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.

September 15- October 7, 2017: Painting The Landscape, Sept. 15 - October 7:
I am in a group show at
Darrell Bell Gallery in the Canada Building, 405 - 105 21st Street East, Saskatoon. The work created over the summer months by seven local landscape artists artists will be featured in this show: Nicki Ault, Darrell Bell, Craig Erickson, Greg Hargarten, Lindsay Love, Jacqueline Faye Miller and Cheryl Tuck-Tallon. It will be big! Both gallery spaces, the main fourth floor and the street level, will be used to exhibit all of the art!

July - September, 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!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

A Crack In My Heart

  River Dance
24 x 36"
acrylic on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2012
NFS

*Written Wednesday evening, September 20, 2017

I've been procrastinating writing this because I know I will cry, and I have already cried so much. My eyes were quite puffy and swollen yesterday morning from the tears that were shed over news I heard on Monday. I got through today in one piece... it was very busy, not much time to think about anything but the task that was at hand at any given moment. But now my house is quiet and I am sitting here with a nice glass of wine and a beautifully scented candle thinking about the loss of a good man who left us too soon on Saturday, September 15.

I met Paddy O'Rourke about four and a half years ago when we both joined a handful of others to form Keep Kenderdine, a grass roots movement intent on strongly encouraging and pressuring the University of Saskatchewan to reopen the historical Emma Lake Kenderdine Campus which it closed in the fall of 2012. Paddy was absolutely, unequivocally passionate about the importance and necessity of the role of the arts in our communities and our lives. He loved the English language; when he spoke in his delightful Irish accent, to me his words were often like music. He could recite lines of poetry like no other. After visits with him I would often feel the need to refer to a dictionary to check the meaning of the words he used - his vocabulary was much more significant than mine!

He invited me out to his acreage once for a lovely lunch he prepared. Five courses! He took me on a tour of his extensive art collection through his beautiful home, which took two hours because he had stories about everything! I actually had to phone my mom to pick up my kids from school because I knew I wouldn't be done lunch in time! We had such a lovely visit and when I left I possessed a bottle each of red and white wine and a big Ziploc bag of garlic from his garden! I told him he made me feel very special and he replied by saying that I was a queen. What a treasure; what a gentleman.

Paddy was a retired high school English teacher and one of the early founders of the independent Canadian publishing company called Thistledown Press. He loved authors and poets and musicians and artists and craftspeople. He appreciated a written thank you card, he loved his garden and his beautiful acreage and his cats and his dogs. He really loved his truck. He was proud of his son and adored his granddaughter. Paddy deeply missed the love of his life whom he lost to cancer about twenty years ago. Anytime he spoke of her, the longing was palpable.

.
photo © Nicki Ault, 2016

Paddy and I would meet at the local coffee shop once in awhile for a good catch up session. Somehow we always got the same table; it became our spot. I would hear about his family, see photos of his granddaughter, learn about his recent travels and find out a bit more of his life story. I would bring him a care package of my home-made Skor bars which he loved so much. I honestly cannot quite come to terms with the fact that those visits will never happen again.

In July I had heard, through a mutual friend, that he was very ill. He had gone to England (in June?) to visit his brother and while there had received a devastating diagnosis. I could not believe it. Upon hearing the news, I came home and emailed him even though I knew he would not want any fuss. He emailed back and said he would call me, which he did on a Sunday evening. The connection was bad and he sounded far away. With his beautiful accent, deep voice and the crackling phone line it was a bit hard to catch all he was saying, but the bottom line was clear, things didn't look good.

Towards the end of the call, I asked him if he could send me an address because I would write to him, I knew he loved a hand-written note, and I asked if I could help with anything here in town since he was so far away. He got all blustery, I think to cover his emotion, and the conversation ended soon after. But thankfully, not before I could tell him I loved him. I am so glad I got those words out. I hope he heard them. 

I thought he would get back to Canada. I thought I would see him again. He never sent an address to me, but I should have emailed him again. And I meant to. I kept thinking of it and I had a reminder written on a sticky note by my day planner. I wanted to tell him about all of the developments in my little art world. He was such a supporter. He bought this painting from me, one of the few abstracts I have painted, and displayed it proudly in his home. I had often invited him to come visit me at the studio, but he never wanted to interrupt my limited and valuable time to create.

