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.

November 15 - December 31, 2017: Holiday Salon - Small Works Show at Darrell Bell Gallery (street level ), running through the holidays, Darrell and his team have installed a grid of twenty of my 8x8's as well as a small wall of larger pieces at the front of the gallery. Lots of great gift ideas to be found by the many gallery artists on display.

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!

Friday, December 15, 2017

Dusk Arriving

Dusk Arriving
10 x 10"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available at Assiniboia Gallery

There is a bit of a glow by the clouds in the upper left hand corner where the sun is trying to burn through. It is not apparent enough in this photo.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Nightfall

Nightfall
10 x 10"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available at Assiniboia Gallery

These sunset experimentations have been a favourite part of my year. I have thoroughly enjoyed exploring them as a subject. I see the future and it includes more reflections.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Boreal Flare

Boreal Flare
10 x 10"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
sold at Assiniboia Gallery

A hillside forest scene: the sun slips toward the horizon beyond the hill creating an intense glow that burns between the trees.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Evening Harmony

Evening Harmony
10 x 10"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available at Assiniboia Gallery

Blues and oranges, purples and yellows... a little sunset harmonizing on this particular summer's evening.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Shady Spot

Shady Spot
10 x 10"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available at Assiniboia Gallery 

A bit of an unusual composition, but I like it. I kind of feel like there should be a cow or horse standing in the shade of the trees.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Night Light

Night Light
10 x 10"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available at Assiniboia Gallery

I am seriously crazy about this painting. I loooooove the colours of the sunset and water. I adore how the light bends around the pine tree. Although they look black in the photo, the trees are deep, dark blues and purples. I hope I don't regret that I didn't keep this one for myself.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Uphill

Uphill
10 x 10"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available at Assiniboia Gallery

I took a lot of resource photos on this particular glorious, sunny, canola-filled day in July. We were on the way home from the lake, my kids were plugged into their devices and when I saw something especially interesting, I locked the brakes up a few times saying, "Hey, guys, I'm just going to take a quick drive down this road to get some pictures, okay?" 

It turns out my idea of "quick" is a bit different than theirs. Let's just say I took a bit of flack for how not quick they thought I was going!

Friday, December 8, 2017

Northern Marsh in September

Northern Marsh in September
10 x 10"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available at Assiniboia Gallery

I think the feeling of the bright, crisp fall day came through loud and clear in this painting. The final touch of the gentle, horizontal strokes on the water added the element that took it from feeling flat to having dimension and movement, as subtle as it is.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Late Afternoon Bales

Late Afternoon Bales
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available at Darrell Bell Gallery

This is the last one remaining of the six new 8x8's I delivered to Darrell Bell Gallery on December 1. Gotta fire up the brushes again!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Strange and Beautiful

Strange and Beautiful
10 x 10"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available at Assiniboia Gallery

This is one of the eight new 10 x 10" that is now available at Assiniboia Gallery in Regina - just picked up by the owners on Friday. They have been such a treat to work with; I am so excited about this new relationship!

I love this little painting... I find the cloud formation to be strange and beautiful. The sun is creating a powerful impact as it begins its slow decent toward the horizon, making parts of the cloud glow and come alive while other parts become dark and flat. Just a few waves are catching the light, but soon the whole surface of the lake will shimmer with the sun setting. I like drama in my art, not in my life.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Rustle

Rustle
40 x 30"
acrylic and oil on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available

I'm still loving these fluttery, leafy paintings. It is similar to "Dancing With Myself", although this one has some earthy greens in it. I actually have a new one started on my easel right now... a bit more zoomed in and a different palette. Stay tuned for that.

I can't believe this painting was done in October and I am just posting it now! Yeesh! What a crazy time. I literally have thirty-three blog posts drafted and ready to post. That means there are thirty-three paintings I haven't shown yet! Some are sold some aren't. I've never been in this boat before, so I'm going to just keep paddling and moving forward. Maybe someday I will be caught up!

Monday, December 4, 2017

East End, King's Island - Painting Makeover

East End, King's Island, Waskesiu
(after)
12 x 12"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available at Darrell Bell Gallery

Guess what?! 

I took the weekend off! I didn't go back to the studio once this weekend after I left on Friday afternoon. Well, I realize looking back that I spent about five hours at home on Sunday editing photos, doing paperwork, organizing files, recording receipts, emailing and the like, so technically I didn't take the weekend off, but compared to the last four months, it felt like it.

