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.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Lake Land

Lake Land
30 x 40"
oil on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2017
sold

I actually began this painting before our Open Studio last November, but didn't get it finished in time and wasn't thrilled with how it was going anyway. I never went back to it because I had painted myself into a corner of problems that I just couldn't decide how to fix. And there it has been, propped against the wall in an unfinished state, ever since. 

Fast-forward to March and a studio visit from an old friend who commented on it, so we hung it up and brain-stormed. Suddenly our conversation and his feedback got me excited about it again. I decided to finish it and, happily, I love the end result. I sent him an image and I think he may buy it when he is in town this weekend!


Thursday, April 27, 2017

One Fine Day (Painting Makeover)

One Fine Day
(after)
12 x 12"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available


I am trying to get caught up with the Makeover Mondays I do on my Instagram page. I think after today I should be back on track.

This simple, fresh sky is the remade "after" version of the below painting from 2015...

One Fine Day
(before)
12 x 12"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2015

Aside from being irritated by the dark "stripe" of deeper blue at the top of the original painting, there were many areas where a lot of the panel showed through (it is difficult to see in the photo). While I do like that effect in small amounts, in this case there was so much board showing that I think the painting looked unfinished. Another little change is that I beefed up the clouds a bit.

I would say this is a quirky painting. I had the urge to paint a tiny red barn on the horizon as I made it over! I feel like it needs something else, but probably not adding a red barn was a good call!


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Sky Over Canola (Painting Makeover)

Sky Over Canola
(after)
24 x 36"
oil on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available

While I like the idea of the original painting- a bright, sunny, blue sky above a happy canola field - the execution left me a little cold. I was irritated by the cloud shapes in the original as well as the intensity of the blue vs the yellow. I gave it a major overhaul and I am much more pleased with the painting now.

Sky Over Canola
(before)
24 x 36"
oil on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2016

Monday, April 24, 2017

Gray Skies Over Fairy Island (Painting Makeover)

Gray Skies Over Fairy Island
(after)
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available

The colour is likely a bit off in both these photos. I have trouble capturing bluey-purples with my camera. The original version (below) was missing the moodiness I wanted and the water was very boring- the dark land mass seemed to float on it. Also, although not shown in this photo, there were a few scratches on the painting from various moves to and from art markets. 

Not huge changes, but overall a better painting now I think.

Gray Skies Over Fairy Island
(before)
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2015

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Rest Well Little Girl




This last week was extraordinarily difficult. My son found his sweet little hamster non-responsive in her cage at about 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday. He thought she was already gone but when I got her out of her den she was still warm; she was in bad shape, but for the next three hours we tried all we could to help her. He made a heart-breaking phone call to the pet store to ask what we should do. A few times she perked up enough that I thought she may turn around, but she never really did. She took her last breath at about 8:00 p.m.

We honestly do not know what happened, she honestly seemed to be thriving and she never, in the ten days we had her, showed any of the signs of stress or distress we were supposed to watch for. She actually seemed to be having the time of her life!

Anyway, art-making was put on the back-burner for the next three days as I helped my boy deal with his grief. We have been inseparable- lots of crying, lots of talking, lots of snuggles. This is truly the biggest loss he has faced in his life. I feel so honoured to be his mom and to be able to help him navigate these strong emotions. Even though we only had her for a short time, Baloo really touched his heart deeply. He took to calling her "Little Girl" which I found so endearing. He wanted a pet for so very long; this birthday present was the best of times and the worst of times.

He is doing better, by Friday he felt good enough to go out with my sister so I could get some work done at the studio. I will have a bit of art to show you soon.

~Nicki

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Tiny Prairie (Painting Makeover)

Tiny Prairie
(after)
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2017
sold

In my effort to rejuvenate some old canvases and boards, I am not always sure I am improving things, but since I am not happy with the original work in the first place there is really nothing to lose.

I think I like the overall feel of the makeover (above) more. The sharp angles in the middle ground of the "before" (below) really irritated me and some areas appeared rough and unfinished.

Tiny Prairie
(before)
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2017

However, I might have gone overboard with the greens in the foreground of the makeover.

Thoughts?

Monday, April 17, 2017

Underneath It All

Underneath It All
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2017
sold

This is painted on a glorious ground of Quinacridone Magenta by Golden. I love the pops of colour that poke through around the clouds and the heat at the horizon is so intensely dreamy to me! I have seen sunsets at the lake that are almost other-worldly like this. It is a spectacular sight indeed.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter Sunday!

Baloo the Black Bear Hamster
© Nicki Ault, 2017

Happy Easter Sunday!

We finally have a pet in our home! My son has been wanting an animal to care for and so for his thirteenth birthday we let him pick out a hamster. We have had her for a week now and she has settled in really well. She is so fun to watch and play with. She loves to be held and she loves her hamster ball. I just posted a video on my Instagram page if you want to see her running around in it. Click the camera icon to the right and see today's post.

We took her to the pet store yesterday to buy her a few treats and to ask a few questions. We did find out that she should not eat too much in the way of fruits and veggies because anything too watery gives them tummy troubles. Don't worry- she didn't have all these carrots, but she did choose to nibble for a minute on this one that was cut in a disc shape. She looked so funny holding onto it with her little pink hands. And she is a hoarder! It is amazing what she can store in her cheeks!

Things just got a whole lot more adorable around here!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

I Dreamed This

I Dreamed This
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available

I kind of made up this scene on Tuesday after I finished working on a larger piece. A teeny sky with a lot of drama. I've said it before and I'll say it again- I like drama in my art, not in my life!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Payne's Sky

Payne's Sky
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available

Payne's Gray makes for some lovely blues over a golden Saskatchewan prairie.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Living Sky

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

I spent a good portion of the day at the studio on Friday. I got this painting done but I left feeling like I should have accomplished more. Really, when I think back on the day, I realize I just did a lot of eating. Anyone else ever have days like that? (Please say yes).

Monday, April 3, 2017

Icy Puddles

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

I drove out to the country the other day to meet a dear friend about a painting her family commissioned me to do as a gift for her sixty-fifth birthday. I am excited about it and although the area that surrounds her home is beautiful, she wants the painting to be of the northern lake area she loves so much. And you know I am all about Prince Albert National Park, so it is a win win situation.

It was a foggy, gray morning when I drove out to meet her and even though visually the scenery was quite bleak, I was surprisingly jazzed by what I saw. The fields sported browns and ochres, siennas and umbers, as well as blonde stubble from last years growth. The cool foggy air and icy puddles were nice foils to all of the earthy colours. I could hardly wait to paint what I saw and felt. Saturday night I got the chance. I hope you like it!