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A Wakefield mixed media artist is living life on her own terms

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“How I came to live here is an interesting story, at least to me,” begins Linda Willis of the townhouse that she’s called home for two years. “I believe I manifested this place. I knew where I wanted to live and was not willing to settle for anything less.” Linda recounts how she spotted the condo, located in the Sweet Allen Farm neighborhood, her very first time on Craigslist. “I had never been on that website for anything!” she says, but spotted the property and was compelled to respond instantly. She called a real estate agent for a “look-see,” and then “hounded the owners” until they rented it to her. “A testament to the power of the mind,” says Linda.

A mixed media artist and quilter, Linda likes to work with scraps of fabrics, stitching over assemblages using a technique she refers to as freestyle patchwork, a term that easily applies to her home decor as well. Her townhouse is both home and studio, and is filled with an eclectic mix that makes her smile, all kept within reach. “I like to have things that make my eyes happy to look at wherever I sit,” she says. “I also like to have baskets of hand sewing projects wherever I sit – while I watch TV or have girlfriends over to chat.”

Linda calls her style eclectic bohemian hippie. “What I like is that it’s all me. I don’t need to take anyone else’s taste into consideration. I don’t have any set rules I follow.” A self-described Army Brat, Linda has lived in many places around the United States and in Japan and France, and cites everything from her travels to found objects, even sights, sounds, and colors, as influences and inspiration. “I have collections of shells, beach rocks, and driftwood around the house. I also use them in my mixed media pieces.”

“I couldn’t have dreamed up a better place to live,” says Linda, who says it’s all about location, location, location. “We have a bucolic college/country town, a beach community. We have students and tourists. We have theater and arts. We’re a hop, skip, and a jump from Boston and New York. I love living in Rhode Island in general and South County in particular. I am a happily retired woman who is fortunate enough to be able to make art and be creative on a daily basis in my own space.”