July and August 2017: A small selection of my work, courtesy of Darrell Bell Gallery, is available at Boffins restaurant (111 Research Drive, U of S campus) throughout the summer months.

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.

Monday, December 26, 2016

This Little Light Of Mine

photo © Nicki Ault, 2016

I had every intention of writing a message on Christmas night, but the turkey coma set in and the tryptophan won. I was not good for much of anything once we returned from Christmas dinner at my parents, so here I am on Boxing Day night offering you a somewhat belated wish for a Merry Christmas and a happy holiday, whatever you may celebrate. 

photo © Nicki Ault, 2016

I feel like 2016 has been a dark year: so much peril around the world, political unrest, and the loss of so many cherished artists/musicians. It has been unrelenting in so many ways and I am fearful that 2017 may be even worse. So this post is all about light. I feel like we must be vigilant in the need to burn our own personal light of beauty and hope, compassion and empathy like we have never needed to before. Our children deserve this much from us.

"There is a crack in everything, that is how the light gets in."
~ Leonard Cohen (Selected Poems 1956-1968)

“We've all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That's who we really are.”
~J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix)

photo © Nicki Ault, 2016

“How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.”
~William Shakespeare (The Merchant of Venice) 

 “Learn to light a candle in the darkest moments of someone’s life. Be the light that helps others see; it is what gives life its deepest significance.”
~Roy T. Bennett (The Light in the Heart)

 photo © Nicki Ault, 2016

“We cast a shadow on something wherever we stand, and it is no good moving from place to place to save things; because the shadow always follows. Choose a place where you won't do harm - yes, choose a place where you won't do very much harm, and stand in it for all you are worth, facing the sunshine.”
~ E.M. Forster, (A Room With A View)

“May your feet ever walk in the light of two suns... and may the moonshadow never fall on you... ”
~ Robert Fanney

Thank you for the part you play in helping me to shine my little light through art... whether it be by reading this blog, following me on Facebook or Instagram, coming to my art shows, leaving me comments and messages, or by actually purchasing a painting. All of it matters to me and all of it is appreciated.

May you face the sunshine in 2017.
 XO
~Nicki

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Last Minute Help For You!


 Fall Tangle
6x6"
(not available)

All of these paintings are available through moi! I would love to help you with your shopping or help your loved one with his/her shopping if one of these paintings is on your wish list and he/she wants to buy it for you. It is easy- just email me and we will make it happen... nicki.ault@shaw.ca. Eeee-zeee.

 Festivities
20x20"

 Flitter
6x6"

 From The West
30x30"

 Golden Reflection
12x12"
sold

 Moss On The Pine
6x6"

 Severe Weather Warning
12x12"

 Spring Puddles
6x6"

 Watching The Night Fall
6x6"

 Light Hearted
20x20"

 Last Morning, Lynx Lake
24x48"

 July Rain
6x6"
sold

 Soft Prairie Days
6x6"

 On The Edge Of Canola
6x6"
sold
 Cattails
20x24"
sold

 Floating
6x6"

Scatter
30x30"

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Lonely Studio

lonely studio © Nicki Ault, 2016

I have not been painting. You may have noticed. My studio space has sat quiet and lonely since the Open Studio. I haven't even been in to set my work table back up and get ready for paint mode. Bridget hasn't been there either. The year is winding down, but the holidays are winding up. I am so looking forward to beginning some projects that are on my mind, but I am not sure when I will be able to get the brushes out. Hopefully sooner rather than later. My newest series is whispering to me... "Nicki, I am not done with you yet!"

Please bear with me and stay tuned!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Little Tree With Memories of Grandma

my grandma's little tree

As idyllic as the thought of Christmas and the festive season can be, the reality of it is often more gritty and raw. This can be a highly charged, emotional time of year for many people... in both good and bad ways. Some people dread it; family dynamics and stress can reach peaks unlike at any other time of year. And some people are lonely, which is a sadness that is amplified when everything we see and hear seems to make it look like nobody else is alone. 

For me, I do love Christmas. I have happy childhood memories and now that I have a family of my own, I think I have been able to create some happy memories for my children. 