 

The entire time we worked on the Keep Kenderdine committee together, his priority was that we act classy, professional and dignified even though we were all so very angry that the University of Saskatchewan had closed the beloved and historical campus. In my email to him when I heard he was sick I wrote, 

"Paddy, I am so very grateful we met. It is the only good thing that, for me, came out of the closure of the Kenderdine Campus. It has been an honour to work with you on the committee. You have reinforced everything my parents ever taught me about being classy, taking the high road and fighting for what you believe in with dignity, intelligence and grace."

And it was true.

As much as I feel heart-broken, I feel worse when I think of the loss this must be to his family and his very closest, life-long friends. They were his Canadian family. He loved them fiercely and they, him.

Now I sit and stare at the note on my day planner, my reminder to email Paddy which I kept moving to the next day, and it makes my stomach turn. I have to live with the reality that I never did email him again. I never did follow up. I was not the friend I should have been. And now it is too late.

Rest well, Paddy, yours was a life well lived.


 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Diamonds on the River

Diamonds on the River
36 x 36"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
sold at Assiniboia Gallery, Regina

I thought I posted this already. Thankfully I realized I didn't. I posted it on Instagram, but not here.

I love this one! It was delivered safely to Regina a week ago and will be at Art Now - Saskatchewan Fine Art Fair this weekend in the Assiniboia Gallery booth with some other smaller pieces of my artwork. I am hoping to get down to see it all this weekend. I know the first annual Art Now, which was in Saskatoon last year, was absolutely beautiful. It was visually stunning! I expect this year to be the same.

Please attend if you are in the area and look for my work at both Assiniboia Gallery and the Saskatchewan Craft Council Booth.


Gosh I feel happy these days!!!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Dancing With Myself

Dancing With Myself
40 x 30"
oil on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available at Darrell Bell Gallery, Saskatoon

There is so much happening right now and not enough time to post everything I want to show you. I have been painting every single day, with the exception of when I drove to the Assiniboia Gallery, since we got back from our family holiday on August 26. You should see my house. It is so neglected. And tonight I finally prepared a meal for my family. I don't know what they have been eating the last two weeks!

Happily, today I delivered the last of my paintings to be hung in the show... TWENTY 8x8's! Yes two-zero. I cannot believe how much work I created, the last two pieces being done this morning, so yes, they were delivered wet! The two gallery spaces are going to look fantastic. Darrell is using the street front location (where the Lifestyles store was) and his main gallery on the 4th floor of the Canada Building. I have seen a handful of the other artist's work, and it is going to be a stunning show. I am so happy to be part of it.

At any rate, when I dropped the twenty little paintings off today, this big baby was already hung in its spot looking just fine! 

Here is the invitation again... please come.


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Flax Drama

Flax Drama
20 x20"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available at Assiniboia Gallery, Regina

Moody attitude painting of the day number two.

Flax is hard to find out in the country and it is hard to paint once back in the city! There is something about its bluey-purple colour that is tricky to co-ordinate with a sky colour and also tricky because it can read a bit like water on the ground. Hopefully I avoided both of those situations here.

Canola Drama

Canola Drama
20 x 20"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
sold at Assiniboia Gallery, Regina

Oh my gosh! I am BUSY!!! But not complaining! I many ways it feels great! But I want to do a good job of everything so I have to remember to slow down, breathe... and write a lot of lists! 

Last Friday I delivered "Canola Drama" to my new place of representation, the Assiniboia Gallery in Regina, as well as another dramatic painting of the same size which I will post later today (I have to get caught up!). They both took on a bit of a moody attitude as soon as I developed the skies. Paintings can be cheeky like that!

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Big Announcement! New Gallery!

(I love this sign!)
© Nicki Ault, 2017

I am extremely excited to announce that my art is now represented by the beautiful Assiniboia Gallery in Regina! I have been busting to tell you, but have held back for over two months until it became official, which happened on Friday.

