Today hubs and I went over to Alpena, Arkansas where the new Wild Ozark studio space will be (inside the upcoming Alpena Mercantile). He brought his metal detector to look around the lot to see if he could find anything interesting. While he did that, I cleaned. Before my daughter bought the building it was a small engine repair shop for many years. So, there is a deep layer of oily dust on the shelves in my corner. A correspondingly deep layer of dust all over the concrete floors, too.
I did not bring enough cleaning supplies to make a very big dent, but it sure felt good carving out a little space to call my studio. I’ll be out there again on Monday (3/6/23), so if you’re in the area stop in and say hello if you see the doors open. We don’t have electricity or water yet, so opening the doors lets in some light. I’ll bring jugs of water from home so I can scrub those grimy shelves more effectively. A bottle of 409 and paper towels weren’t very helpful, lol.
First Space on the Right
When you walk in the front door, the studio and gallery wall will be to the right. I put my panels in there today to try and figure out a good configuration, but I need to move two of the end pieces so they don’t block the view into the back. In the back and on the other side there will be other vendors. I’ll take those two extra panels and put them outside on days when I’m there to try and attract passer-bys into stopping.
I talked with one of the other shop-keepers farther down the row. She told me they’d done a traffic study last year and 8000 vehicles pass on the road daily. That’s a lot of potential art lovers! On the days when I’m there, I’ll sit outside on the porch with my easel and paint. Maybe that’ll entice some to stop?
We’ll get a sign for the building that says Alpena Mercantile. But we also need signs to take in and put out on market days, so people will know the market is happening. One in particular needs to tell folks there’s parking in the back. On those two panels I’m moving away from the inside space, I want to put something that will be visible to traffic that will lure some stops for my studio/gallery. It needs to be short and sweet in order to read it quickly. It also needs to be catchy in order to pique interest quickly. Any suggestions?
Wild Ozark Studio & Gallery Contents
What will happen in the Wild Ozark studio space? Well, I’m bringing one of my large easels so I can paint something big while I’m there. I’m also bringing my desktop easel so I can paint inside at the counter when the weather isn’t good. It gets windy often, so I won’t be able to paint outside until I can get a better easel that clamps onto the canvas on those days. But I can’t buy another easel until I make some income. So that will wait.
My goal is to make the art studio draw in the tourists (like the cornerstone store of a mall) who will then also visit and buy from the vendors (and me). Or it can work the other way around, if folks want to stop to see a market and then will also visit and buy from me (and the vendors). I suspect the farmer’s market part of things will attract both local and out of towners. But I suspect the studio will attract mostly out of towners. But if I offer lessons then it would also attract locals (see last paragraph of this section for why I’m not sure I should teach painting lessons, though).
Here’s what I plan to offer:
- Paintings in progress
- Framed originals
- Unframed originals
- Framed prints
- Unframed prints
- Sets of Paleo Paints
- Pigment powders
- Pigment rocks
- Watercolor binder
Some of these items can be packaged as souvenirs, too. Like a cute little canvas bag of Wild Ozark pigment rocks, with the logo and my origin story printed on the bag! Well, the printing might get too expensive, but I can attach a little card with the story and logo.
Eventually I’d like to hold workshops there, too, on how to make the paints. Not painting lessons, though. I don’t think I know what I’m doing well enough to teach anyone else how to paint. But maybe one day. Or maybe beginner classes. But I can’t claim to know proper technique on anything, as everything I do is either self-taught or scrounged from my research and then adapted to my own way of doing things. No formal education on how to paint, though I could teach how to paint in the way that I paint, hahaha. We can all be surprised at what we produce during those classes, as I often am at my own works.
If you are interested in a set of my paints for yourself, check out my online shop to see what’s available. I usually make extra when I make my own.
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. In 2023 she began her journey into the world of oil painting with those same pigments. Her paintings of the Ozark-inspired scenes feature 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.PaleoPaints.com.
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2 thoughts on “Working on the Wild Ozark Studio”
This is so exciting! It will make me want to go TO Alpena, rather than driving through. Good luck to you!
Yay! I’d be happy to see you 😀