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Plum Island, MA
United States



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Unfinished Art

Sandra Turner

We all have them hidden away. The pieces of art that we once were so excited about, but never quite finished. Maybe life got in the way at that moment, or maybe we hit a creative block and did not know quite what to do to finish it up.

I had one such piece that I recently discovered when cleaning and reorganizing my studio. I remembered it's creation well. I was at a Springmaid Watercolor Workshop at Myrtle Beach. I had been working on my "Imagination Series". (Done during a period of time when trying to overcome my workaholic tendencies of my career and reduce my stressful lifestyle, by drawing every night)

I would start out with a contour line drawing of a plant or flower. Once I had a few lines on the page, I would look at them and complete the drawing with whatever my imagination told me to do, without holding back when something seemed to be too unusual. It was a wonderful creative time. I completed over 40 drawings that I then made into watercolors. In turn these drawings were made into my first coloring book, "Imagine" available at

It was during this period that I was at this workshop. Sitting up in my bed one evening, I looked down at the comforter covering the bed and started a contour drawing on a large sheet of watercolor paper.

In the contours of the fabric, I started to see a figure and, well, the rest just went on from there...

The workshop was with Ted Nuttall, who is a wonderful portrait watercolorist. Doing my imagination work after class was a release from the intense work of the day.

 I never quite knew how to complete the face, and put it away on my shelf. A year and a half later, I took out a piece of tracing paper and sketched out a few options. I looked up some images of profiles to use as reference and before you know it, her face emerged.

Feeling quite satisfied with the results, i framed her up and she now hangs in our bathroom.

Just for fun, I have also included the portrait I finished that week. Quite a difference in style, wouldn't you say?...

"Winged Lady Liberty"  14" x 20" ink & watercolor on arches hot press watercolor paper

"Mother and son"  18" x 24" watercolor on arches hot press watercolor paper

Flush with Color

Sandra Turner

PI artist creates camo for candy cane vents   by Janet

Residents of Plum Island are pretty accustomed at this point to the "candy cane" vents in their yards. They popped up like so many dandelions as a state-mandated septic system was installed in 2006. Their unglamorous job is to vent gases from the septic systems.

While most residents understood their purpose, they don't necessarily like the way they look.

Enter artist Sandra Turner, a PI resident for about 30 years. Turner has come up with a whimsical solution for those who find the signature white vents an unsightly - albeit essential - nuisance.

Turner makes brightly colored covers that can be pulled up over the vents.

"I've gotten a lot of good response," says Turner who sells the items for $15 from her Plum Islander Art store on the online marketplace Etsy. She says she also had considerable success at the recent Christmas bazaar at the local PITA Hall. She has even sold some to homeowners in western Massachusetts.

Turner fashions the socks from a jersey fabric that stretches over the vents but doesn't cover the opening. The covers are primarily bright colors and stripes, particularly festive for this time of year. Not everyone wants to draw attention to the vents, however.

"One woman told me she wants to camouflage hers," Turner says. " So I bought some fabric that looks like sticks," to blend into the scenery.

Turner studied art at New England School of Art and previously worked as a graphic designer. She is now working in the health management field."I'm doing this in the side," she says of her candy cane sock craft.

A watercolorist, she also creates coloring books. One, featuring "whimsical characters," just went to press. She is working on one now with line images of Plum Island scenes.

Meanwhile, she continues to market her candy cane covers, which she points out could serve a practical purpose. Last winter many vents were buried in the several feet of snow that fell on the area, and the systems went down. turner points out the brightly colored covers might make those vents less likely to get lost in the even of a big snow.

Mainly though, "It's just something fun," she says." We need a little color down here.

Current Article published in December 2014

Current Article published in December 2014





New Beginnings

Sandra Turner

In September of 2015, I made a decision that would change the direction of my life from that moment on. I was away on a planned painting weekend. It had been quite sometime that I had some quiet, uninterrupted time to contemplate on my life.

I held a high management position for over nine years. I was passionate about my job, one of those 24/7 workaholics.

Over time this all changed. The sudden loss of my brother two years ago shook my being to the core and my whole inner world changed. What was once so important to my existence now seemed meaningless.

I began to question the true meaning of my life, how I was choosing to live it, and the nourishment my soul was being denied by my way of life.

My father passed from this life when I was twenty-five years old.  The last words he spoke to me was,  " Be who you are" There were many times in my life where these words guided me in making life choices. Again, they came back to me.

I allowed the flood of emotions to envelope me, and I was pulled under by the current....once I let go, a quiet calm came over me as my heart and soul made a decision that would save me.

The next week, I handed in my resignation. Still four years away from retirement, this would shock some and change the course of my life.

It has been almost three months now, and the joy now present in my heart and soul, in my everyday life is unimaginable.

In the quiet moments of the early morning sunrise and the solemn moments of the evening, when the sky is filled with stars, I look up to the sky and feel my brother's presence and love as I see his smile and feel his warm hug around me.....