In June I received a message Jeremy Weimer, the owner (with his wife Mary) of the Assiniboia Gallery, asking if he could come for a studio visit when he was in town that month. I was quite thrilled because I had heard really great things about them, so I was very much looking forward to meeting and talking with him. I have to say that, at least on my end, I felt we really clicked. Conversation was easy and interesting and we had a good connection over both the art and business side of things. By the time he left an hour or so later he said he would like to represent me!

A friendly and welcoming door
© Nicki Ault, 2017

The plan was that I would paint some new work which I would deliver in the fall, however, I received a text from Jeremy in early August with an upgraded plan. He thought a great way to introduce me as one of their new artists would be to showcase a few of my new paintings in their booth at Art Now - Saskatchewan Fine Art Fair. Yessir, I was on board with that! The catch? This new time-frame lined up exactly with the big landscape show at Darrell Bell Gallery! Eek!
My freshly delivered work
at Assiniboia Gallery
(three propped on the floor and four standing on the counter)
© Nicki Ault, 2017

I honestly don't know how I pulled it all off, but on Thursday I delivered seven new paintings to Darrell and Friday I delivered seven new paintings to Jeremy. Thank goodness I am not in one of my slumps right now! All of this has, thankfully, coincided with a period where I am so fired up to paint, I can hardly wait to get to the studio each day.

So there you have it. My big news is no longer a little secret. Life feels good right now!



P.S. I took some lovely resource photos on my road trip; the colours were glorious!






 And just because I love it so much, another angle of the sign...



Friday, September 8, 2017

Road To Nowhere

Road To Nowhere
20 x 20"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
sold at Darrell Bell Galley

I took a road trip to Regina today with seven new paintings. It was a glorious day in the country with amazing shades of yellow everywhere: golds, ochres, blondes, creams. As I drove I was thinking about how Naples Yellow and Titanium Buff with a hint of Brilliant Pale Yellow would be just right for the bleached out stubble in the field. I'm geeky that way!

This painting will be in "Painting The Landscape" which opens at Darrell Bell Gallery in a week! I am so very excited! This piece is a study for my big commission which I will finish next week. My clients have been so patient and understanding with how long it is taking me to get the job done. I have had some incredible opportunities come knocking, the group landscape show at DBG is one of them, and so I have had to stop and start the commission a few times. Thankfully they are happy for me and they don't want me to rush through their painting. This makes me want to knock it out of the park for them even more!

Speaking of opportunities, tomorrow I will be making a huge announcement, so please check back!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Slipping Away

Slipping Away
24 x 36"
oil on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available at Darrell Bell Gallery

I love the intensity of this one! The jewel-tones and the glow of the sunlight are not for the faint of heart. Ha!  This one packs a punch!

You guys, I have so many paintings to post! All of a sudden they are all finished and being delivered, which is great but I have my work cut out for me with updating the blog, Facebook and Instagram. It was quiet around here for August, but hold onto your socks because September is kickin' into high gear!


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Prairie Garland

Prairie Garland
24 x 72"
acrylic and oil on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available at Darrell Bell Gallery

This turned out better than I could have hoped! I really love it. It is my "big" piece for the show "Painting The Landscape" at Darrell Bell Gallery which is opening next week. 

This painting makes my heart happy!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

A Sweet Farewell

A Sweet Farewell
24 x 36"
oil on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available at Darrell Bell Gallery

I am so excited about the paintings I have created for the show "Painting The Landscape" at Darrell Bell Gallery! So far this is the largest watery sunset I have created from the reflection series I began earlier this year, and I love it! The sunlight glows softly and the water looks peaceful and dreamy. It is the image I chose to use for the artist invitation Darrell and his team prepared for me.


I have to wire, sign, title and photograph all my work and there are a couple of minor tweaks to make on a painting or two, then I can deliver them! There is going to be a lot of artwork in this show. Seven artists! Darrell is really great at curating so I can hardly wait to see how he pulls the show together. Hopefully I can get some decent pictures once it is hung and then I will share them with you, but ideally if you are in Saskatoon in the next month you can stop by and see it all in person.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Show Announcement! Painting the Landscape - Darrell Bell Gallery

I mentioned that I have been painting larger work these days, well, this is one of the reasons!

