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Earthy Art | Featuring Foraged Earth Pigments from Northwest Arkansas

I’ve loved nature my entire life, but only started painting in 2018 when I discovered the pigments held in the rocks in our creeks and even on the driveway. After that discovery, I became obsessed with creating earthy art from my handmade watercolor paints.

This is my Showy Orchid painting. Not all of the colors in earthy art are true to life. This orchid is much greener in reality, but I like the baroque look of the pigments.
This Showy orchid isn’t depicted in the actual greens of the real-life plant, but the pigments I used are made from our local rocks and are archival. I’m a purist in that I only use the colors of our locale. Prints are available. The original is sold.

While some parts of the United States and across the world have rocks that yield blue or green, here in northwest Arkansas, there aren’t any such minerals. Fortunately, most of what I love to paint most is quite accurately represented by the colors that are available. Birds of prey are my favorite. All of those birds are pretty much the colors of the rocks. My earthy art might not be bright, but it comes from the very soul of the earth itself.

My earthy art comes from the soul of the earth itself.
So many colors right here in this one spot. But that red… oh, my heart.

The Raptors I’ve done so far…

I have a special affinity for the birds of prey. They’re beautiful. But, oh, so deadly. It’s that juxtaposition between beauty and viciousness that I like, I guess. And it’s also easy to see and appreciate the cycle of life when you observe a predator in action. For there to be life, there must also be death… it holds true for all of us – even if you’re vegan. Something, somewhere, of some form, must die in order for us to live. And in that death is transformation. It reminds me of the Law of Conservation of Mass … matter is neither created nor destroyed, only transformed. I suppose this is why raptors are my favorite earthy art subject.

This applies to the destructive process of making my paints, too. The rocks are changed. In some views, it looks as if I’ve destroyed them. But I haven’t. I’ve changed them somewhat, but only in form.

Some of my other earthy art…

You can see more of my earthy art at my online portfolio site if you want. The link is at the end of my bio. Thanks for reading to the end!


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Author/Artist Info
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Madison Woods is a self-taught artist who moved to the Ozarks from south Louisiana in 2005. In 2018 she began experimenting with watercolor painting, using her local pigments. She calls them Paleo Paints, and her artwork features exclusively the lightfast pigments foraged from Madison county, Arkansas. Her inspiration is nature – the beauty, and the inherent cycle of life and death, destruction and regeneration.

Her online portfolio is at www.MadisonWoods.art.

Click here to join her mailing list.

Photo of Madison Woods, artist and Paleo Paint maker, and her social media contact information.
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