July and August 2017: A small selection of my work, courtesy of Darrell Bell Gallery, is available at Boffins restaurant (111 Research Drive, U of S campus) throughout the summer months.

November 10, 2016:
I was interviewed by Daily Paintworks as their Spotlight Artist for a week! Read my interview on the DPW News blog!


Ongoing: my 8x8" original oil paintings are available exclusively at Darrell Bell Gallery in Saskatoon. For a limited time several of my large oil paintings are also available at
their new street front gallery on 21st Street (formally Lifestyles By Darrell Bell Gallery).

Ongoing: a selection of my larger work is available at The Black Spruce Gallery at Northside on Highway 2 just before the turn to Christopher Lake.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Fall Settling In

Fall Settling In
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2017
sold

I really am not thinking too much about the fall, sorry to bring it up! There is still way too much summer to enjoy. I did, however, finally spend some significant time at the studio yesterday. I was sick last week and then I had a headache that persisted all day and night for a good six or seven days. Obviously this made it hard to get any meaningful work done. I finally woke up yesterday morning from an uninterrupted sleep - I didn't have to get up in the middle of the night to take more Advil! Feeling like I had a new lease on life, I headed to the studio and worked and worked. It felt great!

I spent time struggling with the smaller of the two commissions I have on the go, but I took a photo and once I analyzed it on the screen I knew where to make the necessary changes. It may need a few tweaks today, but otherwise I think it is done!

To decompress from that battle, I painted a new little 6x6 (above) which was actually supposed to have a spring feel to it, but my palette decided to jump a couple of seasons ahead of me and land in the fall.

Now to get more work done on the really big commish! I am behind schedule from where I had hoped to be. June got the best of me yet again.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Show At Boffins Restaurant!


News flash! On Monday Darrell Bell hung some of my work at Boffins restaurant on the University of Saskatchewan campus! He emailed me last week to see if I had anything on hand at the studio that he could use to create a small show for the summer. Luckily I had five paintings that he was able to mix with a couple of pieces of mine he already had at the gallery.... and voila! A solo show is born! Huge thanks to Darrell for thinking of me for this opportunity.




 




*All photos courtesy of Darrell Bell.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Not Flowers I

Not Flowers I
36 x 24"
acrylic on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2014
available?

As you know from previous posts, I was invited to be in a quick two day show last weekend with nine other artists. The idea, I was told, was to exhibit work that was experimental and perhaps outside of what you normally do; to push your personal boundaries and step out of your comfort zone. I had this piece on hand that I painted for my bathroom after we renovated. I said I would use it if nothing else because it certainly fit the criteria. I ended up getting sick a week before the show, so I didn't finish all of the brand new pieces I hoped to create, so I did end up using this one. 

I had three pieces to submit, all paintings which were out of my comfort zone to paint, but I have to say, putting them on a wall in a public show really pushed my comfort zone! It was a great experience though and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Huge thanks to Mike Remando for asking me to take part.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Silent Sunset

Silent Sunset
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
sold

I love these sunset reflections. Once the commissions are done, I am going to do another 24x36 canvas along this theme. For now this one and "Quiet Is The Day" can be found at Darrell Bell Gallery (main level). I also have two 6x6's left at the studio, "Delicate Balance" and "Shimmer And Shine", in case you need a wedding gift for someone this summer. I think they are kind of romantic.

Quiet Is The Day
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available at Darrell Bell Gallery
sold

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

Shimmer And Shine
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Blue II

Blue II
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
sold

I've been sick. It was a long week, but I am on the mend now. I feel like I have to catch you up on a lot! I still have paintings to show of the ones I delivered to Darrell Bell Gallery just over a week ago - this one and another. Plus I have to tell you about the group show I was just in, "Funky, Fresh and Full of Spice" and show you those paintings. Also, there is a little news to share!

Stay tuned as I get back on track this week!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Pea Soup Swamp (Painting Makeover)

Pea Soup Swamp
(after)
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available

Wowzie! This new version makes me sooooo happy. I am all about that reflection. The original (below) just seems so basic; so unfinished. I think the "after" scene is much more sophisticated. Growth. That is what I am seeing in myself with these makeover Mondays. And it feels good.

Pea Soup Swamp
(before)
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2015


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Hot Pink Finale

Hot Pink Finale
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
sold

This one has a little kick to it. That hot pink, or in painting terms, Quinacridone Magenta, packs a punch. I love that colour, so I kind of made up this sunset, replacing oranges and yellows with pinks and a little soft purple.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Wheat Field

Wheat Field
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
sold

This one might make a great Father's Day Gift! I've revisited this scene/photo reference of mine several times. I love it... but it may be time for it to retire.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Farmer's Field In Spring

Farmer's Field In Spring
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available exclusively at Darrell Bell Gallery (main level)

Today I delivered five new paintings to Darrell Bell Gallery and they were all still a smidge wet. Not ideal, but I really wanted to get them to the gallery in time for the days before Father's Day, so I took a chance on transporting them in this sort-of-fragile state. I was extra paranoid because I actually had six paintings done, but yesterday I knocked one over face down at the studio and it very well might be ruined. Artist troubles.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Funky, Fresh and Full of Spice



Oh boy!!! What have I done? What. Have. I. Done?