I am so excited that I was invited to participate in this show! In June Darrell asked me if I wanted to be in a landscape show of work painted over the summer with him and some other artists. Ummmm, yes, yes I do!!! Seriously, it is going to be awesome! You have to come to the reception on Friday, Sept. 15 - it will be f-u-n! Darrell is hanging the show in BOTH gallery spaces, so there will be a hub of activity going from the street level location up to the main gallery on the fourth floor of the Canada Building. And the art! Oh, the art!

Jackie Miller is one of the two other artists I went to Georgian Bay with in 2013 and back when I was doing Sunday Spotlights on this blog, I wrote about her here. I also did a spotlight, which you can see here, on Greg Hargarten who is a member of the Men Who Paint group in Saskatoon and his recent work is making my head spin! Darrell has been working on some fantastic prairie paintings and he paints big! Three or four of my "big" paintings can often fit in one of his! Cheryl Tuck-Tallon is the owner of the Black Spruce Gallery up north where I sell my work and, although I haven't met Lindsay Love or Craig Erickson yet, I really admire their art!

So mark your calendars right now and keep tabs on this page because over the next week I will be posting the pieces I will have available in this show. And I think they are good!

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Art Now! Saskatchewan Fine Art Fair


This exciting second annual showcase of Saskatchewan galleries and artists is happening in Regina in two weeks. Last year it was held in Saskatoon and I believe the plan is to alternate between cities each year. As a juried member of the Saskatchewan Craft Council I was able to submit an application to have work shown in their booth and I am happy to announce that once again they selected some of my art. I believe they are exhibiting about twenty-five artists and fine craftsmen in their space. Below is what you will see from me:

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

Icy Puddles
6 x 6"
oil on board
(framed)
© Nicki Ault, 2017
sold 

Northern Reflection
6 x 6"
oil on board
(framed)
© Nicki Ault, 2017
sold 

Living Sky
6 x 6"
oil on board
(framed)
© Nicki Ault, 2017
sold 

The little 6 x 6 inch paintings are all framed in white shadowboxes and actually look lovely as a set, although they are individually priced.

If you live in Regina or will be there in two weeks, try to find time to check out this event. It was a real feast for the eyes last year and I am sure it will be just as impressive this time around!

Friday, September 1, 2017

Where did August Go?

Cinderella's Castle
© Nicki Ault, 2017
I really didn't mean to neglect my blog for a month. I don't know where the days went. I have been working on the big commission and other large works and as a result haven't had anything to show. Also, we had an epic family holiday to Disney World and Universal Studios in Florida! We planned it ages ago and it was absolutely amazing! The kids were perfect ages to take (thirteen and fifteen) and it was so fun to see the wonder in their faces as they experienced this magical place. It is really quite astounding when you think about what has been built there. The overwhelming amount of creativity, design and imagination is absolutely inspiring.

On my birthday we went to "Springfield" at Universal Studios and had Krusty Burgers! The Harry Potter World was mind boggling; including the (expensive) wands which performed magic at certain stops along the streets of Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade, but you had to make the correct motion and say the spell for it to work!

 Duff Beer
© Nicki Ault, 2017

Dragon Atop Gringott's Bank
© Nicki Ault

 Archway into Hogsmeade
© Nicki Ault

Possibly my favourite park of all is the Animal Kingdom.I LOVE it there. It could spend hours looking over the Tree of Life. A brilliant imagination created that piece of art. It was so fun walking around it with the kids trying to find all of the different animals in the trunk of the tree.
The Tree of Life
© Nicki Ault, 2017

On that note, I am inspired and I'm fired up to paint! Some great things are happening in my little art world and I will be filling you in right away. There is a lot happening all at once, so my head is down, I am working hard at the studio everyday and my fingers are crossed that these paintings turn out because there is no time for redos!

