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!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Meewasin Study #3

Meewasin Study #3
6 x 6"
oil on board

The studies continue... and therefore so does the procrastination! I spent a good deal of time looking at the large canvas today, sighing, walking away and drinking water. Maybe if I had something a bit stiffer than water to drink I might have actually put some paint on the thing! Never-the-less a lot of thinking is taking place as I do these studies... where is the focal point going to be? Where are the light and dark shapes? Is there a nice balance to the composition? Is there flow to it all? Hmmm... it is all very Bargue related. Funny that. I am ever-so-slightly shocked and ashamed to say that, in the past, I didn't give a great deal of thought to these things. Mostly I just painted from my gut - which I still want to do, but with a more refined, thoughtful approach. 

So I ask you... is it possible to paint from a place of passion and intuition, but also from a place of thoughtful contemplation? Can a painting be both planned and impulsive?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Meewasin Study #2

Meewsain Study #2
6 x 6"
oil on board

Yesterday I continued to play with pigments to see what mixtures I might like to use for my larger painting. Did I mention the size of the canvas that is waiting in the wings? It is 36 x 60! Although I need to do these little studies, they are also helping to procrastinate tackling this sucker!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Meewasin Study #1

Meewasin Study #1
6 x 6"
oil on board

I am gearing up to paint the largest painting I have done yet. Leading up to it I am going to do a few studies in order to figure out some of the colour palette and ideas of the light patterns and composition. Lots to think about. It may or may not pan out.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Bargue #3 - Done and Done!

The Belvedere Torso
Bargue #3- complete
~18 x 14"
graphite on Stonehenge paper
© Nicki Ault, 2014

After months of part-time work equaling hours and hours and HOURS of drawing time, my third and final "Bargue" is complete. I am feeling pretty dang good after putting the final touches on this baby at yesterday's class. I am officially moving on to the next stage of the drawing program at Atelier 2302 which is based on the Charles Bargue Drawing Course. Next I will be drawing from a cast- a real life, three dimensional object instead of a copy of a plate from a book.

Although each of my first two Bargues represented a milestone of sorts, this third Bargue feels rather monumental by comparison. The completed Belvedere Torso feels like it was all me... and it was. I started from zero, just me and the plate I had to enlarge and copy. No pre-done construct, no shadow shapes already worked out into light and dark, no work done for me in any way as was the case with the other two. Not only did I have to measure and transfer this image accurately, I had to enlarge it! Hello concept of comparative measure, nice to meet you! I found a section on the plate that was to be my unit of measure, decided how much to increase it by (about 30%) and then transferred that new unit onto my paper in the right location. From that point on all measurements were compared to those units and transferred accordingly as I built the construct of the drawing. Right now I can't believe I did it from start to finish, but here it is! Fully rendered and fine tuned. DONE!


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

First Evening, Georgian Bay

First Evening, Georgian Bay
6 x 6"
oil on board

The year is going by so quickly all of a sudden. The kids will soon be out of school and just as fast the summer will be over and we will be hanging the Georgian Bay show. I don't feel too panicked- I have most of my work from the trip and I have painted a bit more over the winter. I feel I haven't quite nailed the image in my head of the glorious clouds that greeted us as we arrived in Georgian Bay, so I may try yet another painting of them. I'm chasing this one a bit!

Monday, June 16, 2014

A Painting in the School Archives

Cool Blue Sky
7 x 7"
acrylic on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2008

A neat thing happened recently which has resulted in another first for me. A couple of months ago my sister, a teacher, wondered if I had any art supplies to donate to a basket that her school was making for a fundraiser. I did and I also decided to donate this little framed painting, "Cool Blue Sky". I sketched it on the beach at the Emma Lake Kenderdine Campus. Anyway, as it turns out a couple of parents from the school my kids attend ended up bidding and winning this basket at the fundraiser! What are the odds? And then they made a really wonderful gesture which was to give the painting to our school library archives! So now this little painting will be part of the history of our school and my kids and I will be recognized in a little write-up included with the painting!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Art Trek 2014


