My first website is up!

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
Woodlands Gallery in Winnipeg, 535 Academy Road

November 18, 2020: I did a Q & A with Greg Torwalt for Tourism Saskatoon (online) on being an artist living in the city. Read the article here.

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, December 27, 2010

The Crevice- A Comparison

                                               Before                                 After
 The Crevice
10 x 24"
acrylic on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2010 

Before the Open Studio at the end of November I did a bit of tweaking and one of the paintings I fiddled with was this one, The Crevice. The bottom always read a little dark, so I tried to create a bit more depth by making a stronger suggestion of the fungi that were deeper in the crevice. I lightened up the bluish fungi as well and now I wonder if I did too much. I will have to look when I go back to the studio. I think this photo is a bit on the light side, so it is playing with my memory a bit.

I have been painting, but I am working on something I can't show for awhile. It is a piece that is really stretching me out of my comfort zone- big time. I think I have already put more hours into this than anything I have ever done. I am extremely excited about this project, so I am having a hard time not writing about it, but patience is a virtue, so I will keep my trap shut. As much as I would love for this piece to be mind bogglingly brilliant, I think at this point I will just settle with not completely embarrassing myself! (hint... because it is so not a landscape I am painting).

Friday, December 24, 2010

I Wish You Well

Santa's Snack Christmas 2007
chocolate milk, cookies and apples

Whatever you believe, I wish you peace, love, happiness and safe travels. I wish you time with those that mean the most to you. I wish you a warm place to rest and good food to nourish you.

I wish you well.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Fire In The Belly II

Fire In The Belly II
24 x 36"
oil on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2010 

I finally got a decent picture of this painting, which now feels finished. I think the colours are a bit brighter in person, but overall this is pretty accurate. This tree jumped right out at me when I was painting en plein air at Kenderdine Campus this past August. I was merrily working on my little board (the one that was not taking the paint well at all... read this post to find out more) when for some reason I looked to my right and saw the most spectacular sight. The sun was hitting this tree so that the exposed resin, sap and raw wood were lit up and glowing. It took my breath away. I had to stop and take photos! I was so excited that I started working on a canvas in the studio that evening which raised a controversy you can read about here. 

I have had some mixed reactions to this piece. A couple of people have found it to be scary, which surprises me because I saw the tree as a beautiful treasure and I tried to paint it that way. I do agree that the composition is maybe a bit "in your face", but at the same time I think that adds to it's power and impact. I have decided that I am happy with it, and that is all I have the energy to care about right now. I am thrilled with the brushstrokes- I tried to make each one interesting and fresh. This painting doesn't have the same intense, smoldering feeling that "Fire In The Belly I" had, but I was never going for that anyway. The underpainting for this piece is similar though! 

My opening at Moka Coffee Bar was a wonderful, intimate evening with friends and family stopping by. Unfortunately the weather didn't co-operate, so several people decided not to venture out. And I think they were smart- the roads were not particularly safe. Thanks to everyone for your well wishes!  

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Dappled Light

Dappled Light
acrylic and oil on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2010 

This painting is at Moka right now. It is hanging near some tables right by the front window and let me tell you, looking at this painting is the polar opposite of what you see when you look out that shop window... It is cold here!!! And the snow! Brrrrr!

As I worked on it, this painting took on many forms. It began as an acrylic painting, the horizon line was lower, at one time there was a birch tree near the middle and a few more small dead trees cutting into the open space, the top left corner had no branches so it felt wide open, the grass at the shoreline was taller and more straight across, and the colouring of the entire painting was completely different! There were many smaller changes made besides the larger ones just mentioned--- this one was a work in progress for a very long time! It feels great to have it at a place I am happy with... it was a long time coming and I wasn't entirely sure I would get it there.

My opening is tomorrow evening and I am looking forward to visiting with some friends that said they planned to attend. I'm not expecting much in the way of sales as the pieces are quite large and there are only seven of them, but I am happy to have my work in a place that can be viewed and enjoyed (I hope) by many.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Big Day Tomorrow

Here it is.... the invitation to my show at Moka Coffee Bar! My most excellent brother-in-law helped me out once more. What would have taken me hours and hours to pull together, he did in a matter of minutes. His super cool program picked the colours right out of the painting which we then used for the other areas of the invitation. I was not hip to this kind of technology so I was quite dazzled by the end of our design session.

If you happen to be in Saskatoon in the next two months check it out and let me know what you think. More specifically if you are here on Sunday, December 12 stop by and say "hi" at the opening. I'll be there from 6:30-8:30 p.m. trying desperately, and probably unsuccessfully, to avoid the peanut butter pie and yummy fancy coffees! 

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Kingfisher Trail, Waskesiu

Kingfisher Trail, Waskesiu
22x 28
oil on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2010

I did this painting last month for my upcoming show at Moka Coffee Bar. I took the reference photo for it on the September long weekend when we hiked the trail with our kids. It was a fantastic afternoon- some really great memories were made that day. I'm happy with the way this painting turned out. I tried to stay loose and free with the underbrush and foliage. I love some of the marks in those areas. The whites of the birch do come across quite white in the photo, but in reality you would see soft pinks, blue grays and soft purples in there. I actually may switch up my plan for Moka. Initially I had planned for the work to be entirely tree related, but the woman who approached me at the Open Studio is organizing a group show for the new year with the theme of trees. Now I believe I will make the Moka collection a bit more diverse and keep some of my tree canvases available in case I end up participating in her show.