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.

July - October, 2017: A small selection of my work,
courtesy of Darrell Bell Gallery, is available at Boffins restaurant (111 Research Drive, U of S campus).

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!

Monday, November 30, 2015

Wind On The Prairies

Wind On The Prairies
16 x 16"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2015
sold

It never fails, as the Open Studio approaches everyone gets in and gets to work... finishing paintings and sometimes starting new ones, which was the case for me. At the last minute I decided to paint two new panels and as a result they were wet when I hung them for the show. Not ideal, but happily they ended up being purchased. This is one of them- I will show you the other next time. This week I will be delivering them, as well as "Dance of The Wolf Willow", to their new home at McDougall Gauley LLP in Saskatoon. This is a law office which has just moved to a beautiful new building in town. They have been there for six months and I am thrilled that they now have a little collection of my work; these three paintings are joining two others. Feeling grateful.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Moody Prairie

Moody Prairie
12 x 12"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2015
http://www.dailypaintworks.com/fineart/nicki-ault/moody-prairie/429432
sold 

The light on even the darkest and moodiest of days can be glorious.


Monday, November 23, 2015

River Study, Waskesiu

River Study, Waskesiu
12 x 12"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2015
sold

I actually painted this study after the large painting was done. Kind of backwards, I know. The big painting, "Looking To The Rapids, Waskesiu River", was based on a smaller 6x6 study which a client bought and then decided to give her sister. She wondered if I might do a similar painting on a slightly larger format for her to keep, so "River Study, Waskesiu" was born as a 12x12. Hopefully everyone is happy now!

Speaking of being happy... what an amazing 72 hours it has been! From appointments to preview paintings before the Open Studio, to the Open Studio itself and now follow-up appointments today! WOW! I am overwhelmed by the support and enthusiasm shown to all eleven of us at the Studio On 20th, and in particular to those who focused their attention on my paintings. I am so grateful- it is such a validation to the work I do all year long leading up to this. Thank you!!!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Sky Over Canola

Sky Over Canola
24 x 36"
oil on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2015

Here is another take, much larger this time, on the same subject as "This Is Saskatchewan". My favourite part might be the yellows in the field.

You can view this painting and many more officially displayed for our Open Studio... please come and see! Tomorrow, Sunday November 22, we will be at the studio (236A 20th Street W) from 11-5 having a grand old time with all of our clients, friends, family and hopefully we will make some new acquaintances! The common spaces are hung with art by all eleven studio artists; our individual rooms are tidied up and very presentable compared to how they look during the rest of the work year!

The Studio On 20th artists are:

Bridget Aitken
Nicki Ault
Kathy Bradshaw
Jan Corcoran
Ann Donald
Jane Harington
Miranda Jones
Brenda Kennedy
Karen Maguire
Amira Wasfy
Carol Wylie

*please note the studio is not wheelchair accessible.
 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Further Up The River, Waskesiu

Further Up The River, Waskesiu
40 x 30"
oil on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2015

This is another perspective of the beautiful, ever-changing Waskesiu River on a day with a bright blue, but also cloudy, sky. The reflection was actually more spectacular than the sky itself. Painting the change in the water from calm to rushing was a challenge and I almost abandoned it, but thanks to a friend who felt it was starting to work, I didn't quit. 

This painting will be at the Open Studio on Sunday, November 22. I hope you can come. Bring a friend or two or five! Here is the invitation again...

 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Dance of the Wolf Willow

Dance of the Wolf Willow
48 x 48"
oil on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2015
sold

This painting is BIG! It is the largest painting I have done to date. It is about the beautiful wolf willow and wild prairie landscape that I discovered out at my friend and studio mate's new acreage. I exaggerated the wolf willow, but perhaps not quite as much as this photo makes it appear; in reality, although the leaves are very light, they are not white, but contain many colours. I hope I captured a fluttering, dancing feeling of the wolf willow moving back into the landscape. It was a challenge. It took time. In the end I hope it is a statement piece that finds its way to an empty wall in an office or home and I hope it makes someone very happy. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Portrait of Carrie

Carrie
charcoal and graphite on paper
© Nicki Ault, 2015

Wow! Where do I begin to tell you about the portrait drawing workshop? I guess first off I need to express sincere thanks to Matthew Mancini for sharing his incredible talent and wealth of knowledge with us. He did two demos, one of each model, to show us his process in building a portrait as well as talk us through his thoughts. At this time he was also able to demonstrate the use of different materials, including drawing with loose charcoal and a brush, something I had never done before. He spent the first morning working his way through the drawing of Carrie and then he worked on it here and there for the rest of the weekend as long as we were settled and not needing assistance.

Matthew Mancini
~demonstration of portrait drawing~

There were ten students in the class and the way Matt worked the room, I am certain we all felt very well taken care of and supported in our efforts. He was incredibly gracious and generous and had a way of zeroing in on what each of us needed. It was fascinating and inspiring to watch his drawing come to life over the course of the eighteen hours. Seeing what is possible makes me want to get better and better.

Portrait of Carrie
charcoal, graphite and white chalk on paper
© Matthew Mancini, 2015

I had forgotten just how much I love to draw. I have never spent this kind of time on a life drawing before. We had the same model and same pose for the entire weekend (two models, five students to each model), so there was time to really get into it and not feel panicked to finish. I was pleased to find the Bargue training being used in a practical, real-life scenario!