Many of my early Christmas memories involve my Grandma. She made the best Christmas toffee ever! She gave us advent calendars and PJ's and she always had this little ceramic tree on the table in her front entrance. I adored it! As a little girl with a big imagination, it seemed truly magical to me. And now I have it for my front entrance. It is a treasure.

My Grandma became a widow at young age, not much older than I am now. I was a tiny baby when her husband died. My mom was in her twenties. I really can't imagine the shock and the loss. As I grew up we never wanted Grandma to be alone at Christmas so she would often come stay at our house overnight on Christmas Eve. I can still picture her in her housecoat.

Fourteen years ago yesterday we lost her. My oldest son was a tiny baby just as I was when her husband, my Grandpa, died. It was a very hard time. She had fallen at my house and never recovered. This year the loss feels a little closer than other years. I'm not sure why exactly, but I think it has to do with my acknowledgment of just how fast time is passing. My fourteen year old son, who she only knew as a baby, is now six feet and is as tall as the Christmas tree!  He is growing up. I always knew he was, but the changes he is going through seem more significant now than ever before. She would have been so in love with him and with my other son. And this high velocity calendar makes me hyper aware of how much time I may have left with my own parents which is a place I can barely go in my head.

So please, be gentle with each other- those you know and those you don't- not just now, but all year through. Everyone has a Grandma they are missing, and if not a Grandma then a sister, a friend, a neighbor, an uncle. In a world so very divided, if we can somehow remember we are more alike than unalike, maybe, just maybe, we will be okay.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Delayed But Sincere Reaction - Thank You!

Open Studio Show and Sale 2016
© Nicki Ault, 2016

Sunday, November 28th is a blur! Our Open Studio was soooo busy- it was packed right from the get-go! Thank you so much to everyone who came to support us at Studio On 20th!

Thank you to those who came to see me and look at my artwork... and to make a purchase! The thrill and joy of having someone say they love what I have created so much that they actually want to spend their hard-earned money on a painting is a feeling I will always cherish and never take for granted. I am stunned to report that I sold 19 paintings! Several of those were my 6x6's - at one point it was almost frenzy-like around them! My heart was pounding and I felt a bit flustered! I am so grateful! And my new series was extremely well received which gave me a special validating push to keep exploring my ideas.

two pictures of the long wall
© Nicki Ault, 2016

I managed to take a few shots of the studio room that I share with Bridget Aitken. We had it all cleaned up and looking presentable for the day. I loved how it looked this year. It was so pretty; the long wall was gorgeous. I always like how we hang our work together, but for some reason this year it especially came together.
a different angle of part of the long wall
© Nicki Ault, 2016

small wall opposite the long wall and above one of our work tables
© Nicki Ault, 2016

back wall and corner
© Nicki Ault, 2016

Bridget loves painting cows, horses and abstracted still lifes. Our work is not the same, but somehow we show well together. We love interspersing our work instead of splitting the room in half and putting my art on one side and hers on the other. This way seems far more visually interesting and we have the room to do it, so why not? I also think it helps to show people how you can make work by different artists pull together aesthetically.

Again, huge thanks and appreciation from me to you, both those who found time to come on the weekend and those who support me here in this virtual world!

Thank you!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Light Hearted

Light Hearted
20 x 20"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2016
available

This painting is derived entirely from the little 6x6 I did called "Hidden Juniper". Gosh it was fun to paint the bright colours popping off the neutral grays! The most bright, most chromatic orange in this painting was made by mixing three colours: Cadmium Orange by Daniel Smith, Minium Red by Rublev and a dash of Magenta by Winton (a student grade oil, but I love the colour- it mixes so well with so many others!).

detail

Tomorrow, Sunday, November 27 is the day! It is our third annual Open Studio Show and Sale where I paint. Please come... 236A 20th Street W from11-5. If the idea of original art doesn't entice you perhaps the thought of my home-made Skor bars will!



Friday, November 25, 2016

Scatter

Scatter
30 x 30"
oil on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2016
available

This is the biggest one of the series so far.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Grace

Grace
16 x 16"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2016
sold

This one went through a few evolutions. It is a bit more saccharine than the others from this series, but I am happy with where it left off.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

View From The Canoe Revised

View From The Canoe (revised)
24 x 30"
acrylic and oil on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2016
sold

With the Open Studio looming (it's coming up on Sunday) I have been sorting through older paintings to figure out what I have available to show and what should be removed from the studio quick-like before any possible chance of them being seen. I have quite a pile for removal. This painting, however, presented a challenge... toss or keep? The original was painted in acrylic in 2014 (see below) and I must have liked it at the time because I put it in a show At Hues Art Supply and it was also at the Black Spruce Gallery for awhile.

