Michael Westmoreland is a retired physician in his early sixties. He has resided in Amarillo, Texas for more than thirty years with his wife, Loralu.
Shortly after retirement from medicine, he opened a small studio and began working with wood and epoxy materials primarily producing semi-abstract sculptures. Since that time, he has also begun a series of more classical, realistic busts and figures with a special interest in some of his favorite Shakespearian characters.
Despite having no formal training in sculptural techniques, Dr. Westmoreland has been a fast learner in the use of materials, mold making, casting etc. His work has been accepted by the Allan Houser foundry in New Mexico for bronze casting. Currently he is pursuing work in three distinct genres, including the busts and figures, wooden sculpture of semi-abstract form, and mixed media work based on variations of the "Winter Solstice" and other theme. He has recently received his first commission with the City of Amarillo for a large park piece entitled "Canyon Harmony".
Dr. Westmoreland chose the scarab beetle to be the namesake of his studio for two reasons.
First, the scarab is revered by the Egyptians and other cultures for its industriousness. Among some of the mythos are stories that the world itself arose from the ball patiently created by a scarab beetle.
Secondly and more personally, the name 'Scarab' was the online name chosen by Dr. Westmoreland during his early medical school training. At that time the 'internet' was not in the form known now, but the school in Oklahoma City had access to (for the times) cutting edge vector graphic computers linking to the PLATO mainframe in Champaigne, Illinois. Because of the nature of the writing program, it was possible to overlay keyboard strokes to produce unique symbols. By overlaying five strokes one could produce a small scarab-like beetle, and thus the name was selected. Dr. Westmoreland continues to use the name 'Scarab' online some thirtyfive years later.