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

A Nature Artist’s Task list

When you hear someone say they’re an artist, you might think all they do is paint. I guess there are some who can do that, but I don’t get to paint every day. There’s a host of other things to take care of between paintings, some to do with keeping the business itself running. Not on the following list are the everyday household tasks, like cooking breakfast, supper, and washing clothes, yardwork and such. Those are always there, too, of course. Anyway, here’s this nature artist’s task list for today.

follow up on Bentonville art market email – done

Cash flow is vital to running any business, so I’m looking for ways to boost income while waiting on the studio/gallery to become more profitable. A few of the larger annual expenses are coming due over the next few months. So, right now, on this nature artist’s task list, anything to do with cash flow is a high priority. I need to find some income soon to make sure those expenses can be paid. Otherwise, the website will go down and the county tax collector will come calling, ha.

I thought I might go to a Saturday art market every once in a while, if I could find one that has good odds of making sales, and allows occasional participants. I don’t want to go every Saturday, because that’s studio day. However, on the weekends where I’ll go to the art market, we may be open on Fridays so we can at least be open. Anyway, it’s a test to see if I can make any sales doing a market on a random, occasional basis.

check weather-make a decision about cancelling or keeping workshop

This item on my artist’s task list gives me anxiety. I never know whether to call an event or not, because the weather can turn out fine even with dire predictions the night before. However, if I don’t call it and it does rain a lot during the day, one of the participants and myself will not be able to get home because of flooded bridges. Uggh. I hate this one, and won’t decide until the morning of the event (Friday, in this case).

put together the participant supplies for workshop – done

The thing we’ll be doing at the workshop is to make watercolor paint from rocks. So, for the participants I have empty pans with a travel sized paintbrush, pencil, and papers all tucked into a hinged-lid tin. And there’s also the equipment we’ll use to make the paint and safety glasses/mask. All of that is packed and ready to go in the morning should the weather suddenly change its mind and cooperate.

One of the items on my artist's task list was to put together these travel sets for workshop participants to use.

oil out the owl painting- done

Once a painting dries, some areas of it looks flat sometimes and others are shiny. So to make it all have a similar sheen, we add a thin layer of oil to the surface of the painting where it’s flat. Then it has to dry again. And maybe it needs to be oiled out some more again. This is part of the process that has to be done before varnishing. It’s a regular item on my artist’s task list if I’m regularly painting.

edit files from raven scans – done

Creating the artwork is only part of the process. Once it’s finished, I enter it into my database of finished works, record when it was finished and other details about the painting. It also needs to be scanned so I can make high quality prints if I want to. If it’s a large painting that won’t fit on my own scanner, I bring it to Scott Frame & Art in Fayetteville. It was about $80 to get the raven scanned. When I get them scanned, to save some money, I don’t pay extra to have the color correction & sizing done. So that’s another thing I need to do that has to do with art and the business, but isn’t actually painting.

When I edit the files, I do color correction to make it look as close to the original painting as possible. Then I adjust the size on screen to make the proportions the same as the original. I save those files, then make other files for the various sizes of prints I’ll need.

send Gotahold a file for their anniversary label featuring the raven painting – done

I didn’t make a post about this yet, but if you’ve read this far on my artist’s task list, you get a little insider info! My raven painting is going to be the artwork for Gotahold Brewery’s anniversary edition bottled beer. I can’t wait to see it.

varnish raven painting – done

I hate varnishing paintings, to be brutally honest about it. I like them once they’re done, but the doing of it is what I dislike. I’m afraid I’ll ruin them somehow. And then I hate cleaning the brushes afterwards because for this, I do need to use turpentine.

varnish king’s river painting – forgot it

Ooops! I meant to do this one right after I did the raven painting, and then I forgot about it and washed the brushes. Now it’s too late because I have to wait for my brush to dry before I can do this one. Oh well, win some lose some. This one goes into the ‘lost’ column, and is off of this particular artist’s task list for the time being.

take an hour to do a nature walk – later

I might not get to do this one today. Yesterday, I did a great walk yesterday, an orchid walk for a couple of friends. We hiked almost 2 miles through tick infested grass and forest, but I didn’t take notes of the plants and locations. I wanted to go back out to do that today, but I’m running out of time. Might have to move this to the ‘later’ list. The reason I want the list is to have a printed one for folks joining me on plant walks out here of all the plants they might get to see.

A nature walk is a fun item on my artist's task list, especially since nature is the subject I like to paint most often.
Twayblade orchid seen during yesterday’s walk

Write this blog post

I try to write about things I think will be interesting to people out there, but sometimes I forget to write anything at all. So today I just decided to write about the things I needed to do today, the artist’s task list at hand.

What’s on your task list, artist’s or otherwise, for today?



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