An End of Year Post: Things going on at Wild Ozark

It’s been a busy past few months at Wild Ozark. I haven’t posted as often as I normally do, and when the blog goes silent, it’s usually because there’s just too many other things on my plate. Just in case I don’t get a chance to make another post to commemorate the end of the year, I figured I’d better get one in today while I have a little time.

For the months of October and most of November I wore the Burnt Kettle hat. Rob’s sister Valerie came up to give me hand at the War Eagle fair in mid-October. Thank goodness she was here, because that was the first large event I’ve ever done and it was hard! There’s no way I could have done it on my own. And then Rob came home for a break from the desert, but half of that was spent also spent selling more syrup at a different festival in Texas.

New (to us) Truck

The first few days he was home we did a lot of driving around looking for the best deal on a new (used) truck. We ended up buying one in Oklahoma City. As it turned out, the first truck we looked at was the one we ended up getting.

Our end of year gift to ourselves. Very comfy and lots of room inside! 2016 Ford F150.
Very comfy and lots of room inside!

Paleo Paints

Since mid-November I’ve been busy busy working on wearing the artist’s hat. I’ve made a few new collections of Paleo Paints. You can read more about the latest collection at the art website (PaleoPaints.com) but here’s the cover images for all three so you can get an idea of the colors in each. No. 3 is at the Walton Arts Center’s little Holiday Market shop until Dec. 16. No. 4 still has one color not yet dry enough to ship so I bring it with me to sell in person but it should soon be ready to go up on Etsy, too. Collection No. 5 is listed at Etsy now, but there’s only two of those sets left.

All of them have similar shades, but there’s some differences in tone. I used purple sandstone in the last two and in the third collection several of the shades are from pink sandstone. I hope to have some more collections finished before end of year.

Right now I’m working on a Twisted Tree painting and I’m using mostly colors from Collection No. 5, but resorted to a wee bit of wood char that hasn’t made it into a collection since the Collection No. 1. I’ll need to make more of that one and include it in the next set. Here’s Twisted Tree No. 1, still in progress.

Twisted Tree No. 1. Still working on roots. Will move up to the limbs next.
Still working on roots. Will move up to the limbs next. Follow me on Instagram if you like to see the things I’m working on in real time.

These Twisted Trees are obviously fantasy trees. I have no photo to go on, and when I first start a new painting of this sort I have no idea what will emerge. The farther along I get with it, though, the clearer the image becomes in my mind and the better I know how to go forward. This one is a very masculine looking tree to me, wouldn’t you say?

Paleo Paint Plans

Soon I want to try making a set of oil colors. There’s a goshawk painting I want to do using them. It’ll be the first time working with oils, so I’m curious how that will turn out.

End of Year Celebrations

I hope you’re all having a good Christmas season. The entire holiday season always feels too rushed to me and I find by now I’m really looking forward to the start of the new year. Solstice is the date it seems like the new year should begin, though, so that’s the day I privately celebrate the end of year here at Wild Ozark. I look forward to the nights becoming shorter and the daylight lingering a little longer each day as the seasons build toward mid-summer.

My first fiction book, First Hunt

Just posting to let you know, my first fiction book is now available at most retailers. The first book of the Renegade Agents of A.R.S.A. trilogy, First Hunt, had been exclusive with Amazon since I published it last year, but now it’s available at almost all eBook retailers.

Many of you who follow this blog have probably already read it, or decided it wasn’t something you’d like to read, or you don’t read books you have to buy from Amazon. This blog post is just to let you know that now you can get it from almost anywhere that eBooks are sold. I self-published it through Draft-2-Digital, so it’s submitted to all the places they have partnerships with.

If you click on the link below you’ll be taken to a page that lists all the available retailers.

The second book is going up on pre-order next month and should be available to download everywhere by the end of August. That’s the plan, anyway, but I have to get busy writing to meet that schedule.

In the meantime, here’s the link to buy it if you’d like to give my brand of fiction a whirl:

Here’s a short excerpt from the first chapter. The whole first chapter is available at my Rural Fantasy website if you’d like to read a whole chapter to get a little more of a taste:


“I’d like to apply for a job,” I said to the receptionist. My voice came out so strong and unwavering, it surprised me. I swallowed.

