Linda Westbrook Art
My artistic journey started at a young age when I made a dog out of clay in preschool and it actually looked like a dog. I grew up in Corvallis, Portland and Beaverton, went to Lewis and Clark College, worked as a camp counselor at Kilowan in Falls City Oregon, inspected circuit boards at Techtronix in Beaverton for two years, then got my bachelors degree in fine art from Portland State University.
In 1983 I joined the Portland Saturday Market as a portrait artist, and was known for trekking my wooden booth from Sellwood to downtown on a bicycle cart. I also did window paintings for The Byte Shop in downtown Portland where they sold some of the first Mackintosh computers. For a few months I worked for channel 8 news as a courtroom illustrator.
I spent 10 years on Lummi Island in Washington where I raised sheep and children. During this time I got into woodworking, crafting shelves for our house and outbuildings for our animals. One day I broke our plastic napkin holder and used some scrap wood to make a new one in the shape of two sheep. The following Christmas season at the local grange I sold a number of napkin holders and ornaments made from wood and painted with acrylics, mostly in the shapes of local birds and wildlife. I expanded my business to local craft shows and a few small galleries and was active in the Allied Arts Holiday markets for several years.
When I returned to Oregon with my kids in 1997 I spend the summer in a production ceramics shop helping to produce cookie stamps, but then I went back to school to study Graphic Design at Linn-Benton Community College, where I graduated in 2000. I worked as a freelance designer for a few years and then spent 4 years designing images to be silkscreened onto garments at Anything Printable in Corvallis. When they closed down I took a job as a bus driver and then as a caregiver in an adult foster home for mentally disabled adults.
I joined the Eugene Saturday Market in 1998 and I've maintained my membership through most of the past 20 years even when I was not able to sell regularly. I focused on wooden ornaments and bead earrings for many years, made muppet style puppets for a couple years, then settled in to making fascinators and polymer clay mushroom shaped storage boxes which have tins inside. I also make cone puppets, fuzzy little birds with polymer clay faces and feet ("Fuzzy Buddies") and hand sculpted pendants.
2020 was mostly dedicated to making tight fitting face masks that have sewn in filters and feature elastic around the chin, metal nose wires, and zip ties sewn into the liner to create a space around the mouth which prevents the fabric from being sucked into your mouth when you breath. Hopefully we won't need these much longer.