I wear two hats with different names: Madison Woods when I’m wearing the artist hat, Roxann Riedel in real life and real estate. I'm a rock-smashing paint-making artist & a sales agent for Montgomery Whiteley Realty. Hailing from the wild Ozarks in Kingston, Arkansas where my husband and I work toward a sustainable lifestyle.

You can text or call to reach me by either name (see above):
(479)409-3429, or email madison@wildozark.com

Art Inspiration Moments on a Non-Art-Making Day

Even in a day full of non-art related tasks, there can be moments of art inspiration.

Equine Escapees

In the mornings after I get out of bed, I go outside on the porch to have my coffee and listen to the morning choir of birds. Just as I’d eased onto the cold, damp chair cushions and acclimated, I noticed two equine escapees just waiting by the gate for their breakfast. So that set my day off with an unexpected task. I got back out of my chair, filled their buckets of feed and went down to the gate to hear the story. They wouldn’t tell me how they came to be on the wrong side of the gate, so that meant I would be doing some fence-checking first thing after breakfast. This is an example of one of the many ways I get to work on my art-life balance. Right off the bat, no time for even getting art inspiration on this morning, haha. But I’ve been known to find inspiration even in the middle of doing things that have nothing to do with my art life, so who knows?

Investigating the escape route

Obviously, the problem wasn’t with the gate; the chain was secure and it was closed.

I looked around near the gate. An armadillo had visited the underbrush and shady parts during the night, but no horse hoof tracks. So they didn’t just walk up to the gate from that direction. Before I ventured further afield, I gathered some supplies for mending. A few hay strings, some recovered wire from an old electric fence we took down, some barbed wire, and a pair of pliers. Oh, and a pair of gloves and tick spray. Why hay strings? Well, some problems are things I can’t fix properly without some help, but hay strings do a great job for a temporary measure, and it’s a lot easier than barbed wire. I didn’t know what kind of problem I’d find, so wanted all of my options on the 4-wheeler when I found it.

Tracking Horses

Once I picked up some hoof tracks and followed them back to the point of exit, I found that the gap gate up on the logging road was open. I know I didn’t open it, and I don’t know who did, but the wire that held it shut was missing and the gate appeared to have been thrown open in the way I normally do it when I’m going through with the 4-wheeler. Comanche is pretty crafty with finagling things with his horsey lips, so he could have taken the closure off. But there’s no way either of them could have neatly laid that gap back out of the way. The most logical conclusion is that I did that when I dropped off some fence posts a couple of weeks ago. It’s not like me to forget to close the gate, though, and unusual that the horses didn’t find that opening sooner than this morning. Anyway, I was glad for an easy fix.

Horses walking ahead of me.

None of this activity led to any distractions, so no art inspiration or moments of getting off-track to explore. I knew we had a fairly urgent task waiting on me when I got back to the house, so I stayed focused.

Setting Posts

By 0730 I’d finished solving the horse riddle and gone out to the work-in-progress that is our solar field. We had more posts to level and set. This morning we worked on posts number 5 and 6 on row 1. We needed to get it done before the forecasted afternoon showers arrived.

Art Inspiration

I’ve been finding lots of colorful rocks in our solar field workspace. Today I noticed a nice pink and yellow sandstone, so I did take a little detour to get that rock out of the ground and put it in the 4-wheeler basket.

Art inspiration in the form of a rock.
Pink and yellow sandstone. It’s all wet because I didn’t get it out of the basket before those showers arrived.

I picked up several flakes that had come off of the pink side, so I’ll have some to make a separate paint from that color alone. In the watercolor paints, the pink sandstone doesn’t end up pink. It’s more tan. I’m curious to see how it looks in oil paints. So that was my only detour for a little art inspiration so far in my day’s tasks.

Back to Work

There are 2 more posts to go on this row. We’re putting them in as sets of two, joined together temporarily on the top and a few feet above the bottom. The bottom cross-brace keeps them at the right depth in the hole and keeps the posts at the same distance apart from each other, and also helps keep the tops level with each other. The top brace keeps the tops level with each other. Once the set is in the hole, the tops have to be leveled against the previous 4 posts already in the ground and leveled with each other. The posts also have to be aligned with each other in the line of posts. It’s a tricky thing to accomplish with lots of small adjustments to be made, then readjustments when the previous adjustment threw one of the vectors out of alignment.

setting posts, making sure they're level both in height and with each other.

Once it’s all aligned, Rob makes sure it’s braced to stay that way while we mix and pour the concrete. We’ve got one more set to go on this first row. Each set of two posts will hold six solar panels. And each row will have 24, with 48 in total with the second row. It’ll produce enough power to keep the battery charged, run the shop with welding and woodworking equipment, and the house. BUT. Rob has surgery for his shoulder in a couple of weeks, and he’ll be recuperating from that for several months. We’re just trying to get as much done on the project as we can before his surgery. Once he’s ready to start it up again, we’ll get back to work on it.

Framing Art

I need to get the owl, kings river painting, and the raven framed. Before I can frame the river one, I have to unframe the quail because I need that frame. Then I’ll reframe it in a different frame better suited for them. The quail is a watercolor and behind glass, so it’ll take the longest. The others are oils and no glass or dust cover needed on the backs of those.

Shipping Prints

I’ve got prints of the Grumpy Lil’ Fella ready to cut, package and ship out. This task is art inspiration in that it encourages me to continue to make art if people like what I’m doing well enough to buy from me. However, I’d probably still do it even if no one liked it, lol. I just enjoy painting with these Ozark pigments and would do it anyway.

That’s it for Today’s To-Do List

My days are often a mix of art biz and homestead related tasks. Saturdays are usually my studio days, and on those days I spend the whole day immersed in art-related work. Right now, though, we’re working on getting the new location for the studio cleaned up and ready to move into. So my finished art production is going to slack off for a few months. Once we’ve moved, I’ll get back to making art on a regular basis.

I hope you’re having a great start to the summer!

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