“Which position are you interested in?” She didn’t even look up at me, but rubbed her finger left to right across the smooth glass front of her device on the horizontal surface in front of her, already poised and waiting to tap. I wondered which positions she’d already assumed I’d be there for.

Her gray and silver streaked hair was pulled into a very tight bun at the top of her head. It gave her eyes an exaggerated elongated shape. As bored as she had to get in there all alone like that, she probably did it that way to keep them from being able to close if she fell asleep on the job.

“Bounty Hunter,” I replied. There. I’d done it. Finally applied for the job. That ought to jar her out of her boredom. I couldn’t help the little self-satisfied smirk I felt creeping onto my face.

Veronica Statin, according to her name tag, still never looked up but gave her spiel in a drone that implied she got this inquiry a hundred times each day.

My smirk faded a bit.

“We don’t hire just anyone as agents. And if A.R.S.A. does decide you are a good fit, they won’t give you any solo jobs until you’ve mastered the art of tracking a target. You’ll have to prove you’ll actually follow through to the end. The end means running the target down to grub stage. For a relatively young criminal, this means three incarnations. Older ones could be more. It could take three or four years to finish one case and could involve travel to distant destinations. Do you have identification?” she asked.

I didn’t realize she’d stopped talking and had asked me a question. I was still stuck on the three times sentence.

Three times? People are killed more than once? How’s that possible?


Thanks for reading this excerpt from my first fiction book. If you liked it, you can get the whole book at your favorite retailer by clicking the button below 🙂

or, you can skip over to my fiction website and  read the whole first chapter.

The Wild Ozark shop at Etsy

Just a short post to let you know what I just listed over at the Wild Ozark shop at Etsy. The photos are linked to the listings.

Fairy Cup and Stand, $10 now at the Wild Ozark Shop at Etsy.
Fairy Cup and Stand, $10 at Etsy.

 

Forest Folk Reading Girl
Forest Folk Reading Girl, with chair for $35 at Etsy.

Here’s the page about the Forest Folk if you’d like to read more about them. I’m constantly working on new ones but I can only take the photos on days when it’s not too windy outside.

If you like to make crafty things and are local, you might like to join me in a workshop on making Acorn Folk in Winslow on Dec. 16 at Ozark Folkways.

I’ll try to update this post and republish it every once in a while with the current listings.

Please click through and visit and add them to your favorites, even if you can’t buy any right now. I’m not sure how Etsy’s search algorithms work, but that might help my things show up better on their site. Thanks in advance!

Some botanicals from the last gathering foray.

Acorn People are a Great a Way to Justify Collecting Things

I’ve been creating Acorn People as a way to justify my obsessive habit of collecting things I find while roaming around outside.

Now I can pick up fossils, moss, lichens, leaves, twigs, and acorns and never feel a moment of uncertainty about my sanity.

I’ve been calling them Acorn Folk.

And they’re gorgeous little beings!

The Acorn Folk are part of the Forest Folk society. Fairies, pixies, gnomes, and all of the other woodland creatures that prefer to live in the shady forests belong to the same group.

Here’s the latest addition of the acorn people. She’s the Acorn Folk Sorceress, partner to the Wizard. I made the Wizard yesterday. If the pics don’t open full-size, click on them to see it larger.

As I make a new Forest Folk characters, I’ll add them to the Wild Ozark online shop, but I’m behind in my listings. I also add them to my Etsy shop. Please drop in over there and follow the Wild Ozark shop. Some of them are also at Tina’s Place on the Square in Kingston, AR.

As soon as I get caught up, I’ll start posting how I make these things so you can try it too. Or you can start out just looking at these and modeling your own to be like them.

In the meantime, here are some pics of the others.

Pixies – Miniatures by Madison Woods

Pixies are the most elusive of the unseen creatures that live at Wild Ozark. They live around you, too.

Most likely you’ve only seen the effects of them because they’re solitary creatures, working quietly in the background of nature, wherever that nature occurs.

