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.

July - October, 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!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Canola At The Crossroads

Canola At The Crossroads
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available at Darrell Bell Gallery

I think this one is still available at Darrell Bell Gallery, but to be honest, I don't know. I will get an updated inventory list soon so I can be on top of the situation. I actually found out last Saturday that Darrell decided to keep a grid of my work up for the new show that just started today. Initially he thought it might be a bit smaller than the one he created for "Painting The Landscape", but I found out on Thursday (two days ago!) that it will, in fact, be bigger! There will be a grid of twenty-five of my 8x8 paintings in the back space of the street level gallery. As a result I am delivering eight new pieces today to replenish the stocks! Thankfully there were still some pieces on hand from last month's show as well as pieces I delivered earlier this summer, but I will continue to paint more with the hopes that there will continue to be interest in the work.

Happy Saturday everyone!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Cloud Extravaganza Over Wheat

Cloud Extravaganza Over Wheat
10 x 10"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
sold at Assiniboia Gallery in Regina

Well, this little baby sold before I could get it posted! I have produced a lot of work in the last couple of months and I am having trouble remembering what I have shown and what I haven't. I need to fine tune my system!

While I was working at the studio yesterday morning I received a text from the Assiniboia Gallery and as we were chatting, Jeremy suddenly said they just sold four paintings right then and there! I think I lost consciousness for a split second! I am beyond thrilled and terribly grateful.

In the one month that I have been with Assiniboia Gallery they have sold nine paintings! Here is my artist profile on their website...


A bit hard to see I realize, but there are nine red dots out of a possible eleven! Crazy!

Speaking of red dots, I am stunned by the response to my art at Darrell Bell Gallery's show "Painting The Landscape". Darrell and his team sold thirteen 8x8's and five large paintings for me!



 

 

There is a cool story attached to one of the large pieces that sold. On the evening of the reception, someone in attendance really connected with my work. She went home, looked me up online, found my blog, read that I also had work at Boffins, went directly over to look at the work and phoned the gallery that night to purchase "Sky Over Canola"!

Sky Over Canola
24 x 36"
oil on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2017
sold at Darrell Bell Gallery in Saskatoon

I am having so much fun right now! I want to paint all the time and I want to get better with each painting. I have worked hard - really hard - and it is so exciting to feel like things are coming together. There have been some serious lows along the way and right now I am experiencing some serious highs. I expect at some point the lows will come again and when they do I will persevere and work hard to come out the other side a better artist. I am humbled and overwhelmed by those who support me, who are excited about my art and who are helping make my dreams happen: my family, my friends, my art colleagues, collectors and my two favourite galleries!

Today, I paint!!!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

September on Valley Road

September on Valley Road
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available

I have missed doing 6x6's! While I was at the yurt a week ago I did two and I definitely have plans to do more. It's time to get gearing up for Open Studio next month. I have loads on my plate right now and I couldn't be happier about it because it's all painting related! I am itching to get all of these ideas and images out of my head and on canvas. If anyone knows how to add more hours to the day, please let me know!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Milky Way

Milky Way
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
sold at Darrell Bell Gallery
  
The 8x8's were a hit at "Painting The Landscape"! The show is down now and I think there were only six or seven left of the original twenty. Darrell wants to keep a big grid up for the next show. They will be in a different location in the street level gallery and I will be painting more to replace the ones that sold. Fun!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Nightfall

Nightfall
10 x 10"
oil on cardled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
sold at Assiniboia Gallery in Regina

Still lovin' these reflections. A Bunch. I've got plans for more. The biggest size so far on this series has been 24x36". I say I kick it up a notch! What do you think?

