This is a website version of my monthly newsletter that goes out to subscribers. If you’d like to get this in your mailbox each month, just head on over <click here> to sign up. Sometimes I may post it here to the website, but maybe not always. The best way to be sure you get it is to sign up. There are some targeted groups you might like to opt into as well, such as notifications of workshops, paints listed, or original art.
Hello again from Wild Ozark!
The winner of this month’s print drawing is Judiann Burrus-Edwards 😀 Judiann, I have your address on hand already, so I’ll get that sent out to you during the week. If there’s a particular 5 x 7” print you’d like to have, let me know! Otherwise I’ll pull one from what I have on hand, that I think you don’t already have.
If the rest of you want to enter for next month’s drawing, just hit the button below and your email ought to open up to send me an email saying you’d like to enter. If you’re not a subscriber, you’re still eligible to enter, but if you don’t get the newsletter and I don’t post it here next month, or if I do and you don’t come back to find out if you won it, you might not know.
My News I Hinted at in the Last Monthly Newsletter
I don’t have all the details yet, but I can at least spill some of the beans now. During the month of June, I’ll have a small exhibit at the Shiloh Museum in Springdale. It’ll feature a painting or two and a display of pigments and the process I use to make the paints! On June 12, I’ll be on campus at the museum doing some plein air paintings of scenes out there, and talking with visitors. I hope if you’re local, you’re able to come out and visit. I won’t know times/schedule, or all the details until later. Since we are still in the midst of a pandemic, there will be Covid precautions in place. But at least it’s outdoors. There will be other events going on across the street… not sure what all that is about yet, but I’ll get more details about that soon too. When I get the information, I’ll share it in the next monthly newsletter for May, or as a separate email if I find out too late for that.
Birthday Post Cards
I sent out birthday cards to all of you who had your addresses and birthdays in your subscription profile. Since I included February, March, and April, I’m late for some of you and early for others. A couple even went out of the country (one to Ireland and one to Dubai!).
However, a couple of them came back because of changed addresses, or addresses not correct. One of you is someone I know well enough to know you wouldn’t mind if I put the correct address (Janet), so I did that. But I can’t do that for most of you, so if you didn’t get a card and wished you had, please check your profile settings using the link at the bottom of this email to either add your information or correct it if it’s wrong. And for one of you, I accidentally forgot to put postage on the card (Loralee, I’m looking at you)! Sorry about that, and I’ll get a new one to you in the next mailing coming up.
What’s on the Easel or Recently Finished
Since the last monthly newsletter, I painted a small picture of a bearded dragon named Petunia. She came out pretty cute!
The next painting is going to be of a little screech owl I got to photograph one year down by the gate. There were three of them fresh out of the nest that year, but I was only planning to do a single one with a winking expression. Now I’m thinking I may be able to put all three of them in the same painting. I’ll have to see if I can find my original photos of them and see if any of the others came out well enough for me to use.
I did some behind the scenes work on my website to make it less cumbersome on the server. That involved axing several plugins I didn’t really need. But in doing so, I think I did away with the feature that allowed subscribers to get my blog posts in their inboxes. So I’ll try to remember to post the list of posts for the previous month in my monthly newsletters from now on. That way, if you’re interested in it, you can click through from here to easily find it. As much as I hate the Captcha things that make you select the right pictures, I’ve put one of those in place for commenting. I had over 12,000 spam users (who kept trying to leave spam comments) signed up on the website and no way to easily filter out the real people versus the bots. So I deleted all of them and put the CAPTCHA in place to try and discourage new ones. It has definitely helped.
Paints, Pigments, and Workshops
I’ve been putting my rock grinder to work! Now I’m in the process of making paints. As I get them made, I’ll be listing them either as singles (full pans) or as sets at the online shop. Here’s the link to that section if you’d like to keep an eye on what is there: https://www.wildozark.com/product-category/paleo-paints/handcrafted-watercolors/
I also have a new batch of watercolor binder to sell, too. Usually, when I make some for myself, I make enough to sell a few.
Some of you have wondered when I’d start offering workshops again. I just haven’t wanted to do much interacting in person with Covid floating around out there. But I think next weekend I’ll do a foraging and identifying pigment rock day. Each workshop will only have 3 slots, so that way we can have time to grind up the rocks we’ve collected after the forage. If this one works out well enough, I’ll schedule another one soon. I’ll also start scheduling the actual paint-making workshops, too. But the foraging will be a separate workshop so we can focus on making the paints on a separate day. Now that I’ve learned more about making the paints, I’d like to offer workshops that show the way I’ve found to make much nicer paints. And it takes longer than the rough ones I started out making. I’ll be sure to add any upcoming workshops to the monthly newsletter.
You can read more about the first foraging workshop here: https://www.wildozark.com/shop/find-pigment-rocks/
Going On’s Around the Homestead
Cutting big tree – we had a large sweetgum tree that needed to come down. It has been crowding out one of the old trees in the front yard, a really old red oak in poor health. Not only that, it would have cast a large shadow over the solar array Rob is installing in a clearing nearby. It also had begun leaning away from Gloria, the old white oak I’m always posting photos of in my Instagram feed. But most of all, it was in the spot where we’ll be building a monolithic dome house in the future. So Rob cut it down. I always hate cutting down a tree, but sometimes it is necessary. However, it will provide a good head start on next year’s firewood.
Treasure Hunting – Rob recently pulled his dad’s old metal detectors out of the closet. His dad was a treasure-hunting enthusiast and spent many hours of many days looking for artifacts and lost things. I go along and help dig, or just wander around looking at plants and things while he’s waiting for a ping. What he really hopes is to find a gold coin, but I think that’s going to take a while. Yesterday we went around one of the rock walls on our property. For the rest of my monthly newsletter issues, I’ll try to update you on whatever treasures we find. At one end there was a huge stump from an old tree, but newer, living growth was still attached to it. Unfortunately, we didn’t find anything there, but in another area he found a square nail. So that was pretty cool.
And we peered down one of the old hand-dug and hand-rocked wells in the area. These are very common out here and we have two of them on our property.
I keep a page at the website where I try to note the seasonal changes. I forget a lot, but over the years the gaps may get filled in. Today I spotted the first hummingbird of the season. If you’d like to add your own observations in the comments, here’s the page: Ozark Phenology. Also be sure to mention what part of the world you’re in.
Blog Posts since the last monthly newsletter
New Product Listings
- https://www.wildozark.com/shop/find-pigment-rocks/ (workshop)
- https://www.wildozark.com/shop/2021-03/ (paint set)
- https://www.wildozark.com/shop/reptile/ (Petunia original)
- https://www.wildozark.com/shop/2021-03b/ (pigment)
The end of this monthly newsletter
Anyway, that’s all for this month. I’ll write again, hopefully with more details about what exactly will be going on at the Shiloh Museum on June 12. Have a great month! Don’t forget – if you’d prefer to get this monthly newsletter in your email inbox, sign up for it here: Wild Ozark Musings. Leave a comment to tell me what’s been going on in your neck of the woods!
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.