There are pixies in the cities and in the rural areas and in the wilderness.

Pixies are Shy

They’re solitary creatures and prefer not to interact with humans if they can help it.

For a while I’ve been mulling over creating something involving pixies. Here’s a little bit about them that I’ve learned since we moved out here to the wilds.

Most of them work at things involving nature.

Lack of respect is their number one complaint. People just don’t consider them important. While they don’t want the attention, they are a bit jealous that elves and fairies get all the admiration.

All pixies have important jobs to do in the wilds and even urban settings.

They do not have the ethereal look of fairies.  By nature, they aren’t “beautiful”.

Most of them are literally close to the earth (short), and because of that they’re often are dirty little things. Not all of them have wings but they can all appear and disappear at will.

The mechanism of their ability to move quickly from one place to another nearby place without walking is not understood. I think it is magic.

Some of them, the ones that tunnel through the ground like moles, have double rows of teeth and can be quite frightening to the uninitiated. I have a short story about one of the more troublesome types of pixies. It’s a free story at most ebook retailers (except Amazon).

I decided to begin my crafting with one less intimidating.

Handmade Pixies by Madison Woods

This is Helga, the first of her line. She’s a mushroom gardener. Her hair is made from dried moss. In one hand she holds a shiny bauble (pixies love shiny baubles) and with the other she keeps her acorn cap basket balanced.

Helga was the first of the pixies ever created at Wild Ozark.
Helga was the first of the pixies ever created at Wild Ozark.

Inside the basket there are mushroom “seeds”. The set also includes a feather-lined leaf cloak for her to cover herself with while napping or wear over her head, a bauble on a stand and three mature mushrooms.

Unique Works of Art

Each creation is unique and each have their own name. The mushroom gardeners will all have the same accessories, but they’ll look a little different from each other. Well, as I get better at crafting them, they’ll look a lot different from poor original Helga.

Here’s Annabelle, under construction at the time of this photo.  She’s the second of her line, and also a Mushroom Gardener.

Freshly sculpted pixie in need of hair.
Freshly sculpted pixie in need of hair.
Annabelle with her basket of mushroom seeds. She's the second of the Wild Ozark Pixies.
Annabelle with her basket of mushroom seeds.

Here she is with her garden. Pixies use the baubles because they reflect light and they like the shiny flashes.

Annabelle tending her mushroom garden.
Annabelle tending her mushroom garden.

Each Wild Ozark Pixie set comes boxed and ready to relocate to your house. The terra cotta plate and moss are not included in mail orders, but if you pick a set up from the market booth, it is part of the package.

If you’d like to order a set of your own or for someone you know who loves nature and believes in the unseen world around us, let me know.

Your pixie will be created at the time of your order and won’t look exactly like these, but will have her or his own personality. You can request male or female and skin color.

Boxed sets make great gifts!
Boxed sets make great gifts! Website prices are discounted compared to Etsy’s listings.

To get it in time for Christmas you’ll need to order soon. If the response to this is unusually high, I’ll only take as many orders as I can be sure to complete in time.

These are backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you don’t love this little pixie (yours will be individual and won’t be identical to the one pictured, though it’ll have the same basic content), I’ll take it back and refund your money.

Departures

Not all of my art reflects the Ozarks. Some of it is purely from the imagination, and some are images of things nowhere nearby.

When I first began this site, I thought I might only post the art related to the wild Ozarks.

Now I think I might post all of the artistic things I do.

The first departure from the theme was my Tree Priestess. She is a fictional character standing beneath the Tree of Life, awaiting the gift of a single leaf:

Click to enlarge.

The second is still a work in progress. It’s a dragon’s blood tree I’m drawing as part of my product illustration for an ointment. The ointment uses dragon’s blood, frankincense and myrrh.

Dragonblood by Madison Woods, in progress.

The latest departure is a second “priestess”, so apparently that theme is becoming a series for me.

"Water Priestess" by Madison Woods, rural fantasy artist.
The second drawing in my “Rural Fantasy” series is “Water Priestess”.