Answering the artist within you

Beads by Laura Turner

I have taught enough students who waited until retirement to take up painting that I always joke that when I retire, I’m taking up accounting. In fact, I have several accountant friends who do some kind of art on the side—a forensic accountant who draws, a CPA who writes comics, and a small-business accountant who makes beaded jewelry.

The last, Laura Turner, recently bought a small kiln to make fused-glass beads of her own design. What makes someone suddenly feel the urge to make jewelry? “I needed something besides reading to entertain myself while I recovered from major abdominal surgery,” she told me. “With a rectangular plastic cake carrying box, I could sit in bed to do it and lose very few beads in the covers.”
Well, there are lots of things one can do in bed that don’t involve small objects. And how do you go from stringing someone else’s beads to making your own?
Bead by Laura Turner
“Making a piece of jewelry from scratch, not using pre-manufactured focals and findings, is much more satisfying, she said. “It’s also much more time-consuming. So it’s an adventure again, whereas beading alone had begun to be something of a chore.”
As all artists know, new disciplines mean new costs. “There’s always another tool needed.” Considering it’s just baked sand, glass is remarkably expensive, she says. “Because I live out in the sticks, most of my purchases are online, so I incur shipping costs as well. As much as I love buying on the internet, the truth is that sometimes what you get is not what you thought you were getting.”
Of course she’s eyeing a bigger kiln now. She’s an artist.
I asked her what she gets out of the process. “A sense of achievement, a sense of completion. A sense of embracing the colors I’m working with, and the feeling that whatever I make somehow expresses something inside me,” she answered.

Join me in October, 2013 at Lakewatch Manor—which is selling out fast—or let me know if you’re interested in painting with me in 2014. Click here for more information on my Maine workshops!
Carol Douglas

About Carol Douglas

Carol L. Douglas is a painter who lives, works and teaches in Rockport, ME. Her annual workshop will again be held on the Schoodic Peninsula in beautiful Acadia National Park, from August 6-11, 2017. Visit for more information.