This is close to the same content as I sent out to my newsletter list yesterday, but it’s easier to add pics in a blog post, so there’s more of them in this version. For a while I’ve been a traveling artist, but not a painting one. Now I feel like it’s a good time to be a hermit artist again. Except with occasional forays out into the world that’s exactly what I’ll be doing.
It’s been a busy last month and a half. When is it not, though, right? In August I was in Louisiana for a week. The week after returning from there, we went to Florida for a week. The week after that I had some dental work done and a few days after that we went to Colorado for a week to get a ‘real’ vacation. Let me tell you, it was exhausting, lol.
In the past month and a half I’ve been to Louisiana, Florida, and passed through the states of Oklahoma and Kansas on the way to Colorado. I thought surely I’d paint some scenes from all those places, but it didn’t happen. All of it seemed to pass too quickly. And in Colorado, I was exhausted at the end of every day from our activities in high altitude and low oxygen. We did pan for gold, and actually found a few specs this time!
Hermit Artist and Author
I don’t do the hermit artist thing alone, though. My hubs is a hermit here too. And this week coming up, we’ll get to introduce his son and family to the Wild Ozark hermit lifestyle, haha. They’re from near Ft. Walton Beach, Florida. It’s the first time they’ll have been out here to see where and how dear ol’ dad lives his days since he moved up here with me.
Once that visit is over I’ve got a lot of business catching up to do.
I’m writing an article for North American Native Plants Society on the orchids of our continent. Obviously, that is a huge swath of land, so I won’t be able to cover them all. So I’m just focusing on the most 5 common and the 5 most rare. I’ll get the cover art for this issue too, and I think I’ll do a collage-style drawing. Because the colors need to be fairly accurate, my Ozark pigments won’t work for this and I’ll use my colored pencils.
Then another article is due at the end of the year for Ozarks Watch magazine. This one is specifically about foraging for Ozark pigments, so I’m excited to get to highlight our colors for that one. There may be cover art for that one too, so I’m pretty eager to get started on it soon.
It’s far past time for me to work on my fiction, but I haven’t.
Rocky Mountain Colors
While we were in Colorado, I collected some rocks of various hues so I can make a painting of a Rocky Mountain scene using the colors of that region. Not sure when I’ll start the actual painting, though. I’ll need to make the paint first. Here’s the rocks I picked up, and I found some bones too.
As I’ve never tried any of the rocks from there, I’m not sure how well they’ll work for making paint. But we’ll see, and if it works, that’ll be cool. The scene I want to paint is from the headwaters bog of Jefferson Lake, in Park county. I may need to use some of the colors from the Ozarks to get it done, but I hope not.
Print drawing winner
Every month I choose a subscriber randomly (using Google’s random number generator) to win a free 5 x 7 print of one of my paintings. If you’re not a subscriber but would like to get in on this, here’s the link to sign up for my newsletter. After that, send me an email to let me know you’d like to enter and I’ll get you on that list. If you’re already a subscriber, be sure to read or at least scan the newsletters when they hit your inbox to see if you’re the winner. There’s a button in each issue to enter each month.
Workshop in October
Being a hermit artist doesn’t mean I won’t interact with people. I love sharing what I’ve learned about the Ozark pigments, so every once in a while I’ll do a workshop. I’ll be holding an all-day, start from foraging the rocks watercolor paint-making workshop on Oct. 3. There are still 2 or 3 slots left. Here’s where you can get more information on cost and details.
Ponca Color Fest in October
I’ll be at the Ponca Elk Education Center for the Ponca Color Fest on Oct 22-23. It’s 10-4 on Friday, and not sure what the hours will be for Saturday. I’ll be there by 10 that day, but it may shut down earlier.
Pop-ups in November
During the month of November I’ll be bringing the artwork, prints, and notecards out to the Kingston Square on Saturdays, depending on the weather. If you’d like to make sure I’m there, please email me or text at (479) 409-3429 and I can let you know for sure. Even hermit artists need to get out there to show work every once in a while.
So this is a new and exciting development. It’s not a studio in town, but it is outside of the house, and that’s going to be very useful. My parents have a camper with electric down the driveway, but they don’t get to use it anymore. I’m going to start using it as my art and writing studio. It’s still too far off the beaten path to expect many to come by for studio visits, but if you’d like to see work in progress or check out finished ones, let me know! We can do that by appointment … if you don’t mind the long dirt road to get here 😀 Mainly, I’m excited because I can block out time to work on art without seeing all the other tasks that need to be done. It’s hard to do that when the task list is all around me all the time.
That’s it for now. Soon I’ll be back to being a hermit artist and will get some new paints and paintings done. What have you been up to lately?
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.
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