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

header for my post on my growth as an artist

My Growth as an Artist

My first painting was in summer of 2018 while I was visiting my husband who was working in Qatar at the time. I didn’t have many art supplies on hand – only the first set of paints I’d ever made and one brush that I bought from an art supply shop out there. It’s been a while since I’ve looked back at them, but today I’m doing it to see my growth as an artist.

Here’s the first two:

The two most recent as of Feb 2024. Click on them to see the larger images:

My Growth as an Artist

At the time when I made the first two paintings, the only other painting I’d ever done was a few decades earlier while in high school and shortly after. And then it was just piddling. I used to draw more then, but stopped even that for probably 30 years. I started drawing again with colored pencils around 2015. Then started learning to paint with the Ozark pigments in the summer of 2018.

I didn’t like the first attempt from the context of calling it ‘art’. The palm tree and the apartment buildings in my rendering looked nothing at all like the actual scene. But it excited me because I could see the potential the pigments held. The paints were not very good or well made. They were grainy and gummy. But they put color on the paper, and that’s what gave me the motivation.

The green isn’t as green now as it was then, and I’ve kept the painting stored out of sunlight. But at the time, I didn’t know that plants would degrade, some more quickly than others. I’d used Perilla to make it, a plant I’d later learn that the seeds can be extracted for making oil paints. On the kestrel, I didn’t have any black with me (it too was painted in Qatar). So I used some incense-burning charcoal and pencil for that.

What Helped?

Mostly practice. I learned to make better paints, and learned to make better paintings by continuing to try. There’s still so much more to learn, that I don’t think there’s enough time in what remains of my lifetime to find perfection. But that’s not the goal. I am happy to simply see improvement in my execution of ideas!

Having already had a good foundation of drawing helped a lot in my growth as an artist with paints, too. I think it helps to improve the eye-hand coordination to make something look as intended. But even still, I’m often off on that and often do make mistakes. Some are the kind that can be corrected and some are the kind I just have to live with and hope no one else sees them, ha.

What’s Next?

I am going to continue trying to improve both the paint-making and the technique of making paintings. The most recent one I finished is the Brahman cow. I think at this point in time it represents the very best work I’ve ever done. Of course, it’s also the most recently completed work I’ve ever done.

So, if I can continue to find my most recent paintings as my best yet paintings, then I’ll be happy with my growth as an artist.

The next painting on my easel will be a scene from a piece of property that a friend is selling. It was the family homestead and she needs to sell (along with her sisters) because their father died recently and they can’t keep it. I went out there with her and gathered some of the rocks to make paints that will truly capture the location.

In that kind of painting, while I hope that it will be the new favorite painting when I’m done, it’s not so much about the skill of the painting as it will be in the skill of capturing an image that is special to the receiver. So that’s my goal with the next painting.

Nature-influenced Art

If you’re new here and haven’t seen my artwork, here’s a few of my personal favorites. Here’s the available originals, but prints are available for all of them. And here’s where you can view it all!

Want Land like Wild Ozark?

If you’re in the market to buy your own slice of the Ozarks, I can help you find property as wild as Wild Ozark.

Roxann Riedel, Montgomery Whiteley Realty



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