I wear two hats with different names: Madison Woods when I’m wearing the artist hat, Roxann Riedel in real life and real estate. I'm a rock-smashing paint-making artist & a sales agent for Montgomery Whiteley Realty. Hailing from the wild Ozarks in Kingston, Arkansas where my husband and I work toward a sustainable lifestyle.

You can text or call to reach me by either name (see above):
(479)409-3429, or email madison@wildozark.com

Rainy Day Rambles

This morning it was above freezing, but soon after the sun rose, the wind started. Gusty winds must’ve cause a line to touch something somewhere, because the lights went out briefly. It had flickered a few times before that, but I thought it was just the light in the kitchen. Soon after, the rain and sleet began. Now it’s just a rainy day at Wild Ozark.

Hopefully, it’ll just stay rain, but it’s forecast to turn over to snow later or maybe freezing rain. But that’s due tomorrow. Just now the rain suddenly stopped, and there’s a large flock of robins outside celebrating. Their party started even before the rain quit. Aren’t robins supposed to be harbingers of spring? I hope that means winter is almost over. Not likely, though, as we’ve barely had one yet. But I’d like to skip this year’s winter antics, I think. I’ll just take the rain.

Keeping Busy When It’s Nasty Outside

This morning I finished up a painting. It’s a birthday gift for one of the grandgirls, a painting of her cow named Little Red. When Little Red was … little …, she had a big patch of russet hair on the top of her head. Now it’s just a little patch, but she’s definitely not little anymore.

I had to laugh when Keigan let me know what she wanted me to paint. She was very polite when she made certain I knew she didn’t want me to paint HER into the picture when I painted her cow.

Little Red, a Brahman heifer in Ozark oil pigments. A painting in my Brahman cow art series.

That poor girl has seen my attempts at painting people and didn’t want to be one of my experiments. So I assured her I wouldn’t do that. To get my reference, I edited her out of the shot with Photoshop, and just painted the cow. I’m fairly good at cows, and most animals, but I don’t blame her for wanting to keep herself out of my attempt. I think I’m ready to just accept defeat on the portrait side of art. I just can’t seem to do it, in spite of all of my efforts to learn how.

It’s Baaaack

Well, that was a short respite from the rain. The horses are standing under their stall, peeking out and wondering if I’ll be going out there in the rain again later to feed them, most likely. They don’t like the rainy day much.

Needy Critters

We’ve been sleeping later in the mornings, because, why not? It’s dark until 7 and cold, anyway. Except I’ve begun to miss having more time before it gets dark again in the evening, so the past two mornings I’ve been up before sunrise. We have our coffeepot set to start perking automatically at 0500. If no one gets up by 0530, Miss Kitty thinks something is terribly wrong and she starts meowing. Constantly. She doesn’t stop until one of us gets up and feeds her breakfast.

Now the horses have been penned by the house where I have a stall for them. Once the snow and sleet leaves the forecast, I’ll move them back out to their bigger field. There’s no shelter for them out there, though, and the old horse loses weight very easily. So by the house, in the mornings I can feed them separately and close the stall so the younger horse can’t go in there to gobble up her food before she has a chance to eat.

Hungry Horses

This has been working out very well. Shasta has regained her figure, finally, though she still looks like an old horse in posture. However, they seem to have learned to recognize which footfalls in the house are mine in the mornings. I’m the one who normally feeds them. And when I come down the stairs they start the whinnying. And so, they usually get fed first, even on a rainy day. I don’t want to tempt them to test my pathetic fences, ha. Fencing is always on my list of things to do. The one by the house is electric and easy, but the standoffs are weak from years of UV exposure and they snap off easily. I have to weedeat too often to keep them by the house much during spring and summer, so they’re usually out in the bigger field during that time of year.

Anyway, after feeding the cat, and feeding the horses, then I come inside and feed the man. I eat yogurt every morning, but he likes a ‘real’ breakfast, lol. And after that, I start working on whatever is on my list of things to do for the day. Today was painting, and now I’m done with that. But there’s another one waiting, a much larger painting of another Brahman. So maybe later today I’ll get the sketch of all the elements on it, then a wash of undercoat. Oh. I made yogurt this morning, too.

The Sketching

Usually I don’t use pencil to sketch in a painting. I just use the paint and go along as I want to. But, I think for this one I’ll put down a sketch first and then coat it with a russet color or something where the pencil still shows through. I seem to have a problem with putting my subject too close to the edges of the canvas. That’s why I think maybe sketching it in first will help. We’ll see. I haven’t decided yet.

Enough Rainy Day Rambling

I’m done rambling on now. What’s happening out your way? How’s the weather? What do you do when you’re stuck in the house for days on end? I write, paint, and attempt to organize my studio. Sometimes I run out of those things and just settle for doing housework or cooking, maybe roasting some coffee or something. In the spring, I’m ready to get started on my garden.

Right now I’ve got pepper babies under the grow light.

Those are a gift to get my son started with his own pepper business. They’re the tiny little wild peppers native to Mexico and south Texas, and they’re not easy to find in the stores out here. But where Zack works, his Latin and Hispanic coworkers love it when he brings some from Rob’s bush to them. Who knows? His little pepper biz could turn into a big pepper biz. My husband loves them, too. He’s a south Texas native, so I learned about them through him and his pepper plant that stays in a pot and comes in for the winter.

Didn’t I say I was done with my rainy day rambling? Signing off now. Y’all stay warm and dry!

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