Matthew is still in Saskatoon (he lives in the country outside of Toronto) and is going to be instructing a figure drawing workshop on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings and then on the weekend he is doing another two day workshop on alla prima painting in the style of John Singer Sargent. I am sure both will be excellent and wish I was able to sign up for them. Huge thanks to Craig Berry at Atelier 2302 for bringing to our city yet another great artist for us to experience. 

Please take the time to learn more about Matthew Mancini at his website www.matthewmanciniart.com.




Friday, November 13, 2015

Portrait Drawing

Sammy
graphite on paper
© Nicki Ault, 2003

Well, the weekend is almost here and I feel ill-prepared for the workshop with Matthew Mancini. I had every intention of doing some sketching and drawing this week in my "free time" to warm myself up, but it was not to be. As a result I will be heading in cold turkey. I will be a bit stressed. I will put too much pressure on myself. I will probably feel like crying at some point (ha!). But I will survive.

I thought I would take a quick look back at some of my portrait drawings from the past, long before I ever studied at Atelier 2302. I still like them, but I would tackle things differently now. I am interested to see how the work I do at the drawing workshop on Saturday and Sunday compares to these pieces.

Alan
graphite on paper
© Nicki Ault, 2000

Marta
graphite on paper
© Nicki Ault, 2003

Jill
graphite on paper
© Nicki Ault, 2000

Jocelyn
graphite on paper
© Nicki Ault, 1999

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

GM Cloud Study

GM Cloud Study
11 x 14"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2015

Finally I am showing you the piece I created at the Atelier 2302 "Landscape Painting With Gord MacDonald" workshop in October. I worked on it at the studio one time after that weekend and probably could work on it a bit more, but I am not sure I will. I learned a lot that weekend and had things reaffirmed, including that I have much more to learn. Over the weekend the class watched Gord demonstrate his thought processes and techniques on two original paintings, one of which was a nocturne that he impressively invented on the spot. It was inspirational and motivating. As I mentioned in a previous post, he actually got me painting with a palette knife, with my finger, and with a fan brush- all to get different softening effects (fan brush) or to quickly get the paint on the board (palette knife). 

I have already taken what I learned that weekend and tweaked an existing painting that I created earlier this year. I believe what I changed is an improvement, but perhaps in another blog post you can be the judge of that.

Monday, November 9, 2015

CFCR Art Auction

Walk In The Meadow
30 x 30
oil on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2015

UPDATE: the organizers cancelled the auction, this painting will now be available at the Open Studio on November 22nd (see details at the top of this page). 

I recently submitted "Walk In The Meadow" to the CFCR fundraising committee for review. I just received word that they have chosen it to be part of one of their biggest fundraising efforts - a live art auction on the evening of Tuesday, November 17 at The Top Of The Inn (Sheraton Cavalier). There will also be a silent auction at the same event. I am rather pleased that they felt my painting might help them raise some money for their radio station. As nerve-wracking as it may be, I am working on clearing the calendar so I can attend the event. I hope they are serving wine.

CFCR 90.5 FM is a local Saskatoon radio station with a long and continuing history in our city. They are a huge supporter of the arts in Saskatoon. They were among the first of the media to be concerned and ask questions when the Emma Lake Kenderdine Campus was closed in 2012 for a three year period by the University of Saskatchewan. CFCR regularly interviews local artists and provides support to our vibrant community. In fact, the auction itself is even artist friendly which means that the artist will also receive a percentage if their work sells. I appreciate that respect.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Saturated Field

Saturated Field
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2015

I have spent the last two days at the studio working on two large canvases, moving from one to the other. Both have been a struggle. One may be done... the other has a ways to go. By this afternoon I was wiping off more than I was keeping, so it dawned on me that I could stop! I will let it dry for a couple of days and then proceed. I had lots of time before I needed to be home for my kids, so I painted this little 6x6. It is a story about a water-logged field, which sometimes happens on the prairies. There is a fine balance that the farmers hope for each year between not enough rain and too much. This particular year the pendulum swung to the too-much-water side.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Heart Lake

Heart Lake
10 x 8"
oil on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2015
sold

Unfortunately I am not sure this photo is of the best quality... there is a bit of a hot spot on the right side and it seems somewhat out of focus. I may try to get a better shot when I get a chance, however hopefully you get the jist.

I mentioned that a couple of weekends ago I took a workshop through Atelier 2302 on landscape painting with Gord MacDonald. Well, on November 14 and 15 I am taking another workshop! I am very excited about it- it is called "Portrait Drawing with Matthew Mancini". Please have a look at the connected link to Matthew Mancini.

I have not drawn for awhile, so it should be interesting. I will be rusty and I don't want to make a fool of myself in front of such a stellar artist, but these are the chances one takes to learn and grow. I actually feel honoured to have the opportunity to be in the position to study with Matthew Mancini. What will I learn? What will I draw? Will I be able to make a connection from the Bargue drawings to what Matt will teach? I bet I will. I am anticipating light bulbs lighting up all weekend! Stay tuned... I will post the work I will produce.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

This Is Saskatchewan

This Is Saskatchewan
8 x 10"
oil on canvas board

November! How did that happen? I have to kick things into high gear because our Open Studio is a few short weeks away and I want to have some new work to show... and hopefully sell. It is set for Sunday, November 22 and you are invited! Please come and bring a friend.