My Art Book Shelf

I’ve compiled a list of my art books. Many I’ve used as reference in my posts here, some I will in the future, and others still yet to be perused. Maybe these will be of use in your own art life.

This post contains affiliate links. But I got most of mine from used book stores, so check the shelves of your local stores and you might find something interesting.

Book cover of Alfred Stiegitz Camera Work
Alfred Stiegitz Camera Work

Pam Roberts, 1997

“For 50 issues, Stieglitz carefully gathered, composed, edited, and produced Camera Work, a journal dedicated to a medium more technically established than artistically recognized.”Continue reading “My Art Book Shelf”

Your World and the Art you Make of it

“I don’t ever want to tell you that there’s one set way to do anything, because if it works for you, that’s the rule.” – Bob Ross

Art is a means of expression. A language. A way of telling a story. Of telling your story.

Continue reading “Your World and the Art you Make of it”

Creating Art without a Mind’s Eye

When I was 7 I wanted to grow up to be an artist. I quickly decided that wasn’t possible because I couldn’t draw. I sure could draw the rat on the cover of Ralph S. Mouse (this one), and I drew Ralph over and over, but to think of something and just draw it, that wasn’t something my mind could do. So my 7 year old self saw Art as a profession that would never be reachable.

In a college painting class we were painting a live model. She had a bit of extra skin under her chin, and my professor came over and ‘fixed’ where I had painted it, noting that in professional portraiture we should make the client look as polished as possible. I don’t know that I agree with that mentality, but even if I did, I wouldn’t have ever been able to fathom what the model would have looked like devoid of that bit of skin. I could paint what was before me quite skillfully, but to consider a differentiation from what was before me wasn’t possible.

Sometimes I burn images of forest creatures into wood. I begin with a light trace of the animal from a printed photo, noting where the shadows should be. They come out well, but I often feel like I’m cheating in the process.

Continue reading “Creating Art without a Mind’s Eye”

Shop my Survival Series and More!

As some of you know I’ve had art in a show at D. Thomas Fine Miniatures.

My 5 part series of HO scale and board game war miniatures was a part of the BadAss miniatures show, and it was such an honor, as the quality of miniature work in that show was spectacular.

From the D. Thomas website:

Tiny art without boundaries.

Defiant, quirky, and slightly uncomfortable.

Welcome to the disobedient dollhouse.

BadAss Miniatures presents emerging perspectives in the miniature arts; an exhibition of original works in miniature form contributed by over 30 artists from across the United States and abroad. Featured works represent a novel movement that challenges the status quo in the miniature art form through the presentation of unconventional ideas and concepts and the quirky, outlandish, surprising use of miniatures. “BadAss” aims to push the envelope on the traditional (rethink the dollhouse!) with an edgy and bold attitude showcasing jaw-dropping, surprising—maybe even shocking—miniature badassery to hit the 21st century.

See more of the featured work here.

I tell you all this today, because some of that art, including mine, is available for sale!

If you need some more minis, or mini art in your life, be sure to check out their store – just click the screenshot above, or find my piece directly here!

An Update & Reflection 2017

Hi everyone,

This update has been on the back burner for some time, but I need to get a few quick notes out into the interweb particles.

2017 has been a year of artistic reflection for me.

First, and most noticeably I imagine, I changed the name of which I go by artistically. Originally, since I started posting my art online around 2012 or so, I went by my full first, middle and last name. This was done in that my name is severely common. Google ‘Jennifer Wells’ and you’ll find painters, authors, professors, actors, etc. etc. The only thing I felt that set my name apart was the ‘h’ in my middle name ‘Nichole.’ So the full 3 names became my artist name. And, while I’m just fine with my name in my day to day life, I didn’t feel like it suited my art or my artistic vision. I started considering ‘Tourmaline’ as a replacement a couple of years ago. ‘Semi precious, in a wide variety of colors.’ I liked the sound. It was a gem in a huge range of colors, yet only semi precious, not elitist maybe? That, and honestly it sounds like it could be a name, even with nickname possibilities.

While I’ve focused heavily on fog the last year or 2, my work as of late has been more bright and in your face. A trend I see myself continuing to explore. This again seemed to support the colorful aspect of the new name. Then, no matter how artistically gibberish this sounds I added the space and the period at the end of ‘Tourmaline’ i.e. ‘Tourmaline .’ This is a further distinction from the gem, and other companies and profiles with this name. It’s also a pause on the finality. I am Tourmaline . for now, ever evolving.

