Wild Ozark

~ Rock Foraging Nature Artist & Real Estate Agent in Kingston, AR ~

Welcome! Madison Woods is my pen-name. I’m a rock-smashing, paint-making nature artist in Arkansas. My real name is Roxann Riedel, and aside from being a nature-loving artist, I’m a REALTOR® with Montgomery Whiteley Realty.

(479)409-3429, or email madison@wildozark.com

A painting of a Cooper's hawk by Madison Woods.

Cooper’s Hawk | a Blue-eyed Juvenile

Currently on my easel is a portrait in progress of a gorgeous blue-eyed juvenile raptor. It’s a painting of a Cooper’s hawk. As he matures, his eyes will change to yellow, orange, or red.

A photo of a Cooper's hawk by Tamalyn Wortham.

Tamalyn Wortham, Photographer

“The story behind it is…. I was sitting in my car and looked down. It was right outside my door. I couldn’t even get the entire bird in the frame. I was shocked I didn’t spook it when I opened the door. Juveniles are like that. They don’t know to fear humans till they get older.”

Visit Tammy on FB.

About the Painting

Size is 16 x 12″. The bird will be larger than life-sized and I’m hoping it allows me to create more realism in the feathers. The background is mottled earthy reds and yellows, and I’m loving that part of it already. I think it’ll definitely allow the Cooper’s hawk itself to be the focal point, with good color contrasts.

This one is an experiment in substrates. I’m painting in oils on Arches watercolor paper that has been attached to a birch cradle board. It gives a different texture to the surface, and it takes the paint differently, too. I can’t describe it well, but I like it a lot. When I’m done, the painting will need longer to dry than one on canvas or board alone. Once it’s varnished, the longevity of the work should be as good as any other surface.

Progression of Painting of a Cooper’s Hawk

Finished, but still drying

In the meantime, while it’s on the easel and until the painting is dry and ready to frame, it’s available as pre-order at a discount.

There’s a special group in my newsletter for those interested in my original art. When I get one finished, and while it’s still on the easel, I send out a notice to that segment. If you’re not subscribed, and don’t want to, then check back on this page next week for updates. If you DO want to subscribe, then here’s the link:


A Little About My Paint-making Process

Since my paints are handmade and (mostly) locally foraged, I have to make sure I have the colors I need before I begin a project. If it’s a plant pigment, then I’ll need to harvest the plant and process it to make the pigment. The only plant sources I use at this time are thyme, and the root bark of Osage trees. The rest comes from foraged rocks, soot, bone, or purchased lapis and titanium dioxide powder.

Here’s a blog post I made earlier about making oil paints:

So, if it’s a rock, then I’ll break it to smaller pieces, then crush it as finely as I can. The crushed rock is the raw pigment. After that I put the powder into a jar and fill the jar with water. Depending on the source rock, I’ll either pour off the colored water into another jar to let it settle, or pour the rinse water out and keep the sediment for the paint. After the water clarifies and the pigment has settled, then I pour off the clear water and let the sediment dry. That is what I’ll make the paint from.

When it comes to plants, there’s more chemistry involved. I’ll make what is called a ‘lake’ pigment. Here’s a post that gives more information on that process.

I hope you love this earthy palette of color as much as I do! Thanks for reading ~ Madison

Contact Mad Rox: (479) 409-3429 or madison@madisonwoods and let me know which hat I need to put on 🙂 Madison for art, Roxann for real estate, lol. Or call me Mad Rox and have them both covered!



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