Thank you so much for patiently waiting for me to return. Paintings are coming!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Under The Stars

Under The Stars
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available at Darrell Bell Gallery

I love painting these night scenes. More experimenting to do in the near future... new ideas are fun!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Blooming Bright

Blooming Bright
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available at Darrell Bell Gallery

Oooooh, the canola this year! I love how this painting turned out! I'm going big with some of these canola fields once the big commish is done!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Like Hope Shining Through

Like Hope Shining Through
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
sold

There is something about the glowing rays of light of a colourful sunset filtering through the branches and boughs of pine trees; it just feels like hope.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Dancing Fields of Wheat

Dancing Fields of Wheat
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available at Darrell Bell Gallery

The wheat was still slightly green as we went through the countryside on the way to the lake. The drive home, however, was a different story. In the short span of a week, these young crops were no longer green, but more blonde and one step closer to harvest.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Canola and The Milky Way

Canola and The Milky Way
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2017
sold

I was excited about this painting when I completed it at the lake, so much so that I had to make a statement about how excited I was on my Facebook art page! Now, here it is... but hard to photograph without getting a bit of a glare/hotspot. Hope you like it!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Sparkling River, Waskesiu

Sparkling River, Waskesiu
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available at Darrell Bell Gallery

My son loves this painting. He is quite convinced it won't last long at the gallery. I love his supportive nature.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Canola

Canola
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available at Darrell Bell Gallery

Lots of this particular delightful scene happening right now, especially in the north... from what I could tell, the southern fields are almost done with the bright canola yellow. A lot changed in the week I was at the lake with the kids. So glad I got out there when I did. Now I am waiting for the golden wheat fields to ripen from their earthy green hue. Soon...

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Ultramarine Dugout at Warman

Ultramarine Dugout at Warman
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available

The sky was pale blue and yet, with the wind disturbing the surface, the water reflected a deep ultramarine colour. Even dugouts are beautiful on days like this!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Roadside Canola at Neuanlage

Roadside Canola At Neuanlage
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available

There is a growing, little town about twenty minutes north of Saskatoon, Neuanlage, where more and more houses are being built. It is in the heart of farmland and canola fields. Right there next to lovely new bungalows are glowing yellow fields. To drive down the main street is to drive right next to the edge of a canola field. It is Saskatchewan in a nutshell.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Whitecaps

Whitecaps
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available

 "The sea was angry that day my friends."

~ George Costanza, Seinfeld, 1994

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Rejoice

Rejoice
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available

The canola is glorious right now. Every day it gets more intense. That yellow is the colour of happy. It's the time of year when a good number of the prairie population has its fingers crossed that Mother Nature will work for us rather than against us. We need rain, but not too much. We need heat, but not too much, We definitely don't need hail or a plague of grasshoppers. And no tornadoes. The summer is a bit of a nail biter around here and we always hope the best for our farmers. Fingers crossed for the great bumper crops of 2017!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Wheat Ripening

Wheat Ripening
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2017
sold

I came across a beautiful wheat field on the drive north the other day. It was so lovely, not yet blonde, full of  warm and earthy colours, and a bit green. It rippled in the wind like gentle waves. The motion was mesmerizing.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Sunshine On Earth

Sunshine On Earth
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2017
sold

Finally! I got some painting done!

It was a lovely day at the lake yesterday, but not overwhelmingly hot. In the shade on the deck while painting, I had four layers on! But I tend to run a little on the cool side. My son thought I was crazy bananas, but what are you gonna do?

Anyway, it was wonderful to get this canola field out of my head and onto a board. I am still swooning from all the yellow I saw on the drive north. More to come!

I love painting!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Paintings In My Head!

Waskesiu Sunset
photo © Nicki Ault, 2017

I am at the lake with my kids. We drove up on Monday- it took longer than usual because I kept stopping to take photos of the canola fields along the way. The remainder of the day was spent unpacking and settling in, cleaning and organizing. Then yesterday was rainy, on and off all day, so each time I thought I would get outside to paint, I was foiled. And then there was a two hour glitch trying to get the Shaw Direct service to the TV. I, myself, could go without TV indefinitely, but string a few rainy days together with two teenagers in a small cabin and you will want entertainment. Any entertainment. Even Sponge Bob.

So, no paintings yet, but as I wrapped up the day, the rain stopped and the sun began to break through. As the clouds burned off, this gift arrived promising new, inspired paintings on my horizon.

P.S. I posted a video of a 180 degree view of this sunset on Instagram last night. Click the camera icon on the top right of this page to go over there to see it.