Wild Ozark

~ Rock Foraging Nature Artist & Real Estate Agent in Kingston, AR ~

Welcome! Madison Woods is my pen-name. I’m a rock-smashing, paint-making nature artist in Arkansas. My real name is Roxann Riedel, and aside from being a nature-loving artist, I’m a REALTOR® with Montgomery Whiteley Realty.

(479)409-3429, or email madison@wildozark.com

An Artist’s Work Task List | Catching up with April

Hermit Journal 10 April 2022

Technically, I’m not really a hermit because my husband is here. But we both have projects to work on most days, so unless I’m helping him or he’s helping me, during the day we have gone our separate ways to get our tasks done. So we’re both kind of ‘daytime hermits’, haha.

Today is going to be a beautiful day. Yesterday was nice by the end of it, too, but the temps were freezing in the morning. So, I’m glad I got pics of the Dutchmen’s’ Breeches and Trout Lilies down the road the day before. I missed the bloodroot flowers and now they’re gone because the freeze froze them. More will come, though, because the ones here at Wild Ozark hadn’t started blooming yet. Such is the way with ephemerals. Here one minute and gone the next. If you blink, you could miss them.

As usual, I’ve been busy. I’ve been working in the garden getting it ready to plant. Mostly, that means I’ve been building a fence. The chickens have tried really hard to scratch up all of the perennials I had in there. And last year the deer ate my echinacea and peppers. So this year we should have protection from the critters.

This year, I left all the dead growth in place and began cleaning up last week. I found that the Brussel sprouts were growing from the roots again, though! So I cut the dead growth off and will see if they make some brussels this year. Last year I only got bugs, so left them as a trap crop and that seemed to work out pretty good. If nothing else, I’ll do that again.

Moving the Online Shop – Tedious

In between fencing, I’ve been working on art, and working on moving my entire online shop to a subdomain (shop.wildozark.com) so I can lighten the load on my main domain. As I get things moved over, I’m raising prices on some items to cover the increased cost of shipping. For example, an 8 x 10 print will be 25.50 with free shipping (it used to be $25). Some items will increase more if they’re heavier and cost more to ship. Most of the high-end items, like original artwork will not have increased prices. I know, they’re already high enough, right?

Here’s the new shop if you’d like to take a look: https://shop.wildozark.com

Framing the Coffeetime Collection

The work of framing finished art is satisfying. Choosing the best frames is hard, though. I chose to go with distressed white shadowboxes for the whole collection. Here’s the smallest one in its new frame. I’ll be glad when hubs gets finished with the solar project so he can get his woodworking shop busy making some frames like these. Frames are expensive, but we have soooo much raw material here to make our own.

The work of framing is satisfying.

I’ll have this set with me at the April 30 show with the NWA Makers. We’ll be at the Sequoia Mtn Center in Fayetteville (AR) from 10-4 on Saturday. All the frames will be shadowbox-shabby-chic style like this one. There are six in the collection, and I’ll sell them all as a set at a discount, or separately at full price.

When collectors buy my paintings at shows, the frames are included at no extra cost. Ordinarily, I sell my work online unframed. The smallest one is a 3 x 4 for $100, and that includes the frame if you get it at the show. If I ship them framed, the price is higher to include shipping cost. If you know you want the whole set, reply to this email so I can send you an invoice, and I’ll bring them for you to pick up at the show.

Building a Virtual Gallery – Slow Work

I’ve been working on building a virtual gallery using my software that I use for displaying art in mock-up room settings. It’s time consuming because our internet is very slow. But hey! That’s about to change. Our Starlink satellite package will arrive next week (after the horrid weather in the forecast, I suppose). Once we get that set up, I am hoping we’ll be doing the happy dance over high speed internet finally at our house.

When the virtual gallery is ready, I’ll send out a link to everyone.

New Art Collection | The Coalescence Project

I’ve been playing in the mud here lately, too. In 2015 some of you may remember that we had a landslide here. A whole bench of the mountain came down and covered up the driveway, broke the telephone pole, and generally made a big mess. That happened right after the huge flood that nearly took out my parents’ camper while they were still in it.

Anyway, during the cleanup of the landslide hubs found a nice big chunk of clay. So he asked if I wanted it. Of course! It filled a whole mineral tub, so it’s a good bit of clay. I haven’t done much with it except experiment to see how it fired in the wood stove as beads or small figures. Until recently. So I recently got a kiln – did I tell you that in the previous newsletter? I think I did. So that’s why now I’m going to be putting that clay to use. It starts out as a bluish gray colored clay, but once cleaned it is yellowish. And it fires to a gorgeous terra cotta color.

I think I also mentioned that I’ll begin making my Folk figures again? Well, I’ve chosen a name and worked out a rough plan for the project. These Folk will be called Terrae. Terrae means ‘earth’. I finished the first one and named her Aada, which means first born, a fitting name for the first of her kind. The whole collection will be called The Coalescence Project.

Aada, the first of the Terrae in my Coalescence Project.

Oil Paints in Ozark Pigments – Messy Work

I just found out last night that I can paint on the fired clay pieces with oil paints. So, I think I’ll begin experimenting with making some oils and painting on paper with oils. I’m curious to see how the Ozark pigments do in this medium. Stay tuned for progress on that! I have all the supplies I’ll need to get started on it soon. The Coalescence Project will encompass sculpture, story, and illustrations for the story and the art will be offered in the forms of physical paintings, sculptures, and NFTs of both, and eventually an illustrated novelette in print and ebook format.

Wrapping Up

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been up to these days. What’s been on your task list? Are you ready for spring and summer or will you miss the colder days of winter?

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