For the past several months I have been working on a committee to organize the third annual Art Trek: Studio Discovery Tour and it is finally here! On Friday, June 13 from 5-10 and Saturday, June 14 from 10-5 approximately 60 artists at nine studios will be open and greeting the public. Various demonstrations and activities will be taking place throughout the two days and artists may be working on current projects. Some of the studios are off the beaten path, so it is a bit of a scavenger hunt trying to find them. I will be at my new space in The Studio On 20th (location "E" on the map) and would love to see anyone who has the time to stop by. Grab a friend and a coffee and head out on the trek to see how many places you can visit in two days!

 *Above is the map and addresses for the participating studios this year. Hard copies of the map can be found at Hues Art Supply, Tastebuds, Francis Morrison Library, Art Placement and Collective Coffee (all in Saskatoon).

Monday, June 9, 2014

Also At Lifestyles By Darrell Bell Gallery

Before The Valley, Wanuskewin
(reworked)
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2014
available exclusively at Lifestyles By Darrell Bell Gallery
sold

With Father's Day coming up it could be that some of these paintings might make the perfect gift. There are more paintings in-store, plus all of the other goodies Darrell sells. Might be worth a trip.

Cloud Shadow
(reworked)
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2014
available exclusively at Lifestyles By Darrell Bell Gallery
sold

Not Even A Whisper
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2013
available exclusively at Lifestyles By Darrell Bell Gallery
sold

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

Serene Emma
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2013
available exclusively at Lifestyles By Darrell Bell Gallery

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Thunderheads Over Flax

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

I had a little fun with this one- especially with the clouds.


Friday, June 6, 2014

Canoeing In La Ronge

Canoeing In La Ronge
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2014
available exclusively at Lifestyles Bell Gallery
sold

The rocky landscape we saw on the canoe trip last summer had me at hello! I loved it! It was unlike anything I have experienced before. How wonderful to find a new place to treasure in a province I already love so much. It is quite something that plants, trees and mosses can somehow find a way to exist on such a harsh terrain. Thankfully my canoe buddy, Erica, wanted to soak it in as much as I did, so we did a lot of starting and stopping as we took our photos.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Fishing Spot, Lynx Lake

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

While busy experimenting I have also had to make sure that my regular gig is getting some attention, so in preparation for Father's Day I painted some new work for Lifestyles By Darrell Bell Gallery. I delivered the paintings yesterday, the above being one of them. It is a scene from the canoe trip last summer; the beautiful morning of our last day when we were on the home stretch- almost back to our starting point. As we paddled I was struck by the deep blue of the water and the rippling reflection, both serene and mesmerizing. This was the only lake, of the four we were on during the trip, that we saw a power boat and, I assume, fishermen. I always wondered if they had any luck that day.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Bloom

Bloom
20 x 16"
acrylic on wood panel
© Nicki Ault, 2014

Well, the playing and experimenting continues. Who knows what's happening really, but it's fun! And I am not feeling pressured that these boards turn out; they aren't expensive so why not use them to experiment? I went in search of options and the boards were suggested to me at Hues Art Supply, along with Terra Skin paper which I have waiting for me at the studio. I left this board raw- I only sanded the surface; no gesso, no nothin'. Because there was no sealant on the board, the paint soaked in initially until some layers built up. I don't mind the muted or dulled effect of the absorbed paint where the layers aren't as thick; it helps the colour pop in other areas. This is more noticeable in person. A friend told me (in a nice way- a friendly critique) that the last abstract painting I posted ("Sometimes I Despair") didn't have enough colour, so guess what? Ba- BAM! Here's some colour!

I really like this painting as a one inch thumbnail photo, however as the image size increases I become less and less sure! I'll show my experiments on the blog whether or not they are resounding successes, but I won't waste your time with the complete and utter failures. You've got better things to do.