Anyhoo, here is a recent "Painting Makeover" on a painting from a year ago. Not gigantic changes, but I believe the revisions make it a better painting. One thing I think adds a lot is the reflection of the rocks in the water. I lightened up the sky and changed the colour of the distant horizon. Among the other changes, I am now much happier with this painting. It feels fresh and sunny- like a beautiful day to be out in the boat and exploring the island. I hope someone who loves Waskesiu Lake, finds this at the "Holiday Salon" where it is hanging and available at Darrell Bell Gallery. King's Island is the only island on Waskesiu Lake and is named for Mackenzie King who was the Canadian Prime Minister who established Prince Albert National Park in 1927.

East End, King's Island
(before)
12 x 12"
oil on cradled panel, 2016
© Nicki Ault, 2017

I "googled" King's Island and have learned that it was originally known in the area as Devil's Island because according to Cree legend was inhabited by supernatural creatures! I had never heard that before, but now I want to know more! Also, I have always called it King's Island, but it seems it is actually King Island with no " 's".


Friday, December 1, 2017

Dimming of the Day

Dimming of the Day
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available at Darrell Bell Gallery

There's something a little different about this one. I think it has a cool feel to it. Check it out tonight at the opening reception for the "Holiday Salon" at Darrell Bell Gallery. Between 5:00 and 8:00 pm, I will be there enjoying the couple of hundred pieces of original art by some of the fantastic DBG gallery artists, so please swing by and join me!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Fresh and Free

Fresh and Free
8 x 8"
acrylic and oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available at Darrell Bell Gallery

Fluttery, leafy goodness.

The light, fresh, airy feel of this one makes me very happy. It's one of my favourites of this foliage series so far. There are also two other leafy prairie scenes in this colour palette at the Holiday Salon at Darrell Bell Gallery. Please come to the opening tomorrow evening, December 1, from 5-8 p.m.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Autumn and the Riffle

Autumn and the Riffle
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available at Darrell Bell Gallery

I have never done a fall scene of the Waskesiu River... until now! I actually can't quite believe that, but it's true and I am attempting to remedy this oversight by working from some great photos I took the weekend I stayed in the yurt. I also recently painted a 6x6 (sold at Open Studio) and I have plans to paint a 20x20 as well. I may even go larger, who knows!

This is kind of an odd view... no I wasn't standing in the middle of the river to take the resource photo for this painting, there is actually a walking bridge that goes over the river at this point. I love how calm the river was on this day; flowing away from the lake into the forest, and then when it hits the riffle, the little rapids disturb the reflection.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Fire Water

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

Another take on a sunset image I have played with in the past. Hard to photograph. Available at the Small Artwork show on until Christmas at Darrell Bell Gallery (main level).

Monday, November 27, 2017

By The Boat Launch, Lynx Lake - Painting Makeover

By The Boat Launch, Lynx Lake
(after)
12 x 12"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available at Darrell Bell Gallery

I really love the changes I made to this piece. It is way better now and, again, seems more finished than the original version (below). I much prefer the makeover for its simpler water, lighter sky, change in colour of the distant shoreline and the work I put into the jut of land.

By The Boat Launch
(before)
12 x 12"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2016

I just delivered this painting and four others to Darrell Bell Gallery for their newest exhibition (street level gallery) of small artworks- almost every gallery artist has something in this show! There are hundreds of small affordable pieces of original art displayed and for sale, including a grid of 20 of my 8x8's!

just delivered to Darrell Bell Gallery
© Nicki Ault, 2017

just delivered to Darrell Bell Gallery
© Nicki Ault, 2017

 newest grid of 8x8"s at Darrell Bell Gallery
© Nicki Ault, 2017

The art is already hung and the opening reception is this Friday, December 1 from 5-8 pm. At the same time there is an opening taking place upstairs in the main Gallery (fourth floor, Canada building) for the show called "A Winter Gathering", an exhibition of First Nation, Metis and Inuit art. Sounds like a great way to kick off December!


