Hi, I’m Madison Woods, the nature and wildlife artist of Wild Ozark. Click HERE to see my CV. Read on below for more general information.
What kinds of things does a person want to know about me? Is that my real name? No. I began using that name as a business name, but liked it enough to just adopt it as my alter-ego when people started calling me that. My age? Old enough. Married to the man of my dreams, mother to three incredible people, offspring of a couple of pretty interesting folks, and sister to another.
I’m constantly walking around with one foot in the real world.
The other foot? Mired in the muck of some other plane of existence.
Yes, I’m pretty woo-woo. But I’m also pretty grounded. If you ask me, this makes me both practical and open to worlds that may not exist for other people who walk with both feet “on the ground”.
I am fascinated with nature. Nature is my muse. It’s the juxtaposition of beauty and brutality that gets me. Liminal spaces… situations… maybe they’re just moments in time? I don’t know, but they beckon me with a siren’s call, and I don’t even know how to define them.
When I’m not simultaneously creating (my art) and destroying (my studio/office), I’m either helping Rob on our homestead chores, working in the garden, writing or wandering around outside picking up rocks, or in the woods working with the ginseng nursery.
My art is deeply influenced by my life in the remote Ozark Mountains. My paintings are meant to promote a love for Nature, a connection to the seemingly brutal circle of life, and an awakening to the variety of colors in our land. Every paint I make instills a sense of awe in me, and I hope that is communicated in my work.
Recent Interviews & Press Mentions
2023 Highlight: I’m thrilled to say that I have an article on my art and connection to the land at the Smithsonian’s blog.
Madison Woods the Nature Farmer
Everything I do and am is influenced by soul-strings tied to the wilderness. It’s not a secret – I am woo-woo and there’s no way around it. But like I said above, I’ve got one foot firmly planted in reality so it gives me a unique position and perspective. My career history is scientific. Most of my adult life has been spent in organic, inorganic, and environmental laboratories. In 2013 I left the work place and dived into the art and farm work place full time. I’m a ‘nature farmer’.
So what are the crops of this nature farmer? Mostly rocks these days. I wander the creeksides gathering rocks that make good pigments. But I also gather bits of things like bones, moss, and fossils. The bones I’ll use to make paint, but the fossils go into the rock walls of my garden. Sometimes I’ll use moss and lichens to decorate my paint tins or perhaps even the frames for a painting. I’m also a wild-simulated ginseng farmer.
Author, Artist, and Ginseng Grower
Strange assortment of things I do for money and vocation. I write fiction and nonfiction, but I used to write a lot more. Now mostly all I do is grind rocks and paint.
In the year 2023, I am beginning a new leg on my journey as a painter. I’m beginning a devoted effort to make oil paints and learn to paint with that medium. Here are some of my paintings in oils so far this year:
To keep up with progress on these, click on the images to go to the progress page for them. As I get more done on them, I’ll update those pages.
I write non-fiction and fiction. All of my nonfiction books can be found at Amazon. Those are published under ‘Madison Woods’. My rural fantasy fiction, mostly set in the Ozarks, is published at Amazon under the pen name Ima Erthwitch.
Aside from the articles I write for my own websites, past articles include “Indian Tobacco”, August 2017, an article about Lobelia inflata featuring one of my drawings, and “Through the Seasons with American Ginseng & its Companions”, can’t remember publication date for this one, for the North American Native Plant Society (NANPS.org) newsletter “Blazing Star”. The same publication also used my article on Green Dragons (Arisaema dracontium) and my drawings are on the cover and feature article for the summer issue (2018) of Blazing Star.
My artwork and writing has found some paths crossing. I provided the cover art and feature article on the Showy Orchid for the Spring/Summer issue 2021. The 2022 issue of Blazing Start will feature my article on North American orchids with illustrations. And there will be an article of mine on foraging for pigments in the late 2022 issue of Ozarks Watch, with a cover featuring one of my paintings.
Whenever I’m working on paintings, you can follow along with my progress by following me on Instagram or Facebook. If you think you want a ‘Madison Woods’ original, that’s the best way to see what’s currently on the easel and how far from finished I am.