 View From The Canoe (original)
© Nicki Ault, 2014

Well, two years later I found that it really rubbed me the wrong way! The water was so dark and the colours seemed acidy. The purple underpainting also overpowered things. What was a girl to do? My answer was to paint over it in oils. 

I feel much more satisfied with it now and it will be hanging up somewhere on Sunday. Please come check it out anytime between 11 and 5 at 236A 20th Street W.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Flaunt

Flaunt
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2016
available exclusively at Darrell Bell Gallery

I almost forgot to post this- I thought I had all of the new 8 x 8's out there! Oh well, I guess I will take this opportunity to make mention again that the second Darrell Bell Gallery "went live' at 11:00 and the Grand Opening is from 2-5 today, Saturday November 19. He has my 8 x 8's as well as some of my larger work in this new gallery. He also has a new exhibition of work by John Barkley upstairs in the main gallery so there is lots going on. I will post some pictures on Instagram when I get there around 2:00, but come down to see it in person if you can. Both locations are in the Canada Building on 21st Street just down from the main Midtown Plaza entrance and across the street from Lululemon.

Happy Saturday!

 

Friday, November 18, 2016

Flight

Flight
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2016
available exclusively at Darrell Bell Gallery
sold

The series continues with another painting for Darrell Bell's new gallery in the old Lifestyles location on 21st Street (across from Lululemon). Don't forget the Grand Opening is tomorrow from 2-5.

I want to once again thank David, Carol and Sophie at Daily Paintworks for featuring my art over the past week and for interviewing me for their blog and for making "Flit" a Daily Paintworks Facebook Pick Of The Day yesterday. I'm over the moon!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Flit

Flit
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2016
available exclusively at Darrell Bell Gallery

My favourite part of this painting might just be the lower half.

 P.S. If you haven't seen it yet, check out my interview on the Daily Paintworks news blog! 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Dapple

Dapple
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2016
available at Darrell Bell Gallery

I am so happy with this one! Yes! I love the abstracted feel of it and I love that neutral backdrop to those shots of vibrant colour.

So I have more big news! Darrell Bell has decided to open a second gallery in the old Lifestyles location! His main gallery is upstairs in the same building (4th Floor, Canada Building, 21st Street, Saskatoon), and now with this development he will have a street level gallery with a whole different vibe. I can hardly wait to see it! He is going to carry my 8x8 oil paintings as he did with Lifestyles, but he will also feature some of my large work in this new gallery. Last week I delivered four 8x8's as well as six big canvases for installation and the first day of business is this Saturday, November 19. I will be there for the Grand Opening that day from 2-5 and would love to see you if you have time to pop in!  

 P.S. If you haven't seen it yet, check out my interview on the Daily Paintworks news blog!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Hillside Ascent

Hillside Ascent
16 x 16"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2016
 sold

The novelty of experimenting with this series has not yet worn off. I want to take it further! The question is- where will it go?

 P.S. If you haven't seen it yet, check out my interview on the Daily Paintworks news blog!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Island Edge, Heart Lakes

Island Edge, Heart Lakes
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2016
 sold

I've been reminiscing about the boat tour I took of the Heart Lakes in Waskesiu this past August. I have a real fascination with islands and the edge of this one intrigued me with the rickety pine trees marching their way down to the deep blue water.

P.S. If you haven't seen it yet, check out my interview on the Daily Paintworks news blog!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Festivities

Festivities
20 x 20"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2016
available

This whole new series feels like one big celebration. A celebration of changing seasons, a celebration of colour- both bold and muted, a celebration of inspiration, a celebration of opportunities, a celebration of joy found in the landscape, but mostly a celebration of every single day that I get to do what I love.
 