Sunday, November 26, 2017

A Walk In The Park

A Walk In The Park
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
sold at Darrell Bell Gallery

Suddenly, right after one of my son's soccer games late this fall, the sky shifted from dull to glorious. As I was driving home, I took a quick detour to try to capture some photos as resource for future paintings and ended up pulling into the parking lot of a dog-walking park. The view I had inspired this painting.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Prairie Kaleidoscope

Prairie Kaliedoscope
8 x 8"
acrylic and oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
sold at Darrell Bell Gallery

This one was a struggle, but actually a great challenge too. I made it up and kept adding layers and depth, starting with acrylic then going to oils on top. Initially I wanted the entire thing to be filled with branches and fluttery leaves, but it just wasn't working. Finally I abandoned that idea and started knocking in the palest blue to make the sky show through. That made all the difference and then I fell in love with this painting.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Martin & Paul Ultra Clear Linseed Oil

Martin & Paul Ultra Clear Linseed Oil
photo © Nicki Ault, 2017

You may recall that in September, Bridget and my studio space was being used for a video shoot. Well, here is the final product, a promotional video for a new linseed oil (you may recognize some my artwork in the background of some of the shots):


 video © Martin & Paul, 2017

This story is entirely Saskatchewan based and, I think, very exciting for many reasons. 

First off, one of the Pauls (there are two Martins and two Pauls involved with this new product), is my friend, Paul Trottier who is a fellow artist, as well as the owner of my favourite local shopping haunt, Hues Art Supply. I am thrilled that this opportunity came a-knockin' at his door. Second, this discovery opens a new avenue for Saskatchewan flax farmers. Third, the discovery connected to this product happened because of the curiosity and hard work of plant scientist, Martin Reaney at the University of Saskatchewan.

In a nutshell, after fundamental research into the chemistry of flax, Martin discovered an unexpected byproduct of flax that has led to a new patented technology of a flax-based artist quality oil. Martin & Paul Ultra Clear Linseed Oil does not cause yellowing over time which has historically been a problematic and insurmountable issue with other linseed oils. Additional features of this oil, which are welcome to artists, are its quick drying time and significantly reduced odour.

M & P press release
photo © Nicki Ault, 2017

M & P on shelf at Hues Art Supply
photo @ Nicki Ault, 2017

I have been using this linseed oil for at least six months when I received a sample. I am impressed by the buttery feel it gives my oils, I am happy about the quick drying time and I love the beautiful sheen it gives to my finished paintings. I am not being paid or compensated in any way to endorse this product, I just feel quite excited about it and wanted to share the news

Martin & Paul Ultra Clear Linseed Oil can be purchased at Hues Art Supply in Saskatoon as well as online at their website. Last I had heard they already had several orders from overseas! You can read more at these links:





Thursday, November 23, 2017

Beyond

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

Sometimes sunsets are not spectacular, but they can still be brilliant, with the sun setting beyond the clouds creating a beautiful backlight that reflects and shimmers on the water.

Speaking of "beyond", I am beyond grateful for the amazing support I have received this year in all things art related in my life: shows attended, purchases made, posts liked, commissions commissioned, blog stories read, Instagram followed, Facebook shared, and comments made. You have no idea how all of these things keep me motivated and how I strive to do better and better so that the time you spend joining me on this journey does not feel wasted. Is it weird that I want you to be proud of me? Or at the very least, not bored by me? Let me answer that- yes, maybe a little weird, but it's true, so I'm okay with that.

Our big Open Studio was a wonderful event despite it probably being the worst day we could have chosen. We picked the date in the spring and, for various reasons, we chose the second last Sunday in November rather than the last Sunday as we had in other years. It turned out it was the day of the Santa parade, the Nutcracker ballet matinee, a race with a the closure of the Broadway bridge and our CFL team, the Saskatchewan Roughriders, actually made the semi-finals this year and the game was at noon! Yeesh. It is beyond miraculous that anyone showed up!

I had a record breaking day, beyond my expectations, with my 6x6 paintings- eighteen of them finding their forever homes, and many of them with shadow boxes, so props to my dad for helping me get those done. I sold a big painting which was emotional for me, not because the painting was leaving me, but because the lovely woman who purchased it did so with an inheritance she had received. She wanted to do something long-lasting and special with the money, and she chose one of my paintings. Cue the tears. It touched my heart immensely. I also sold a painting via Facebook during, and unrelated to, the Open Studio which was rather exciting; my new piece "Keep Me Where The Light Is" is going to the home of a diplomat! A Canadian Ambassador if you will!!! Crazy! And I sort of sold another painting (it's on hold), but I am waffling on letting it go (I may want to keep it), in which case they will commission me for a piece anyway, so it's all good.

