Learning, creating, and sharing, has been my life-long driving force,
my passion, my bliss.
I started photography with a plastic brownie camera when I was 8 years old.
Not wanting to waste film, I started looking at everything more closely before I shot.
I began noticing more and more detail which deeply fascinated me. I soon began
drawing, thrilled by the challenge of trying to achieve as much detail and realism as
possible. At age 11, I won my first Jr. Artist Contest.
Over the years I have received awards for my fine art, as well as murals. I established a mural business, Larger Than Life Murals in 2007 with my daughter Echo Westover, and have painted nearly 100 murals in California. In 2015, we were invited to submit a design for an international call to artists, and were awarded the contract to paint a 16’ x 20’ mural, titled Welcome Home Warriors, honoring our veterans of the Vietnam war, commissioned by the Manteca Mural Society, Manteca, CA.
Throughout my life, I've studied and experimented with various mediums and painted on many surfaces including stucco, concrete, block, wood, metal, canvas, clothing, drums, glass, sculptures, and more. Subject matter has ranged from portraiture to desert landscapes featuring Joshua Trees which is very popular with locals and tourists. Always striving to improve, I’ve attended various classes, and workshops with successful artists, including Trompe l’oeil Mastery I & II with internationally recognized, master artist William Cochran.
Community involvement and support is also near and dear to my heart. I am an advocate of art as an economic engine, public art, and art in schools. As a founding board member of the Morongo Basin Cultural Arts Council, I helped form the organization and create the first Open Studio Art Tours (now called HWY 62 Open Studio Art Tours).
I’ve mentored and taught classes to children, teens, and adults, and donated my time and skills to many schools, and non-profit organizations including the Boys and Girls Club. I also created and facilitate Paint Nights, for the enjoyment of friends and family, and as non-profit organization fundraisers.
As a long-time resident of the Morongo Basin, I’ve spent countless hours hiking in our desert for my own enjoyment, and to study and photograph the landscape as art reference. It was on one of my hikes in the Joshua Tree National Park that the thought of sculpting a 3D Joshua Tree first occurred to me. I remember standing motionless, staring at a Joshua Tree with my mind racing, wondering if it was possible, what technique and material I could use, and again, is it really possible!?
It took quite sometime before I found the perfect modeling compound, but I sculpted my first stand alone Joshua Trees in early 2019, and several wall sculptures all of which sold during the Open Studio Art Tours that year. With the creation of my newest 26 piece collection, the name Joshua Tree Forever Sculptures came into fruition because I want visitors to our area and the JTNP to be able to take home a lasting physical reminder of their experience here.
I used to have this voice in my head saying, "To be successful, you must focus on just one thing." Just the thought of that made me very unhappy. Now I listen to my heart, which says, "Just be you, and do what you love." That makes me very happy <3
Artist- Linda Shrader