Sandra Turner invites people to color their world

Plum Island artist Sandra Turner creates adult coloring books in her home studio.
Plum Island artist Sandra Turner creates adult coloring books in her home studio. Mark Lorenz for the Boston Globe/Globe Freelance

You might see Sandra Turner sketching at the beach on Plum Island, outside local landmarks or parks, even inside a restaurant or two. Now, you can complete the picture.

Turner has published her ink drawings as coloring books.

A graduate of New England School of Art & Design at Suffolk University in Boston, she had a long career in health care management, while fulfilling her artistic spirit on the side. After retiring in December, Turner opened PlumIslander Art & Design.

“This is what I wanted to do, and it was time to do it,” she said. We talked with Turner, 62, of Newbury.


Q. Getting started?

A. My first coloring book was inspired by a series of ink and watercolor paintings I did in 2013-14. They started out as contour drawings of plants. I was going through a stressful time at work and every night I would draw. I allowed my imagination to run wild and the pictures took on a life of their own. I self published “Imagine” in December 2014.

Q. Then what?

A. As an artist living on Plum Island for more than 30 years, I’ve enjoyed drawing local scenes. I like to sketch on site as much as possible, then finish the line drawings in my home studio. This led to two new coloring books, “Color Plum Island” and “Color Newburyport.”

Q. Production?

A. The illustrations are printed on heavy white cover stock in a 20-page book with a sturdy spiral binding. The book includes an introduction on my process, suggested materials such as colored pencil, watercolor pencils, or watercolors, along with photographs of some of my colored pages.

Q. Audience?

A. A lot of popular adult coloring books are very intricate. I don’t make the spaces too small or too big, and people are happy about that. Younger children can easily color in the large shapes, while adults can experiment in the smaller, more individual shapes. They can also be workbooks for budding artists who want to experiment with color. There is no right or wrong.


Q. Benefits?

A. It’s rhythmic and relaxing. It takes your mind off things.

Q. Bottom line?

A. It’s nice after being in a professional career for so many years, to be doing something that is enjoyable for people.

Wendy Killeen can be reached at wdkilleen@gmail.com.