March 26 from 3-6 p.m.: I will have a painting in the biennial art auction in support of the Sexual Health Centre Saskatoon. Learn more about the auction and how to get tickets here.

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.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Time At The Studio

photo © Nicki Ault, 2014

Sunday was such a lazy day around the house that it only made sense for me to take my leave and go to the studio! I decided to play on another 36 x 24" canvas to see if I could come up with a second option for my little bathroom.  Dripping paint + spritzing water to make interesting marks + scrubbing around vibrant colours = good times!

detail © Nicki Ault

Friday, December 26, 2014

Peace and Gratitude


I have not had an easy time getting into the spirit of the holidays this year. Despite that fact I managed to go through the motions and get everything done. Finally on Christmas Eve I fed off the excitement of the kids and found myself feeling not only happy, but extremely grateful. Until then I was feeling rather Scroogey; the pressure of the season was taking its toll. I always want to create wonderful holiday memories for my boys and sometimes, most of the time actually, it is exhausting. The shear excess of the season also overwhelms me, as does the commercialism. Sigh. I think I go through some level of anxiety every year and every year, at some point, I take a deep breath and roll with it.

As I mentioned, this point didn't hit until Christmas Eve. I really tried to make an effort to "get in the moment", so I paused and watched my sons' growing joy and elation over the ensuing festive binge. Their innocence made me smile. Then it happened, my heart grew three sizes, maybe four! As I felt my ribcage swell, I truly felt gratitude wash over me. I mean really, who was I to be grumpy when I have so much? I have healthy children, a roof over my head, bills we can pay, clean water, easy access to food and groceries, friends and family who love me, and among so many other things I am able to say that painting is my job. Given my circumstances I decided that I was kind of a jerk to be grumpy. It is not lost on me that the holidays can be a desperate time for some people; a time of pain and hardship, loss and sorrow. Fortunately that is not the position I am in this year, but I am more than aware- knock on wood- that next year could be a different story.

So to all that read this, no matter what you believe, no matter your circumstances, no matter where you are on this earth, I wish you peace, love and friendship. I hope you get through the holiday season unscathed and I hope 2015 is a bountiful year for you and yours.

May there be peace on earth.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Not Flowers

Not Flowers
36 x 24"
acrylic on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2014

It's hard to believe that a year has passed since I began renovating. The bulk of the work went very smoothly and relatively quickly for how these things can go. I am really happy with the results, but I am still tying up loose ends like finding storage solutions, purging things I no longer need and finalizing little decorating details. Pre-renos my house was rather colourful with a blue kitchen, red powder room, green bathroom, cream/light yellow dining room and taupe family room. Post-renos I have neutralized all of the walls to a beautiful soft gray and now I want the colour to come from artwork and accessories. This is where today's painting comes in.

A couple of weeks ago I started this piece for my main floor powder room. My goal was to create an abstract that would have a bit of a feminine flair and work well with the awesome mirror I found online. I really wanted to use a variety of pinks, corals and oranges with some soft whites. It started out much more structural as you can see in the studio shot below...


... but as I worked on it my feelings about it changed. Initially I thought I would go with a more linear approach, but once I had a number of brushstrokes laid down I found some interesting marks, so I began to play with more organic shapes and patterns, rather than lines. The entire thing was impulsive and completely fun to paint. Between painting sessions I also had to hit Hues Art Supply for some better tubes of colour with which to do my mixing- Cadmium Red makes sucky, dull pinks!

The painting is really growing on me. It is propped against the wall in my bathroom and I am living with it for awhile to see if it is the right fit. I'm pretty sure I like it and so does my youngest son. My husband and oldest son are less enthused. What do you think?

my awesome mirror and artwork by my friends
Cam Forrester and Ken Van Rees

"Not Flowers" in its new home?

"Not Flowers" reflected in the mirror

Friday, December 12, 2014

My Paintings At Lifestyles By Darrell Bell Gallery


Should I, shouldn't I? Should I, shouldn't I?

I've been going around like that for days. Should I make a post about the paintings I have available at Lifestyles By Darrell Bell Gallery? Or should I just hope that people remember about my paintings and the beautiful art, craft and design boutique they are in? In the end a little shameless self promotion wins. I mean, I am trying to make somewhat of a living through my art, at least enough to keep me home and available for the most important people in my life- my two sons. It's not an easy road, but I am so grateful for the flexibility my art "career" affords me. The kids have me at home at lunch and after school; this means I get to touch base with them throughout their day to see how things are going. It is what I always hoped I could do for my children if I was ever lucky enough to have them. It is what my mom did for me and my sisters.


So here I am making a blog post about the art I have for sale at Lifestyles By Darrell Bell Gallery. Maybe one of the paintings would make the perfect gift for that special person in your life. The paintings are displayed on a feature wall in the store and they have more in the backroom, so there is lots to choose from. Or maybe one of them is the perfect gift for someone to give you- it's not too late to add to your wish list!

Thanks for considering original art!


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Drawing From Life

The Ear
graphite on Stonehenge paper
© Nicki Ault, 2014

Behind the scenes I continue to quietly work on my drawing at Atelier 2302. It has come a long way, but it also has a long way to go. It is a labour of love- my first cast drawing, putting everything I learned from the Bargues to test.

Thank you so much to the organizers of Flock and Gather who asked me to fill a spot at the last moment. It was a great weekend and I was thrilled to be there among such talented artisans and vendors. Thank you everyone who dropped by to say "hi" and to those who supported me and the other "makers". I think, happily, we all left a bit low on inventory!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Dusk, Waskesiu

Dusk, Waskesiu
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2014

This view is from a lookout near the golf course on Prospect Point in Waskesiu. Same location as my other 6x6" painting, "As Night Falls". A time of day when everything can begin to get dark and gray, but the setting sun offers a hint if colour.

Flock and Gather Winter Wonders Handmade Market was so much fun yesterday- very busy with some good sales for me. I am sure today will be just as busy so I think a coffee is in order before I get there. It is a longer day today, seven hours, so I will be tired tonight. Happy, but tired.

Here is the poster again with all of the details:


Friday, December 5, 2014

Glimmer at Flock and Gather

Glimmer
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2014

Sometimes, in the forest at sunset, the light just glimmers through the trees. 

This is my one of my newest little painting- I will have another to show you tomorrow. I am so glad I recently painted a few more 6x6's because late yesterday afternoon I got an unexpected email asking me if I wanted to take a spot that came open for the Flock and Gather Winter Wonders Handmade Market. Without hesitation my answer was a resounding "YES!". It is probably the finest and most unique artisan market that Saskatoon has to offer. I am very excited, but also scrambling a bit to make sure I am prepared for set-up at 1:30 today. I think I am good to go- I have my list made up to help me, but the question is, did I forget to put something on the list?


Please come and support local artists. It is the perfect place to find that special gift for someone you love or maybe even a little something for yourself. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Clear Day In Saskatchewan

Clear Day In Saskatchewan
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2014
http://www.dailypaintworks.com/fineart/nicki-ault/clear-day-in-saskatchewan/294962
sold

This little painting makes a simple statement: yellow and blue, two colours we see a lot of in the summer in Saskatchewan.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Thunderheads Rising

Thunderheads Rising
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2014

At drawing class last week my instructor held an impromptu lecture/discussion using Photoshop and my painting "Strange Land" to talk about various aspects of creating an image. It was really interesting and helpful to have visual references to the conversation. I now have a desire to learn more about Photoshop as a tool to use in my art... I just have to find the time!

As a response to that discussion I painted another stormy prairie scene- love those thunderheads.