I said yes to this. Literally I said yes to this on May 27. See my post on June 7 about how nutty June is. And yet, I said yes to this show.

I was approached by a friend and colleague, Mike Remando, who was putting together a show of fun work, work that would allow the artist to be out of their wheel house and play and experiment and be crazy and wild. He asked me to be one of the ten artists in the show and after a brief moment of contemplation I threw caution to the wind and said YES! Basically I have no idea how the work I have in my head will translate on paper (or in this case, board), but I am going for it! I am just going to have fun and be free. Be free to be me... a me you haven't seen. A me that tries to give no effs. And the commitment is only one to three pieces so why not just do it! So I am!!! Come if you can! Details above. And wish me luck!


Monday, June 12, 2017

Heavy Sky At Dusk (Painting Makeover)

Heavy Sky At Dusk
(after)
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available

Here it is... the doozy I mentioned last week.

I consider myself a person of reasonable taste. Good taste even. So what the bleep was I thinking with the original version of this painting in 2014?! Honestly, it is brutal! Three years ago I apparently thought the "before" was good enough to post it on my blog and in my Daily Paintworks gallery. I'm not even saying the "after" painting above is the best thing I have ever done, but I will say that it is miles better than what I did three years ago.

Heavy Sky At Dusk
(before)
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2014

What this says to me, thankfully, is that I am growing and learning and refining my taste. It means I am not stagnant and I am moving forward. This growth is at my pace which could be slower or faster than that of others, but it really doesn't matter in the end, what matters is the progress is there. And I do feel I am progressing. If nothing else these painting makeovers are revealing this to me and that is a valuable thing.


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Two Commissions and June Sucks

two commissions underway
© Nicki Ault, 2017

I have two commissions on the go and I want them to be done by the end of June.

I am just going to take a moment to state the obvious. June is hellish. June is a panic. June is crunch time.

It is the time of the year when I always think, "Why don't I ever remember how intense June is?" I swear June is worse than December. By far. And I never remember.

The school year is winding down and there are field trips and assignments and concerts and assemblies and activities and projects and tests and no time to do it all and my husband always goes away to a conference in June and summer is coming and the kids will be home all the time and so I won't be able to get to the studio as much as I should and I have a thousand things to do but I am lucky because I will have my kids home all summer although they will suck up all my time but I love them and the time goes so fast but it goes so slow and they are teenagers so they will sleep in every day and I will feel like my time is being wasted because I could be painting but I won't be painting because I will be waiting for them to wake up and in the meantime I will be doing something stupid like the dishes and cleaning and flipping channels and getting stuck on CNN and worrying about Trump but eventually I might get to the studio for a sliver of the day but then I will have to leave because I will have to drive the kids to wherever they need to be but I love them so much that ultimately I don't mind doing it but I should have gotten more accomplished when school was in but I didn't because I always forget about June being hellish.

To be continued...

Monday, June 5, 2017

Last Beach Day, Waskesiu (Painting Makeover)

Last Beach Day, Waskesiu
(after)
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available


Last Beach Day, Waskesiu
(before)
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2014
 
As I go through this process of reworking old paintings, I have had many "What the bleeeep were you thinking?" moments. And while some of these old pieces have intrigued me enough to revisit them, there is a pile of work that I have no plan to repaint, rework or remake- those pieces are headed for the chipper. I would like to think I am a human with generally good taste, but apparently my eyes can be blind to my own work at times. Just wait until you see the doozy I have for you next week!

This particular painting was done on a Cadmium Orange ground so that colour pops through, which I like, but in hindsight it tinged the original painting a bit too much. Basically the makeover has softened everything up, but still leaves some pops of orange coming through which adds a bit of energy. The composition remains a bit awkward with the trees at the edge of the beach and the angles of the water, but whatevs, this makeover only went so far.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Slivers Of Blue

Slivers Of Blue
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available

Oh, how I love the shock of blue against the stubble in the field at this time of year. Once the new crop grows, the height of the grasses will eventually hide any puddles that may form in the field after a good rain.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Ultramarine On The Field

Ultramarine On The Field
12 x 12"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
sold

Blonde stubble from last years' crops, new green growth sprouting up and water reflecting the glorious blue sky- this field is alive!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Blue

Blue
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2017
sold

I had to take my son to soccer games in Prince Albert last weekend and the blonde stubble from last year's crops looked striking against the pops of bright blue sky reflected in the water laying in the low spots.