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Brisk Day At Kapasiwin

Brisk Day At Kapasiwin
10 x 10"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
sold at Assiniboia Gallery in Regina

It is not hard to find a day with wind in Saskatchewan, and although often up north in lake-land the days begin very calm, by the afternoon the winds usually pick up. Sometimes so much so that there are whitecaps on a sunny day. Bright, happy, light sky on top; churning, loud, intense water below.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Exquisite Release of the Day

Exquisite Release of the Day
10 x 10"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available at Assiniboia Gallery in Regina

The sky just moments before was unassuming, not boring but not spectacular. In the blink of an eye this glorious colour was unleashed. It was exquisite. And the day let go.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Choppy Waters

Choppy Waters
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
sold at Darrell Bell Gallery

​This was so fun to paint. I liked experimenting with the brushstrokes to try to get the effect of rough, choppy water and I think the greenish tinge adds to the mood of the wind-blown day. this was the first 8x8 I completed for "Painting The Landscape".

There are two days left to view the show, so if you have time, please check it out. The gallery hours are 11-5 Wednesday to Saturday. Here is the invitation again. The reception date has obviously passed, but the other information remains the same with the show ending on October 7th.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Waskesiu Sunlight

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

For me, this river never gets old or boring to paint. I have all sorts of new photos to work from after my weekend up north at the yurt; photos with glorious fall colours and different viewpoints. Oh, it's going to be a good winter of painting! This Waskesiu River painting is in the group show "Painting The Landscape", details below.

There are three days left to view the show, so if you have time, please check it out. The gallery hours are 11-5 Wednesday to Saturday. Here is the invitation again. The reception date has obviously passed, but the other information remains the same with the show ending on October 7th.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Crescent


Crescent
8 x8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
sold at Darrell Bell Gallery

This painting sold soon after I delivered it to Darrell Bell Gallery for the show "Painting The Landscape". I really love it, and apparently Darrell did too, because he is the one who purchased it! Look for the soft little crescent moon near the treeline.

There are four days left to view the show, so if you have time, please check it out. The gallery hours are 11-5 Wednesday to Saturday. Here is the invitation again. The reception date has obviously passed, but the other information remains the same with the show ending on October 7th.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Canola Fading

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

This summer I was acutely aware of farmland! In particular, I took mental note of the changes in the canola crops from the fresh, light yellow of the flowers first blooming, to the full-blown spectacle of the intense yellow fields in all their glory, to the pale and greenish colour as the petals started to fall off the mature plants. Quite frankly, I sometimes feel like I am a bit pale and greenish colour as I mature, but that's a post for another day. Anyhoo, this painting is an ode to canola in its final act; beautiful, subdued and dignified.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Jewel-Toned Sunset

Jewel-Toned Sunset
10 x 10"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available at Assiniboia Gallery in Regina

In the first week of my art being represented by Assiniboia Gallery in Regina, they sold four paintings! I do believe this is a start of a very good thing! This watery sunset reflection is there, as is another one. Click this link to see my profile on their website. All prices include framing although you can purchase the painting without the frame.

On another note, I just spent the weekend at a yurt! I will write more about that spontaneous adventure soon. I had no wifi, so I was somewhat off the grid and couldn't blog about it, but I used a bit of data to post images in my Instagram and Facebook. Click on the links/icons to those pages on the right side of this blog.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Saskatchewan: The Height of Summer

Saskatchewan: The Height of Summer
12 x 36"
oil on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available at Darrell Bell Gallery

A panorama of a canola field and a bright, cheery sky. You don't get much more Saskatchewan-in-the-height-of-summer than that!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Fall Arriving on the South Saskatchewan

Fall Arriving on the South Saskatchewan
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available at Darrell Bell Gallery

This was created en plein air on September 10th when ten of our eleven Studio on 20th artists took a painting field trip out to Jane Harington's beautiful plot of land about an hour out of the city. What a spectacular day- we hit the weather right, and, although the wind launched a few canvases here and there, it really couldn't have been better.













all photos © Nicki Ault, 2017

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Leaves or Petals

Leaves or Petals
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available at Darrell Bell Gallery

I am still quite keen to explore the series I began last fall after a visit to my studio mate's acreage. I am enthralled with the fluttery leaves and rich autumnal colours. I also find these things are fun to exaggerate. Taking a little artistic license is good for a person!

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.