It was just last year that I discovered a huge community of toy photographers on instagram. Through that I was able to become a part of Exclu Collective and Toy Photographers – 2 publications that I’ve very much enjoyed working with. I also began participating in the daily hashtag competitions hosted by various instagram accounts in the community. It opened my eyes and showed me that in my art I could be a part of something. But, at the same time, as far as instagram is concerned, it made me feel more secluded than ever. Sure I’m creating 2D photographs out of 3D miniature scenes, but I’m not really part of a fandom. My images may occasionally represent nostalgia, but not for shows or movies from my childhood, more the feeling as a whole. Those in the toy photography community on instagram are creating beautiful things, but I sometimes have trouble calling myself a toy photographer, because I don’t quite relate to their ideas for why they make what they do.

With that, and various life events, I’ve pulled back from social media a bit. I’m sure those of you here have noticed with how active I’ve been with the blog challenges and such. For the most part I schedule daily posts, but I’ll be completely honest, that they don’t hold as much of me within them as the blog has for quite some time.

I suppose you could call it burn out, what with posting to instagram, google +, and wordpress daily, posting to Toy Photographers weekly, and still trying to maintain the creation of loads of new photos (that I’m happy with), my day job, etc.

I’ve had my qualms with the elite mentality of much of the fine art side of the world too, and have been submitting to less and less open calls. And am instead considering how to make my mark independently or upon careful selection of publications and galleries. I haven’t come to a conclusion on any of that yet.

All that to say, I’ve shifted my focus a bit. I’ve always been a very hands on creator, and my focus and passion remains in miniature diorama photography. I can’t say that my overall social media presence will increase anytime soon, but instead I have recently begun posting to youtube. I’m not used to filming the process of creating, but I’m learning and am pretty happy with what I’ve posted so far. The videos are allowing me an opportunity to try out and comment on cute, fun DIYs that I’ve been lusting after for quite some time. Hands on, messy and in the moment, I hope these videos will get your creative juices flowing and allow you to get to know me more personally over time. At the end of each video is a few miniature photos I made from the contents of the video. In that way I can still show off my main passion, and encourage myself to get creative in mini set ups.

Follow along if you’d like and comment what you’d like to see. It’s really just getting started, so go easy on me :P If videos aren’t your thing, no worries. I’m still here with WW, OWPC, CYW and daily photos. Or, check me out on instagram.

Thanks for your continued support in my artistic ventures, no matter how crappy of a blog follower I’ve been in return.

<3 Tourmaline .

Around the Web

So some exciting things have been happening lately in regards to my images elsewhere on the web.

First up. I occasionally participate in Ted Forbe’s photo assignments (you should too). And to my delight, one of my photos was chosen to be featured for Photo Assignment #12. Find me at 2:03.

The image featured in this video is from a book cover I designed for my dad’s book Working Would be Great if it Weren’t for Managershere, find it .

Next, check out Anto Nova’s 1st 2 online shows – Grand Opening, and Black & White. Their next gallery – Geometric will be on view starting November 1 and you can submit now to the themes Nature and Sculpture.

And finally, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my interview on OmArtist.


Rethinking, restructuring…

I’ve been in a transitional period with my art. Truly figuring out what I want to create and why and how I want to be perceived as an artist. Because of this you will have seen differences in the look of my site and blog and how active I’ve been on social media, commenting, etc. This is still in flux and will continue to change, but because of it I hope to be able to share some even better art and stories with you. In the mean time, I thank you for your patience.

-Tourmaline aka JNW aka Jennifer Nichole Wells

Around the Web – AntoNova

Hi everyone,

It’s been awhile since I’ve done one of these! If you’d like to follow along with my art interactions outside of this space, here’s where to do so.

Most recently, I’ve become the first ever featured artist for the new online AntoNova Gallery! Click through here to see the rest of the gallery – It will be on view through October. And go here to submit to their Grand Opening show. There’s only a few days left to enter.

Back in May, Exclu hosted Star Wars week and graciously featured some of my images on their blog. You can see the post here: Exclu has also begun to offer their magazines in print form! I’m in issue 3, hint hint. They really are a great publication, jam packed with tons of toy photography from talented creators. Check it out here –

I write weekly, on Thursdays for the Toy Photographers blog. Since I last checked in with you, the following have all been published there. Read them here:

  • My One Photo that Changed it All
  • A Reflection
  • A Foggy Path
  • Leaving a Photo Be
  • On Times of Creative Discouragement
  • 6 Ways to Fix your Photo Funk
  • Kenopsia
  • Focusing on Toes
  • New Beginnings
  • The $5 Photograph
  • Making Toys for Toy Photography
  • Learning to Travel with Toys
  • Am I Creating Art?

Thanks for taking a look around.