It was exciting to see the 6x6's fly out of the studio... eight of nine brand new pieces, not even posted, are gone and only "Beyond" remains... so let me know if it would make a good Christmas present for anyone. I have two more, even newer, 6x6 paintings to post soon that are still available... both of them starry night skies, so stay tuned.

 © Nicki Ault, 2017

What I feel is beyond words. I don't say that lightly. I really mean it. I may actually be teary and emotional until the new year. I love painting. I love painting. I LOVE painting. And I can't believe that is what I am doing with my life.

 Thank you!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Distant Rain

Distant Rain
20 x 20"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available

This one gave me a hard time. A real hard time. I may or may not have dropped the F-bomb on this one... and that is honestly a very rare thing for me when I paint. Actually, it's a very rare thing for me generally. I considered calling it Distant "Effing" Rain, but the G-rated title won out.

Note: All the subtle lovely bits were a bit hard to catch in a photo.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Night Moves

Night Moves
36 x 48"
oil on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2017
sold

I have been powering through these last days before Open Studio. I am feeling more and more excited and love the work I will be showing this year. My remaining paintings are back from Boffins, and I still love them! I love my display boards of my 6x6's - I just did three more new ones, two of which are starry skies. And I love my new large work - yesterday I finally finished the rainy sky that was giving me so much trouble. This one, "Night Moves", is a bit of a force, which I was hoping it would be! I've said it before, I like drama in my art, not in my life! It's best seen in person, as all original work is, so come if you can. Here are the details one more time...


Studio On 20th is the door to the left of the Odd Couple restaurant and our event is sharing part of the day with Santa who arrives in town via parade at 1:00 tomorrow afternoon! We are open11-5, so if you plan to come around parade time you may want to avoid driving anywhere near Santa's route.

See you soon!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Keep Me Where The Light Is

Keep Me Where The Light Is
24 x 48"
oil on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2017
sold

ONE DONE! Three to go.

This big fella came out better than I hoped! I love it and it is way better in person! A new camera is on my wish list... and a tripod!

I always listen to music as I paint. The energy of the music often influences my work and keeps my brain engaged in various ways. Occasionally words or lyrics jump out at me and that was the case while painting this piece. I was listening to "Gravity" by John Mayer and the line "keep me where the light is" caught my attention. I immediately knew that was the name for this painting. 

These sunset water reflections are quite powerful, especially at the scale of this one. I think the glowing light and glistening water offer a sense of hope and beauty. The sun might be going down , but there will be a tomorrow; there will be light again. As someone who has struggled with depression (I think a very extended post-partum depression) and who has watched others struggle, sometimes just getting through the day, if you actually get out of bed, is a miracle. I truly hope that whoever ends up with this painting, feels my positive energy radiating from it, and that it helps keep them where the light is, depressed or not. 

We need more hope in this world and art can help with that.

This painting will be at Open Studio on Sunday. Come if you can!


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Big Canvas In Progress

work in progress
© Nicki Ault, 2017

I really want to show you a big painting, but the four I have on the go right now are just not quite ready. Three of the four are really close and will be done by Open Studio on Sunday, but the fourth one is a crap-shoot. This is a detail of the largest one which is 36 x 48 inches and is based on an 8x8 inch painting that I did for "Painting The Landscape" at Darrell Bell Gallery in September.

I am getting so excited for Sunday! It has been such an incredible year and I just want to get all dolled up and celebrate! I hope you can come!


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

New 6x6 Paintings For Open Studio!

 
new 6x6's!
© Nicki Ault, 2017

A quick way to show you some of the new 6x6's I will have available at Open Studio on Sunday.

Come one, come all!

 


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Canola, Dandelions, Thistles

Canola, Dandelions, Thistles
10 x 10"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available at Assiniboia Gallery in Regina

Bright and cheery; a Saskatchewan summer day at its finest!

Also, how does Mother Nature know colour theory? Those purple thistles are just what the yellow fields need to really sing!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Striped Sky, Sulphide Lake - Monday Makeoever

Striped Sky, Sulphide Lake
(after)
16 x 16"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available

I continue to be somewhat fascinated as I do these "painting makeovers". What I have noticed with the few that I have been re-making recently is that the originals seem under-developed to me now. It is like I stopped before they were really done. And this one was only a year old. Have I grown that much in a year? Or did I go through a lazy phase? It's a curious thing.