Exhibits, pop-up exhibits or street shows can be found here. Any scheduled workshops can be found at that link, too. I am open to private lessons or workshops, so contact me if you’re interested in something.
Connect with Me on Social Media
You can easily find me on all social medias by searching for “Wild Ozark”. It’s even easy to find me if you just search for Madison Woods. But there’s a lot of other entries in that search, so look for the one with mentions of nature art, wildlife art, or Ozark pigments. It’s pretty easy to figure out which of them are going to lead you back to this website.
I’m the voice behind the social media, blog and website at www.WildOzark.com.
Wild Ozark is the only licensed American ginseng nursery in Arkansas. It’s also the brand for all of my creative work.
Seeds go in the ground throughout the woods in fall through early spring and seedlings come up in late April. From April to September I sell them potted from the farm or farmer’s market. From October to March, I ship them bare-root anywhere in the United States.
4 thoughts on “About Madison Woods”
Hi Madison… Enjoyed to make the audio traces for “Madison’s Woods” and “Raven”… Greetings from Vienna in Austria. It would be a pleasure for me, if you subscribe on my YouTube Channel. I also love nature and for 2 years I took over the wooden house and 529 m2 of garden from my mother in the Viennese woods. Do gardening and planting now as well with the leading of a professional gardener who helps me to get everything done besides… Still… Fulltime work in sales business of industry until end of 2025. Afterwords I will change to a part time job with 20 working hours a week and then hopefully retire completely in August 2030… Still healthy then I hope. Recorder playing has become one of my passions since 2007 and afterwards when I started attending masterclasses from Maurice Steger in Switzerland… Therefore my main interest is baroque, but now also contemporary music… Like that one from Daniel Hay. Rgds. Chris
Hi Chris! I loved your audio for the Madison’s Woods, and am looking forward to hearing the one for Raven. I am just getting in and haven’t had time to listen, yet. Thank you for commenting and introducing yourself. I’ll be happy to subscribe to your youtube, too. I bet you are really looking forward to retiring so you can do more nature-immersion and gardening. It is wonderful to meet others from all over through networking like this.
Somehow “you” landed up in my email. I am so glad we crossed paths. I am an artist and a nature lover. My aim is to live off my art, but meantime I supplement my income by caring for our elders. I have long been concerned about the environmental impacts of the materials I use. Recently I started painting for an art award and the theme was Climate Change: on the Brink. They encouraged us to think about not only the subject but the materials we use. I did not enter the award because I did not make the deadline, but it put me on a new trajectory. I researched and started to make my own watercolour paints from both foraged and purchased pigments. I intend to continue on this trajectory. I want to use only natural and foraged pigments. However, it is going to be a challenge because I paint Fynbos the natural vegetation, comprised of Proteas among others, that grows on the mountains of my native Cape Town, South Africa. I therefore need a more diverse palette.
I hope this is the start of a long association.
Wishing you blessings, health and prosperity.
Hi Elizabeth! Thank you for your incredible introduction. Your path is fascinating already and I imagine it can only become moreso. I had the same misgivings about not having the proper colors for realistic depictions, but I’ve decided to just use them as they are. However, if I do an illustration for one of the customers I have, I have to use my Prismacolor pencils instead of my paints because they want the colors ‘just so’. One of the other pigment makers I know via Instagram makes a very large selection of colors from plant pigments, and perhaps you can incorporate lake pigments from the plants in your palette, you could get a lot closer to true. He was even recently in Africa, but I’m not sure what part of that huge continent. If you’re able to look him up, his handle is @texaswildcolor. My only reason for not using the plants widely is because most of them aren’t colorfast and they’ll fade with time. I’d like to become more eco-friendly with my own paints. Currently the only item I have to import is gum Arabic. I use the local pigments and local honey to make the binder, but my plans are to begin experimenting with our local gums from some of the wild fruit trees. If I can manage to make good paints with it, then the entire paint would be sourced locally and that would make me happy. I hope you check back to see this reply and we keep in touch!