My first website is up! www.nickiault.com

STUDIO ON 20th OPEN STUDIO: On Sunday, November 24th from 11-5 the studio where I paint will be hosting an exhibition and sale of the current work of our eleven artists. All are welcome, but please note there is a flight of stairs to navigate. You can find us at 236A 20th Street West (look for the door to the left of the Odd Couple restaurant). Feel free to pass on this information!

Representation: My work can be found at these professional galleries:
Darrell Bell Gallery in Saskatoon, the Canada Building on 21st Street
Assiniboia Gallery in Regina, 2266 Smith Street
Webster Galleries in Calgary, Unit 2 625-77th Ave. SE

March 21, 2019: I was interviewed by Galleries West Magazine. Read the article 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!

Monday, April 30, 2018

Severe Weather Warning - Painting Makeover!

Severe Weather Warning
12 x 12"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2018
available

I was unsure about this makeover. I quite like the original, but after a little chat and small critique with my studio mate, I decided the yellow canola field was just a bit much. Also, I realized that there was a scratch on the surface above the right hand horizon line, so something had to be done.

It's good. I like it either way, but maybe more now. I like the addition of the little clouds at the bottom of the stormy sky. Really, just the bottom half of the painting changed.

Severe Weather Warning
12 x 12"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault. 2016

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Parched Marsh

Parched Marsh
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2018
available

Last summer was a very dry season for Saskatchewan, especially in the southern part of our province. On the one hand, it was hard to see so many parched areas that once held blue, shimmering water and teemed with aquatic life, but on the other hand the textures and colours that emerged were quite spectacular.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Northern Wetlands Study

Northern Wetlands Study
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2018
sold

I took this painting when I was staying up at the yurt last fall. My drive down the old highway to Waskesiu took me past this marsh which I had seen many times before, but the light this time was spectacular. I am happy to say that this little painting captures the vibe of that moment and now I am using it as the study for a 30x30 canvas I am working on.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Tempest at Sunset
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2018
sold

Whew! I really struggled with this one.

There is actually a relatively large tree in the bottom right-hand corner... under the soft purple cloud. I struggled with keeping that tree for a long time and it just wasn't working, so finally in an effort to salvage all of the time I had already spent, I obliterated it with a big swipe of paint and, voila, it was instantly better! The cloud immediately seemed more grand and powerful, looming over the little hill below.

Every time I paint, whether it be a little 6x6 or a very big canvas, I learn something. So good.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Cooling Off
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2018
sold

Sometimes the sun goes down and it is not a flashy show.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Canola And Dandelions

Canola and Dandelions
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2018
sold

It seems winter actually may leave us after all, which means two very different yellows are but a few months away.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

A Little Adjustment

A Little Adjustment
48 x 30"
acrylic and oil on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2018
available

I am so excited to show you this painting!

The studio where I paint has a group show at the Gallery at the Frances Morrison Central Library right now. Ten of us worked from the same three traditional subjects in art (landscape, still life, the figure) over the last ten months, so this show exhibits all of our interpretations of the same subjects. We all had to step out of comfort zones in one way or another. Here is my figurative piece. I am very excited about it - a real stretch for me. The sketching of the figure on the canvas took me a full day (the largest drawing I have ever done), then rather than paint the whole thing with brushes, I stained many, many layers using oil paint and rags- with drying time between between sessions so I could build up layers. Her hair was mostly done with brushes and then I pulled paint off with rags to create highlights and depth. Also, only three colours were used on the entire piece.. 

It is a bit scary to put something out there that is not my usual thing, but exhilarating too! I want to do more!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Trio


 
Trio
each 6x6"
mixed media
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available

I meant to post this yesterday, but one thing led to another and it never happened. It was a busy day! And my son was in a band festival, so among everything else, it was a priority to attend that.

Our opening reception for "reconfigured" was last night and we had a full house! Thank you to everyone who attended, the support you give our studio is appreciated and we value your friendship and enthusiasm.

The show will be at The Gallery at the Frances Morrison Central Library until May 17. Other work produced for this project will be shown at our Mother's Day Tea- we generated more work than this gallery could hold!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Sandbars on the South Saskatchewan


Sandbars on the South Saskatchewan
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
sold at Darrell Bell Gallery

Painted on en plein air at a little plot of land outside of town by the river. It was a study for an idea for larger work for my studio's group show "reconfigrured" which opens on Thursday evening. In the end my landscape submission for the show veered quite far from this idea.