P.S. If you haven't seen it yet, check out my interview on the Daily Paintworks news blog. Another reason I feel like it's a celebration around here!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Little Lynx Lake

Little Lynx Lake
6 x 6 "
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2016
 sold

I was so groggy when I painted this yesterday even turning my music up didn't help much. I saw my interview in the Daily Paintworks blog just before I went to bed and I was so excited I had trouble falling asleep!

It was fun to do a mini version of Lynx Lake and I was reminded of how much I love to paint water!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Daily Paintworks Spotlight Artist Of The Week = Me!

Road Closed
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2016
won by Cindy Gillet (DPW contest)

On Monday I received an email from Sophie Marine of Daily Paintworks asking me if I would like to be the "spotlight artist of the week" for their website, blog and daily email! Um...yes!

I opened my gallery on the Daily Paintworks site in 2011 when it changed from a small ten or twelve artist site to an open format which any artist in the world could join. Since that time it has grown to approximately 1600 painters and it truly is international! Imagine my delight that somehow my art caught their attention!

For one week the paintings I post into my Daily Paintworks gallery will be bumped up to the top of the What's New page and rotate among featured artists like Carol Marine, Abbey Ryan, Qiang Huang, Victor Tristante, Rita Kirkman, Brian Burt and Karin Jurick. As well, a Daily Paintworks buyer can enter to win "Road Closed" at the end of the week! I have also been interviewed for their blog which you can read here if you are so inclined.

I am honoured to be invited to be the Spotlight Artist of the Week! Thank you Carol, David and Sophie at Daily Paintworks!

Monday, November 7, 2016

The Ceremony of Fall

The Ceremony of Fall
16 x 16"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2016
sold

I hope I am not boring you yet! Man, this new series has me fired up! I haven't felt this intrigued in awhile- especially with a subject I have tackled before: my beloved prairies. There is something about the fluttery, colourful leaves against a neutral backdrop that really has my head spinning with ideas. After I did this one, I tackled a different scene on a 20 x 20 which I will show you as soon as I get a good photo. I am even contemplating scaling things up to a 30 x 30 'cause sometimes I get crazy like that!

Saturday, November 5, 2016

A Time To Dance

A Time To Dance
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2016
 sold

The colours in this particular area of Bridget's acreage were absolutely spectacular! The pink and red leaves especially took my breath away.

This is the newest in the series. Elements are more abstracted, kind of like in "Flitter". I am heading to the studio right now to start working on a big one!

Oh, and I've joined Instagram! It is fun, but I am on a bit of a learning curve. Until now I had never hashtagged in my life! I would love it if you would follow me over there, just click here or on the Instagram icon on the right side of this page. Some different things will be happening as I get the ball rolling. Maybe some more real-time things as it is the only social media thing I will be doing with my phone.

Have a great day! And now it's paintin' time!

Friday, November 4, 2016

River Dance At Home

River Dance
© Nicki Ault, 2016

The other day I had the great honour of being invited to an acreage just outside of the city limits which belongs to a dear friend and passionate art collector. Not only was I invited to his beautiful home, but I was treated to a delicious, fresh, locally sourced lunch he prepared for me with great care and attention. I am not sure when the last time was that I felt so special. 

When I arrived I met his two gorgeous dogs, one loved getting a good scrub behind his ears, and then I immediately received a delicious glass of chilled white wine. Sigh. Lucky girl that I am, I was then taken on an extensive tour of his substantial art collection which extended to every nook and cranny of his house. It wasn't long before I came upon "River Dance" in his second floor guest bedroom; an abstract reflection he purchased from my show at Hues Art Supply in January 2014. It looked amazing in a gorgeous frame from Vanishing Point and I felt overwhelmed that it was in the company of work by other artists like David Alexander, Clint Hunker, Paul Trottier, Kathy Bradshaw, Kim Ennis, Degen Lindner, Greg Hargarten and many others. 

Sometimes life gives you days that just feel so right.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Over The Treetops

Over The Treetops
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2016
 sold

Standing on the height of land at Bridget's acreage offered full circle views of the surrounding area, including the distant river.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Soft Touch

Soft Touch
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2016
 sold

A little change of pace with this one. Soft, faded blonde grasses swayed in the wind at this particular patch on Bridget's acreage and the bare branches had clusters of dark purple berries on them. It was a calmer location compared to areas where some of the more vibrant Autumn leaves could be found.