Sunday, January 30, 2011


10 x 10"
oil on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2011

This is another of the skies I painted last week. It has softer mood than the other two and I really like the gentle colour shifts that are happening in this one- especially just above the horizon line. This one makes me happy. Not sure why. And again I am liking the bits of the Cadmium Orange ground that are popping through.

I had two goals set for myself to get done by the end of January. I've accomplished one, but not the other... yet. The first goal was to get down to The Mendel Art Gallery and get a membership. The reason was twofold: 1) it simply makes sense to support the major public gallery in my city and 2) I hope to participate in the members art show later this year. So that goal is accomplished- I am now a proud member. I have been procrastinating the second goal for awhile now and I thought if I put a time frame on it I would actually get it done. Didn't happen. But I still have one day left in the month. What is this goal, you ask? Well, it is to join Facebook! It scares me for some reason. Maybe it is because I just don't quite get it. I'd like to make use of this powerful social media, but each time I go to figure it out I allow myself to get sidetracked... a little game of solitaire here, a little Google search there... and it's still not done!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Waskesiu Sky.... and what are you doing tonight?

Waskesiu Sky
10 x 10"
oil on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2011 

I went to the studio last week and had a blast painting three canvases- all skies. This is the first one I did. I love creating skies with thick swipes of paint and somewhat unexpected colour. For these three pieces I began with a solid ground of Cadmium Orange (in acrylic). I was very conscious of leaving bits of the orange popping through here and there. I love the energy it gives the painting. I'll show the other two over the next few days.

Tonight is the opening of "Branching Out", a group show I was invited to be a part of at Willow Studio. I think there are about thirty artists participating. We were invited to submit a large piece of artwork with the theme of trees. I submitted "Enchanted", and in fact, the owner loved my grid of small work at the Open Studio last November (which is where she introduced herself to me), so she said I was welcome to submit up to 16 of my small tree related pieces. I ended up taking 10. Fingers crossed that this exposure will bring new contacts... or even a sale!

Anyway, if you are in or near Saskatoon, the opening starts at 7:00 and the address is 148, 2nd Ave. N. I'll be there with a couple of my best pals sipping wine and dreaming of the furniture and decor I wish I had!  

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

In My Aura

In My Aura
24 x24"
mixed media on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2010 

Oh my, this is stressful! But here it is... the project I have been hinting at in recent posts. Please be gentle on me for I am a landscape painter!

I feel very fortunate to be one of 100 international artists participating in a collaboration celebrating the 100th anniversary of  International Women's Day which is on March 8th. The show is being organized by three women in Ontario and the theme we were asked to respond to is "International Women Celebrate". Around this date all of the work will come together in Ayr, Ontario for what I imagine to be a dramatic, emotional and uplifting exhibition. This project is also serving as a fundraiser for a Haitian charity focusing on women and children. The cherry on top of it all is that a book is being made! Very exciting!

We were asked to provide a concise narrative about our work, so here is what I submitted...

This piece is an intimate celebration of women from my family history. I have created a blue “aura” containing images of family photos floating around my own self-portrait; the oldest face is that of my great-great-great-grandmother. Blue represents loving kindness, peace and universal compassion which I consider to be feminine traits. While working on my painting, I felt a strong, emotional connection to these women. I reflected on their stories of great love, unimaginable loss, motherhood, emigration, depression, joy, suicide, alcoholism, travel, and academic accomplishment. In fact, their lives have shaped my own. I am proud to be a woman who has experienced the miracle of pregnancy and childbirth and who has the innate ability to nurture and create.

I am so thankful I didn't allow the negative self-talk to scare me away from this opportunity. This exploration of ideas, mediums and concepts has invigorated me and has my mind spinning with possibilities. This piece was created with acrylic, acrylic mediums, collage and oil paint. 

I have to give a shout out to Suzanne Berry and Barbara Muir who were gracious enough to generously share information on portrait painting (I emailed them in one of my panic modes). They are both participating in this collaboration and you can see their posts regarding their submissions if you click on these links:

Barbara Miur

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Another Hint

mid-December in my studio... 
the start of the project I have been hinting at...

We have been away. To Mexico! We took the kids and went for about 10 days... ohh, what a treat! But it was a shock to the system to come home to the cold. We left temperatures of about +28 Celsius and came home to about -28 Celsius. Actually I now feel better prepared to make it through the next couple of winter months. It was a good break. 

Before we left on our trip I managed to get this mystery project done and the final image sent off. I will reveal the full story and details soon. I am super excited about it and I am so happy I didn't allow my fears and negative self talk to prevent me from participating. I have to thank my dear friend, Shauna, for a supportive eleventh hour phone call back in November before I committed to this project. She talked me down from the panic ledge and helped me see that this was an opportunity I shouldn't pass up. Her confidence in my work gave me the courage to not just think about it, but to do it! So I did!

Are you on the edge of your seats? he he...

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

graphite on paper
© Nicki Ault, 2003

To quote Michael Buble in his remake of the song "Feeling Good"...

"It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life for me and I'm feeling good!"

I am so excited about what this year will bring! And I'm so curious! What will I create, what products will I experiment with, what might inspire me? Who will I meet?... and I'm pretty sure I will meet some of my blogging friends early in the year! How exciting is that!? (It has to do with the project I hinted at here). All of these things are somewhere in the future and I am so excited to find out what is in store for me in 2011.

On this first day of the new year I want to thank all of you who have decided to follow my blog and who check in regularly, even if I don't know you are taking a peak! And thank you so much to those who have taken a minute to leave a comment... and bother to type out that annoying word verification! I appreciate your interest in my art. The response I have received since I started this blog is a huge factor in my motivation to grow and learn and improve. Heck, I want to impress you! ;o)

I hope that you are excited about the possibilities of a new year. If you haven't gotten to that mindset yet, consider this quote:

"We are about as happy as we make up our minds to be."
-Abraham Lincoln

Happy 2011!