April 18- May 17 - "reconfigured" - The Studio On 20th at The Gallery at the Frances Morrison Central Library: consider and explore the diverse interpretations of three common subjects by ten individual artists: Bridget Aitken, Nicki Ault, Kathy Bradshaw, Jan Corcoran, Ann Donald, Jane Harington, Brenda Kennedy, Miranda Jones, Karen Maguire and Carol Wylie. Artist reception Thursday, April 19 from 7-9 pm.

Studio On 20th Mother's Day Tea Art Show and Sale:
Sunday, May 13 from 12-4 p.m. our studio will be open to the public and our most current work will be exhibited. Bring your favourite people and enjoy tea, dainties and original art! Located at 236A 20th Street W (door to the left of the Odd Couple Restaurant and up the stairs).

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.

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!

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Northern Wetlands Study

Northern Wetlands Study
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2018
sold

I took this painting when I was staying up at the yurt last fall. My drive down the old highway to Waskesiu took me past this marsh which I had seen many times before, but the light this time was spectacular. I am happy to say that this little painting captures the vibe of that moment and now I am using it as the study for a 30x30 canvas I am working on.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The Tempest at Sunset
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2018
available

Whew! I really struggled with this one.

There is actually a relatively large tree in the bottom right-hand corner... under the soft purple cloud. I struggled with keeping that tree for a long time and it just wasn't working, so finally in an effort to salvage all of the time I had already spent, I obliterated it with a big swipe of paint and, voila, it was instantly better! The cloud immediately seemed more grand and powerful, looming over the little hill below.

Every time I paint, whether it be a little 6x6 or a very big canvas, I learn something. So good.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Cooling Off
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2018
available

Sometimes the sun goes down and it is not a flashy show.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Canola and Dandelions
6 x 6"
oil on board
© Nicki Ault, 2018
available

It seems winter actually may leave us after all, which means two very different yellows are but a few months away.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

A Little Adjustment

A Little Adjustment
48 x 30"
acrylic and oil on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2018
available

I am so excited to show you this painting!

The studio where I paint has a group show at the Gallery at the Frances Morrison Central Library right now. Ten of us worked from the same three traditional subjects in art (landscape, still life, the figure) over the last ten months, so this show exhibits all of our interpretations of the same subjects. We all had to step out of comfort zones in one way or another. Here is my figurative piece. I am very excited about it - a real stretch for me. The sketching of the figure on the canvas took me a full day (the largest drawing I have ever done), then rather than paint the whole thing with brushes, I stained many, many layers using oil paint and rags- with drying time between between sessions so I could build up layers. Her hair was mostly done with brushes and then I pulled paint off with rags to create highlights and depth. Also, only three colours were used on the entire piece.. 

It is a bit scary to put something out there that is not my usual thing, but exhilarating too! I want to do more!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Trio


 
Trio
each 6x6"
mixed media
© Nicki Ault, 2017
available

I meant to post this yesterday, but one thing led to another and it never happened. It was a busy day! And my son was in a band festival, so among everything else, it was a priority to attend that.

Our opening reception for "reconfigured" was last night and we had a full house! Thank you to everyone who attended, the support you give our studio is appreciated and we value your friendship and enthusiasm.

The show will be at The Gallery at the Frances Morrison Central Library until May 17. Other work produced for this project will be shown at our Mother's Day Tea- we generated more work than this gallery could hold!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Sandbars on the South Saskatchewan


Sandbars on the South Saskatchewan
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2017
sold at Darrell Bell Gallery

Painted on en plein air at a little plot of land outside of town by the river. It was a study for an idea for larger work for my studio's group show "reconfigrured" which opens on Thursday evening. In the end my landscape submission for the show veered quite far from this idea.

Monday, April 16, 2018

A Drive In The Country - Makeover Monday!

A Drive In The Country
(after)
12 x 12"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2018
available

Okay.

I am super shocked I called the original painting from 2015 "done". I vaguely recall my intention while painting the original; I was likely trying to stay "loose" which I have basically been told all of my artistic life. For some reason that has become the standard around these parts. As if "loose" in itself is enough.

Guess what? It's not.

You can paint loose, but have no understanding of chroma, value, hue, composition, patterning, edges, rhythm, light, proportion, design, etc. I don't claim to have the breadth of knowledge that many, many, many artists out there in the vast art world have, but there is one thing that I have figured out in this small part of the world... loose does not a good painting make.

A Drive In The Country
(before)
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2015

So if you are like me, someone who loves a little detail, who loves painting somewhat realistically and who loves to refine their work to an extent, and you are being told ALL THE TIME to stay "loose", well, take it with a grain of salt. Being loose has its place, but it is not the whole place. Rather, I submit to you that your goal be to keep learning, keep reading, keep experimenting and if you take workshops, learn from a variety of people. Do not turn your nose up at instructors who are classically trained. While their way may not be how you necessarily want to paint, they know their stuff and there is a wealth of historical knowledge they can offer you. Also, look at a lot of art. Figure out what is happening in the artwork you love. Really examine it. And do the same with artwork you don't like. What is happening that repels you? Make notes even!

Keep on keeping on and as you evolve (which is hopefully an ongoing journey), the knowledge you've been absorbing will begin appearing in your work in really good ways.

Most of all, paint like yourself, not like someone else, because if you don't, who will?

Friday, April 13, 2018

Low River

Low River
24 x 36"
oil on canvas
© Nicki Ault, 2018
available

This was my first effort on the subject of a landscape for the group show I am in next week, the other subjects we tackled were the figure and a still life. I painted this on a bright yellow ground and it changed a LOT from beginning to end. It is a nice and decent painting, but I decided to make another effort as I wanted to submit a painting that I was more excited about and that I felt represented elements that felt more "me". My second effort turned out to be just that, so it will be in the show which opens next week.

Come if you can, it is going to be an interesting show for the viewing public! Here is the invitation again:






Thursday, April 12, 2018

Spring Showers

Spring Showers
8 x 8"
oil on cradled panel
© Nicki Ault, 2018
available at Darrell Bell Gallery

OH MY GOSH!

Seriously... it turns out the title I gave this painting is misleading... at least this year. It should actually have a horizon that is stark white and it should be called "Spring Flurries"! What is happening? It is so cold; the snow keeps coming and the temps keep dropping! I am all for experiencing four seasons, that is part of why I love Saskatchewan, but things have gone too far! Usually the saying is "April showers bring May flowers", but this year the saying in Saskatchewan is "April showers bring snowplowers"! (sorry, I don't know to whom I should credit that nugget). 

I am over winter.

I love this painting and I can hardly wait for no snow and a cool, gentle, rainy night where I can go to sleep with the windows open and listen to the patter as I fall asleep.