Meet the Designer-Artist
Linda Whiting has been selling her hand-painted designs for over 30 years in Idaho, Oregon and California. She is mostly a self-taught acrylic artist with a "can-do" attitude and the ability to develop designs and products that are functional as well as appealing to her customers.
Whiting owns and operates Designs by Linda Art Studio and Gift Shop near Burns, Oregon. The business is located in a charming ranch house on the family's commercial hay and cattle ranch. The shop is the only one of its kind in the vast expanses of Harney County and also features works by other local artisans. Whiting also writes two art-related columns each month for two different local publications. Recently, one of Whiting's original designs was licensed through Courage Card Company.
In 2009, Whiting partnered with Native American artist, Beth Bigelow to create hand-painted peyote stitch pendants. Whiting paints designs on stone cabochons that Bigelow frames with peyote stitch. The pendants are either hung from Native American style necklaces or made into brooches. Several of these unique necklaces can be seen on their new web site, www.harneycountysisterinarts.com, along with other hand-painted and beaded works by both artists.
June 2010, Whiting taught herself a few seed beading stitches so she could incorporate beading with her hand-painted art work. By August, Whiting started work on the project she later entered in Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' seed bead contest in the home décor category. Whiting chose the theme, Jackmanii Clematis and Hummingbird, after looking through some photos of her flower gardens. One favorite photo was of an old juniper snag that has a Jackmanii Clemantis climbing on it. Whiting can see the snag from her kitchen window and enjoys watching hummingbirds buzz around the clematis blooms, especially when the water sprinkler is turned on.
Fortunately, Whiting had a handmade local juniper box on hand just waiting to be enhanced. After working out her design on paper she painted the hummingbird on canvas and adhered it to the center of the box. She then cut out the border shape to go around the painting from stiffened felt. After painting the felt to match her hummingbird painting and beading a border all around, she was ready to concentrate on the clematis blooms and leaves. Once all the blooms and leaves were completed she stitched them to the felt in a pleasing manner then stitched vines, buds and crystal "rain drops". The border was now complete and glued to the box.
Since the completion of the box, Whiting has finished many more beading projects including: cuff bracelets, off loom and peyote stitch bracelets, earrings, brooches and of course, several more boxes of varying sizes. Beading is quickly becoming one of Whiting's most favorite art mediums.
What inspired you to donate your bead(s) to Circle of Hope?
My late Aunt Pat was the inspiration behind the bead I made for the Circle of Hope project. Several years ago my aunt developed breast cancer which ultimately ended her life a few years later. Aunt Pat was always supportive of whatever I did and I always knew she loved me. I still remember her laugh, her hugs, and big juicy kisses. She was very close to my mother and would call her almost every day. I have several friends that are survivors of breast cancer so they were in my thoughts also when I made the bead. Thanks to Fire Mountain Gems and Beads for their support towards the battle against breast cancer.