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 real name is Roxann Riedel. At the moment (end of 2023), I’m working towards adding real estate agent to my list of role titles, and anything to do with that business will require my real name. The art will definitely continue! Anything art-related will continue under Madison Woods.
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. My husband and I live on 160 acres way off-road in rural Madison county near Kingston, AR. We call that land ‘Wild Ozark’. It is my sustenance in more ways than one.
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 for my PaleoPaints, 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 for my PaleoPaints. 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:
The images are linked to the information page for the works, shows the progress from start to finish. Except for the white, all of the colors in my artwork came from local sources, usually rocks, bone, soot, and a few plants. This is why I call them Paleopaints!
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.