Monday, April 16, 2018

A Drive In The Country - Makeover Monday!

A Drive In The Country
(after)
12 x 12"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2018
available

Okay.

I am super shocked I called the original painting from 2015 "done". I vaguely recall my intention while painting the original; I was likely trying to stay "loose" which I have basically been told all of my artistic life. For some reason that has become the standard around these parts. As if "loose" in itself is enough.

Guess what? It's not.

You can paint loose, but have no understanding of chroma, value, hue, composition, patterning, edges, rhythm, light, proportion, design, etc. I don't claim to have the breadth of knowledge that many, many, many artists out there in the vast art world have, but there is one thing that I have figured out in this small part of the world... loose does not a good painting make.

A Drive In The Country
(before)
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2015

So if you are like me, someone who loves a little detail, who loves painting somewhat realistically and who loves to refine their work to an extent, and you are being told ALL THE TIME to stay "loose", well, take it with a grain of salt. Being loose has its place, but it is not the whole place. Rather, I submit to you that your goal be to keep learning, keep reading, keep experimenting and if you take workshops, learn from a variety of people. Do not turn your nose up at instructors who are classically trained. While their way may not be how you necessarily want to paint, they know their stuff and there is a wealth of historical knowledge they can offer you. Also, look at a lot of art. Figure out what is happening in the artwork you love. Really examine it. And do the same with artwork you don't like. What is happening that repels you? Make notes even!

Keep on keeping on and as you evolve (which is hopefully an ongoing journey), the knowledge you've been absorbing will begin appearing in your work in really good ways.

Most of all, paint like yourself, not like someone else, because if you don't, who will?

Friday, April 13, 2018

Low River

Low River
24 x 36"
oil on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2018
available

This was my first effort on the subject of a landscape for the group show I am in next week, the other subjects we tackled were the figure and a still life. I painted this on a bright yellow ground and it changed a LOT from beginning to end. It is a nice and decent painting, but I decided to make another effort as I wanted to submit a painting that I was more excited about and that I felt represented elements that felt more "me". My second effort turned out to be just that, so it will be in the show which opens next week.

Come if you can, it is going to be an interesting show for the viewing public! Here is the invitation again:






Thursday, April 12, 2018

Spring Showers

Spring Showers
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2018
available at Darrell Bell Gallery

OH MY GOSH!

Seriously... it turns out the title I gave this painting is misleading... at least this year. It should actually have a horizon that is stark white and it should be called "Spring Flurries"! What is happening? It is so cold; the snow keeps coming and the temps keep dropping! I am all for experiencing four seasons, that is part of why I love Saskatchewan, but things have gone too far! Usually the saying is "April showers bring May flowers", but this year the saying in Saskatchewan is "April showers bring snowplowers"! (sorry, I don't know to whom I should credit that nugget). 

I am over winter.

I love this painting and I can hardly wait for no snow and a cool, gentle, rainy night where I can go to sleep with the windows open and listen to the patter as I fall asleep.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Hope Eternal and Prayers For Humboldt

Prayers for Humboldt © Hard Pressed
#PutYourSticksOut 
Hope Eternal © Nicki Ault, 2018





 design © Hard Pressed and used with permission


A month ago I painted a little 6x6 night scene and called it "Hope Eternal". Now seems like the right time to post it.

My province and community is reeling from a horrific highway accident on April 6th involving a bus carrying a junior hockey team, the Humboldt Broncos, to a game in Nipawin. Of the twenty-eight on board, fifteen perished and twelve are in the hospital.

We are not a hockey family, although hockey has been a huge part of my husband's life, but we have loaded our kids onto buses heading to soccer games, band trips and school field trips. As parents, we all have. This devastating loss feels one step away from my front door and I am having trouble thinking of much else. I feel deep sadness for all of the people directly connected to the Broncos and the city of Humboldt and I am worried about all of the first responders and the hospital staff, as well as the people that happened upon the accident on that cold road. No human being should ever see what they witnessed.

As I write this I am listening to Jane Siberry and KD Lang sing "Calling All Angels". May kindness and love, music and art help my community heal. Life can change in an instant, so let's be good to each other.