Striped Sky, Sulphide Lake
(before)
16 x 16"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2016


Sunday, November 12, 2017

Shades of Night

Shades of Night
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
sold at Darrell Bell Gallery

I super, extra love this one! It sold at "Painting The Landscape" in September. I am going to attempt a larger version of it, maybe a 20x20. I always find the deep, dark, blue and purple colours very hard to photograph well- and basically that is all this painting is! You will have to trust me that it is better in person than what this image shows.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Flax At Gordon Road

Flax At Gordon Road
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
sold at Darrell Bell Gallery

Flax is a bit elusive; it is not an easy thing to find and it is not an easy thing to paint, but every summer I shall try!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Behind the Breakwater, Waskesiu

Behind the Breakwater
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available at Darrell Bell Gallery

Behind the breakwater, near the main beach in the Waskesiu town-site, there is a little swimming spot and a picnic table by the rocky beach. It's kind of a neat little nook. Just beyond it you can see Prospect Point which is home to the golf course and the big fancy cottages on the hill. If you keep following the shoreline it curves back and to the left where you will find lovely Murphy's Bay. I saw an otter playing there once years ago. Happy memories.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Open Studio In Ten Days!


You are invited! Mark your calendars! Our biggest event of the year is only ten days away and we are getting excited! The studio is bustling and our easels are active. New work is in progress and we can hardly wait to show you! Be sure to spread the word, we don't open to the public often, so grab this chance to see our working studio. Look for the door to the left of the Odd Couple restaurant on 20th Street West. That's us! Sorry, we are not wheelchair accessible.  

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Down Tower Road

Down Tower Road
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
sold at Darrell Bell Gallery

This event, a tribute to Paddy O'Rourke, happened last night. It was excellent and I miss him. Paddy loved Saskatchewan and the prairies. I think he would have loved this image, at least the prairie-ness of it. He lived on an acreage outside of the city and he loved our vast, open landscape. An Irishman who chose Canada.  How lucky we were.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Floral-Like Foliage

Floral-Like Foliage
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
sold at Darrell Bell Gallery

I am extra into these fluttery, leafy numbers lately! I did three 8x8's in this colour palette for "Painting The Landscape" two months ago and I believe they all sold! I just did three new ones in a different palette which I will deliver to Darrell Bell Gallery soon, plus I recently did a big 40 x 30 canvas that is part of this series. And, after visiting Bridget's acreage recently, I am excited about trying some more ideas!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Painting Makeover, Craig Berry and Choc'la Cure

McPhee From Highway 264
after 
(painting makeover)
12 x12"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
sold (at auction)

I haven't done a "painting makeover" in awhile, but recently I collected my artwork from The Black Spruce Gallery and decided to freshen up those pieces. I am constantly amazed at how my eye has changed over the last several years and for this I give kudos and props to Craig Berry (Atelier 2302). Happily, all of the extraordinary information I garnered from the courses I took with him is starting to take hold. At the time, I was overwhelmed by how much I needed to learn, but I pushed through and hoped that what I was learning would begin to seep into my consciousness. I think some of it has... and there is still more stored information just waiting to take hold. I think the biggest difference I can see in my own work is my understanding and use of value. When I paint, I can hear Craig's words in my head saying, "You have more range than you think". I love that nugget. It turns out you can teach an old dog new tricks- at least if they are open to learning!

McPhee From Highway 264
before
12 x 12"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2015

I am very proud to say that, this year, I have been able to donate about $1800 of my artwork to five different organizations for their fundraising. It is not something I am always able to do, but whenever I can, and if it is an organization/charity that is important to me, I will try to find a way. Recently I was approached by a committee member of Choc'la Cure and I did not hesitate to say yes. The problem was that I did not have much art on hand to donate.

Slivers of Blue
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2017
sold (at auction)

However, this particular year, this particular fundraiser meant a whole lot to me. Cancer has darkened the doorstep of too many people I know: friends, colleagues, neighbors, friends of friends and people I love deeply. This year it got too close to home again. Donating a couple of paintings seemed like the very least I could do. In the end, I gave them this "made over" piece as well as "Slivers of Blue" in a shadowbox for the silent auction table. Choc'la Cure is a local charity which raises money specifically to purchase equipment for the Saskatoon Cancer Centre. Please read more about Choc'la Cure and the incredible accomplishments of these volunteers here and here.

Whew! I packed a lot in to this post. Happy Monday everyone!