Artist Statement

By working with local pigments to make paint, I feel a sense of collaboration and partnership with nature – a harmony I’ve found no better way to translate than by painting.

I hope when you see my art, it brings the sacred tunes of ancient and ever-adapting life to your soul.

~ Madison Woods, Artist Statement

In the summer of 2018 I began making watercolor paints from the rocks, clay, and other resources of our land here in the Ozarks. My artwork is made exclusively with these paints. I call them Wild Ozark Paleo Paints, because they’re made in a way very close to the same way paints were made when man first put a hand-print on the wall of a cave.

My specialty is painting nature, specifically the nature that surrounds me here in the remote hills of northwest Arkansas.

Art depicting familiar, local, subjects is important to any community because everyone here shares the same land. But almost no one realizes how beautiful the indigenous pigments are. It gives me incredible satisfaction to see the transformation someone makes when they begin to notice the colors of our Ozarks in such a personal, granular, way. This awareness extends to the rest of the world. Wherever a person goes, once this kind of seeing is awakened, the environment takes on new facets. There is so much more to know than what we think we already know about our world. Color is just a start.

All of my work begins with foraging for pigments. I go to the creeks on our property to look for rocks.

We have colorful sandstones in various hues, but they’re easiest to see while they’re wet. I’ll also collect leaves from a couple of trees that give me pigments I know are light-fast, and root bark of the sassafras tree when I can find upturned trees, and bones of all sorts. These are the things I use to make my watercolor paints.

Once the pigments are processed into a watercolor palette, I’ll finally get around to the blank canvas on the easel. My paintings are a reflection of the Ozarks, both in subject and medium.

The artist statement for Madison Woods, can almost be entirely summed up in this phrase.

My favorite themes include the predator/prey relationship, duality, and liminal moments or spaces. All of it over-ridden by a deep love of nature and wilderness.

I would love it if my work facilitates respect and appreciation for unadulterated nature. So much of what our society now experiences as nature is curated. For example, with my series on the raptors and game birds, at first glance they are just beautiful birds.

But their beauty carries with it a brutality — the cycle of life and death — and its inescapable fate for all things on earth. Just as I am destroying a thing (the rocks when I smash them) I am also creating a thing (beautiful, natural, artwork).

This duality is inherent in nature. My work is a practice in this concept. It touches on a core that is often ignored. Too often curated nature hides behind the beauty and ignores the brutality.

It is like Jung’s “shadow side.” We all have one. It’s inseparable from the whole, and it’s the wholeness I’d like to see respected more often.

By working with local pigments to make paint, I feel a sense of collaboration and partnership with nature – a harmony I’ve found no better way to translate than by painting.

I hope when you see my art, it brings the sacred tunes of ancient and ever-adapting life to your soul.

Annual Gallery Pages

2020

2019

2018

Visit my blog at Wild Ozark by clicking here.

Madison Woods is an author, artist, and Paleo Paint maker living
with her husband in northwest Arkansas far off the beaten path. She uses paint made from rocks, and mostly Ozark pigments to create her paintings.

Contact Info:
Email: Madison@wildozark.com
Instagram: @wildozark
Facebook: @wildozark

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