what can happen when inspiration strikes. I am really looking forward to seeing the art-work; I think there are about eighteen participating artists and I am sure it will be an intriguing show.

I am submitting two pieces that were inspired by smaller studies I did for one of my 30 paintings in 30 days projects. I liked the small originals so much that I kept them for myself and I decided to take the subjects and expand them to a larger format. They are different than the originals but the inspiration is there and I was definitely in "the zone" when I painted them.

Breaking Free
16 x 16"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2012
sold

Incredible Lightness
16 x 16"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2012
sold

The exhibition will be on show from January 19 - February 26, so if you find yourself driving down 8th Street during gallery hours, please stop in and have a look. Better yet, come to the opening next Sunday evening as I hope to be there too.

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Big Finish - 600 Posts!

The Big Finish
12 x 12"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2013
sold

There are some milestones associated with today's blog; it officially marks the six hundredth post I have written since I began "Nicki Ault: Me, Myself and Who am I?" in August 2009. Yes, 600! That is a lot of typing for a gal who works the keyboard in a real hunt-and-peck kind of fashion. And that is a lot of artwork. Granted not every post has included a new painting; on the occasion I have shared a bit of photography or promotional material, or written a Sunday Spotlight, but in that length of time I would be very close to 600 paintings. It's a bit mind-blowing actually. I create art, I love it, it does not feel like work to me, it makes me happy and I feel like a complete person when I am painting. The unexpected and extremely rewarding bonus is that people have been responding to my work. I am not sure I can actually put into words the emotion I feel when someone connects to a piece of my work and wants to make it theirs. Wow. It is humbling and it makes me want to continue to grow and push myself so that collectors and potential collectors feel proud to support my work. 

The other milestone is that this painting, "The Big Finish", is the last of 2013. I thought a sunset was a fitting subject to wrap up the year. Whatever comes next will be created in a new calendar year and be a fresh start of sorts. I am looking ahead to goals and plans and mulling around ideas. It is all exciting and scary and unknown. Where will I paint? What will I paint? What will I learn? Who will I meet? How will I pull off some of my ideas? That is the glorious unknown and I hope you will check in once in awhile to find out what is happening as I keep trying to figure out the "Who Am I?' part of this journey.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Moody On Flat Rock Beach, Georgian Bay

Moody on Flat Rock Beach, Georgian Bay
30 x 30"
acrylic on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2013
sold

Voila! The last of the Georgian Bay series (until I paint more). This also happens to be the one I painted on the last day of the holiday. It was a bit daunting at the start and again at the halfway point, what with all of those flat rocks and all, but it came together. Clearly I took some artistic license and popped in some extra jolts of colour... in reality the scene was extremely gray. One of my favorite parts is the aqua blue colour on the water at the horizon line. 

So there you have it... I hope you enjoyed the unveiling of the Georgian Bay series. It took awhile, but we got to the end. Thanks for following me on my journey and leaving encouraging comments along the way both here and on my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/Nicki.Ault.Studio). I think now have only one other painting from 2013 to show you and then it is onto a new year with new projects. Here's hoping the creative juices keep flowing.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Rocks, Georgian Bay

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

We are nearing the end of the collection produced in Georgian Bay; only one more painting to show after this. "Rocks, Georgian Bay" sits with "Rushing Water" at the top of my list of favorites. I often start my acrylic work with rough, loose, colourful under-paintings, but never intend for them to be the final vision. In the past, when things have gelled at this stage, people have told me to stop and consider the under-painting to be a finished work. That concept has always blown my mind and I have only ever once stopped at this stage. I have always wanted to carry out my full vision, so stopping at the start, as it were, never made sense to me. 

The goals of the trip were to find fresh subject matter, to push myself in new directions, to create interesting compositions and stay loose without getting trapped in details and to be open to things happening without too much planning. As "Rocks" got underway everything was just feeling right and I rolled with it. I opened myself to the idea that the scrubby, thin under-painting could actually be interesting on its own. I loved how the tree-line area evolved and I realized that I didn't have to elaborate more than that if I didn't want to. I carried that thought through the whole piece- working some areas a bit more than others and leaving some areas rather raw. I am very pleased with the final energy of the piece and, to me, it is simple and complex all at once. While it is not an under-painting, it does have some of the qualities of that stage and I am glad I pushed myself to experiment a bit.  

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year, New Projects, New Outlook


HaPpY nEw YeAr !!!

I should have written this earlier today, but I worked on my renos (which is now just me trying to get the painting done) then was extraordinarily tired and had a massive headache. No, the fatigue and headache cannot be blamed on a wild New Year's Eve- we did not do anything as daring and risque as going out with adults. That is crazy talk! We stayed home with the kids, had a seafood supper picnic-style on the basement floor, played a game of Risk and then watched the New Year's festivities on T.V. My youngest and I danced when the ball dropped in New York and then we called it a night. It was simple way to ring in 2014, but I had been sick over the holidays so I didn't have energy for much else. 

The first day of the new year is almost done, but it is still not too late for me to wish all of you the best for the remaining 364 days. Thank you so very much for finding little chunks of time to read my posts and to look at my artwork. I hope you will continue to come back to see what unfolds in the days and months to come. It is going to be a year of change and challenge, this I know, but where the chips fall remains to be seen. I'm excited and nervous... and bracing myself a bit. I hope I'm up for it all. I saw this quote today and loved the words...

"May I have the courage today
To live the life I would love,
To postpone my dreams no longer
But do at last what I came here for
And waste my heart on fear no more."

~John O'Donohue

All the best to you!