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!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Crashing Ashore

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

I have painted a version of this scene in the past, but this time I handled the water differently and actually incorporated the edge of the beach where the waves crash. I find this detail adds a bit more dimension to the scene.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Back Road

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

Thanks to the big commission pushing me to try a new subject, I found myself quite taken with country roads this summer. As a result I painted three 8x8's for the group show, "Painting The Landscape" and I plan to paint more on a larger scale in the next couple of months.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Last Sunset, Prospect Point

Last Sunset, Prospect Point
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available at Darrell Bell Gallery

I am just smitten with the group show, "Painting The Landscape", at Darrell Bell Gallery. It is truly a beautiful collection of landscape art by eight Saskatchewan artists. I am happy to report that so far sales have been brisk for everyone! All artists have sold work and received excellent feedback.

As you may recall I had the pedal to the metal as the show approached and I was painting like I have never painted before. Somehow I managed to create twenty new 8x8 inch paintings in the two week period right before the show, never mind other larger work I was working on. It was exhilarating! Of those twenty new pieces created, half of them have already found a home! The show runs until October 7th, so over the next couple of weeks I will post the work that is still available, so if you see something you love, there is still time to grab it.

This piece is one of my personal favourites, in part because I love the soft light of this sunset as a change from the more dramatic light of sunsets I have portrayed in the past. But more than that I think it is one of my favourites because of the memory attached to the image. On the night of this sunset I was out with my kids enjoying our last night at the lake. We ended up at a lookout near the golf course and there the three of us stood taking pictures through the trees of the setting sun. Now granted, the fact that I was standing on a massive ant hill does not add to the fond memory, but overall I will remember how much fun we had that evening.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Faux Island at Paignton

Faux Island at Paignton
12 x 36"
oil on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available at Darrell Bell Gallery

This summer I really had a great time with my kids at the lake. They were troopers as I hauled them around with me to take lots of resource photos for future paintings. On this particular day we packed up some snacks and the dingy that my son got for Christmas and headed to the Narrows. I hadn't taken that drive for ages and the kids had never done it, so I was pretty excited. Paignton Beach was my favourite place to go with my family when I was a little girl; wiener roasts, boating, swimming, water skiing- SO many good memories. The Narrows is about twenty-five minutes from the Waskesiu town site and ten minutes past Paignton; longer than that if you stop to take pictures along the way of the scenery and a cute little red fox on the side of the road! There you will find a beach, campground and marina. My friend, photographer Bob Ferguson once told me about a view from the road looking towards Paignton Beach that appeared to be an island, but was actually just the way the land jutted out that made it look so. I was searching for it on the drive to the Narrows and thought I spotted it and when traveling home later that day in the opposite direction, it was obvious it was the right spot.

And so the idea for this painting was born.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Heartfelt and Sincere Thanks

Darrell Bell Gallery
main gallery, Canada Building
© Nicki Ault, 2017

It has been a whirlwind of emotions over the last week. Extraordinarily happy times with all that has been happening in my little pocket of the art world, and extraordinarily sad times with the loss of a dear friend. This juxtaposition of conflicting emotions has put me in a unique mindset with the over-riding feelings and thoughts all seeming to lead to a deep sense of gratitude.

main gallery, Canada Building
© Nicki Ault, 2017

I am extremely grateful that Darrell Bell took a chance on me in late 2012 and put my little 8x8 landscapes in his beautiful new Lifestyles store. I am so grateful that he has supported me as I continue to grow, learn and evolve with my art and grateful that he then took another chance by inviting me to be in his big show, "Painting The Landscape". I am grateful to Laura, Moira and Maja who work at the gallery and talk about my art with their clients, and who are as excited for me as I am when something goes well!

street level gallery, Canada Building
© Nicki Ault, 2017

I am exceedingly grateful to my family and my friends who know the work I have put in over the years and who came to Friday's opening reception to support me, hug me and give a little cheer. My Mom and Dad were literally the first people through the doors. My high school art teacher actually came! I saw friends from the art community, neighbors, best friends, newly made friends, my doctor, parents from the schools my kids attend, friends from workshops and classes I have taken, my lovely studio mate, and the entire staff from Hues Art Supply! It was overwhelming to see so many familiar faces with genuine, happy energy to share with me. It was also wonderful to receive lovely supportive messages from those who couldn't attend. My sisters couldn't be there, but I felt their presence, and my husband and kids went to my son's big fundraising steak night for the trip to Nationals (soccer) next month, but I got lots of hugs as I headed out the door.

street level gallery, Canada Building
© Nicki Ault, 2017
 
I am so grateful to have met Paddy O'Rourke who I know with certainty would have been there if he could have been. My heart always lifted when I saw him at my open studios or art shows, and I thought of him that night. I am so grateful that I experienced his passion for the arts; that I knew his giant heart.


street level gallery, Canada Building
© Nicki Ault, 2017

I am grateful that another beautiful and professional gallery, the Assiniboia Gallery in Regina, is taking a chance on me.

I love painting. Love it. It is hard, emotional, challenging, exhausting, thrilling, rewarding, intense and joyous. I will never get to the end of all that I have to learn, but I am grateful that I get to try. 

And finally, I am filled with gratitude for those who care to stop by and check in on me along the way.

Thank you

 moi heading to the 
opening reception at Darrell Bell Gallery
© Nicki Ault, 2017

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, his words were like music to me. 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.