Hope Eternal
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2018
sold


Monday, April 9, 2018

Marshland - Makeover Monday!

Marshland
(after)
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2018
sold at Darrell Bell Gallery

Another remake of a painting from Darrell Bell Gallery. Small yet big changes- the most notable being the clouds in the sky. Also, the distant water behind the grasses is more settled and reads better now, I think.

Marshland
(before)
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2014

I actually really liked the original, which is why I cared to take the time to give it a refresh.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Wisps

Wisps
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2018
sold  

A friend of mine took a workshop years ago and the instructor got mad at her for painting wispy clouds; she said there was no such thing.

???

I beg to differ.


Friday, April 6, 2018

Ponder and Show Announcement

Ponder
20 x 20"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2018
available

About a year ago, the artists I paint with at Studio On 20th decided to submit a proposal for a group show to The Gallery at the Frances Morrison Central Library. We got a yes!

We have worked over the last eight months to stretch ourselves out of our comfort zones to achieve what we set out to do. Regarding those efforts, here is an excerpt from the statement we will be posting at our show "reconfigured" which opens in two weeks:


The intent of this exhibition was to reconfigure our studio spaces and artistic practices
 through the exploration and interpretation of three traditional subject matters:  
 the figure, still life and landscape. Over several sessions, we sketched and painted 
specific views of these subjects using a range of media, which we were then 
free to interpret further through a larger work according to our own style and working process. 
 In the spirit of coming together through place, both physically and artistically, 
this exhibition explores the similarities, differences and influences 
within ten individual artists’ styles.



We all stepped out of our comfort zones to explore subjects which are not necessarily part of our individual practices or even of true interest to us. We set up a still life at the studio and we held two work sessions so we could tackle that subject at the same time, we planned a field trip to Jane's plot of land on the river near Pike Lake and worked en plein air, and we hired the same model to come to our studio for three sessions so we could work directly from her poses. 


 reconfigured 


There is something really quite exciting about working in a close setting with other artists. The energy of the group can fuel each individual in unexpected ways. I think that's why I miss the Emma Lake Kenderdine Campus so. 



On a personal note, I created a little body of work from these sessions: studies, drawings and larger finished work. This portrait is based on a sketch I did during one of the model sessions. It won't be in the show because one of my other figurative pieces will, but I am happy with it considering I am not a painter of people. Below is the invitation with the details - please come to the reception on April 19 if you can!






Thursday, April 5, 2018

Final Rays

Final Rays
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2018
sold at Darrell Bell Gallery

Soft and calm, yet somewhat moody and powerful.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Prairie Unrest

Prairie Unrest
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2018
available

Dark. Simple. Intense.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Going To Seed

Going To Seed
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
sold at Darrell Bell Gallery

This was painted before Christmas... and sold quickly. I love the movement and the palette, the rainy sky and the rugged field.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Winter on Meewasin - Makeover Monday!

Winter on Meewasin
(after)
8 x 8" 
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2018
sold at Darrell Bell Gallery

I still love this painting. It is among the first that I ever delivered to Lifestyles By Darrell Bell Gallery when they opened just before Christmas in 2012. It remained after the store closed and the street level gallery opened. I had painted another version which sold ages ago, but this one has been a bit of a fixture and was beginning to look bedraggled (see below). I decided to give it new life with a minor makeover and it will be back in the gallery on Wednesday.

I especially love the colours of this piece. I love the foggy mood and the shapes of snow on the scruffy embankment. It is true that winter scenes are a bit of a tough sell, but they can be so exciting, it is difficult to not want to paint them. The Meewasin Trail that spans both sides of the river in Saskatoon is a real urban treasure and it is beautiful no matter the time of year. 

Winter on Meewasin
(before)
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2012


Sunday, April 1, 2018

Curves of Canola

Curves of Canola
10 x 10"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2018
sold at Assiniboia Gallery

Aaaaaah, the colours of warmer days. It will happen. This cold spell will end. In the meantime.... Happy Freezter!!! 

P.S. It's fun that April Fool's Day landed on Easter Sunday this year... that crazy Easter Bunny hid some canned goods and foil-wrapped grapes for my boys, along with the usual sweet stuff, this year :)