Saturday, December 26, 2009

2010 - Live the Glamourous Life

Everyone deserves to have a day of luxury and glamour ... we can help! Starting in mid-January, we will be offering a special experience with Midnight Blue/Dougan Photography, Bella Donna Salon, Country Crossroads and A Brown Bag Gourmet. Your fabulous day will start at Bella Donna Salon, getting your hair and makeup professionally done. You'll then join us in the portrait studio, where you'll be the star of the next great masterpiece. It will be fun, it will be relaxing, you'll feel amazing, and you'll have a gorgeous, unique piece of art to be treasured for years to come. You're next stop will be Country Crossroads, where you'll work with their amazing staff to pick out the perfect frame for your 8x10. And before you know it, your gorgeous photo will be ready to be picked up in a wonderful basket, full of goodies put together especially for you from A Brown Bag Gourmet. Call or email us for details!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Holiday Wishes ...

To all our friends and clients, we are wishing you and yours a very happy and blessed holiday and 2010! We are looking forward to a new year full of new images, designs and adventures!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Midnight Blue is going on vacation ... we will be out of the studio from December 24th through January 6th. If you need anything, just drop us an email or leave us a voice mail. We'll get back to you first thing when we get back in the new year. Happy holidays, everyone!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Not Enough Hours in a Day

So many projects, so little time ... but ah, its beautiful ....

Friday, December 11, 2009

We Love Our Locals!

Do you live at the Lake? Come on by the Art Market on Saturday, December 12th and many of the artists will be offering special deals just for our local residents. We love you all!! Don't be shy, just ask! We'll be at the Palisades Village Shopping Center (54 & KK) from 11 am to 4 pm.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

More Necklaces Available

Here are the photographs of some more of the necklaces we are offering ...

Christmas Tree Necklace
Tree pendant with multi-colored crystals on an 18" snake chain. SOLD! :0)

Snowflake Necklace
A sterling silver snowflake on a heavy 18 inch snake chain. SOLD! :0)

Star of Bethlehem Necklace
A sterling silver star pendant on a heavy 18 inch snake chain. $30 plus $5 shipping. Email us if you are interested.

I LOVE YOU Necklace
When you blow on the pendant, it spins and spells out "I LOVE YOU". Really fun! Sterling silver on an 18 inch snake chain. This is currently available for purchase at the Arts Barn in Gaithersburg, MD, if you are interested.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Latest Photo Session

We had a terrific photo session with a wonderful, gorgeous family of eighteen yesterday ... four generations all gathering to enjoy the holiday season together. Isn't that awesome? The oldest was 92 and the youngest was just a couple of days old. While we hoped for good weather to be outside, alas the cold temps kept us in and made for a few technical challenges, especially with regards to trying to use just natural light. We ended up approaching the session more in a photo journalistic style, looking to capture the event of their gathering more informally. The resulting photos are turning out to be gentle, sweet, gracious and casual ... just like this family. We've chosen to process the set in soft, sepia toned images ... while they are classic in feel, the compositions are not formal or traditional at all. We are hoping they will love them! We'll share once the family has the first peek and gives us the okay ...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Shop Local

Hope you'll be supporting your favorite local businesses this holiday season (and every season)!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Soft Boxes

We get asked a lot about using soft boxes ... why and when. A soft box is used when you want to have diffused light ... light that is even and softly transitions. It's the best way to recreate the look of daylight coming through a window within the studio environment. I pull out my soft boxes quite a bit when I am in my studio ... for portraits and object photography. I tend to use them less on location, as they can be pretty unwieldy. Since I am a natural light shooter, I like the quality of light the provide. My umbrellas can be a bit harder than I like in some situations. When you acquire your first set of studio strobes (or "hot" lights), that will be when you'll want to invest in at least one good soft box. Make sure it is rated to handle the heat for your wattage of lamps, is sturdy, and the setup/breakdown/storage is as simple as possible. They are not all made the same, invest in the best quality you can afford. I've been using mine for almost a decade and they are still going strong.

Art Market Update

Thank you, again, to all who came by today ... we enjoyed getting to meet everyone!

No Art Market next Saturday (Dec. 5th), but the final one of the year will be on December 12th. There is some great art available even on non-Market days ... if you are in the area, please pop on by the shopping center to see some examples in the window. If you like anything, go to Suite 9, Monday thru Friday, 9 am to 5 pm, we will be happy to help.

We have wine-themed decorated Christmas trees, novels from local author, Robert Anderson, local photography, Swedish embroidery, scroll saw woodworking (including ornaments), and jewelry.

Art Market will be going on hiatus after December 12th. We are talking about reconvening the Saturday before Mother's Day in 2010, if a space remains available and there is enough interest. Let us know what you think!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Art Market Continues

Hope everyone had a joyous Thanksgiving and its continuing into the weekend! We thank everyone who came by to see us today and the Art Market continues tomorrow ... 9 am to 4 pm at Palisades Village Shopping Center. Hwys 54 & KK ... come on by for some great gifts.

There will be no Art Market next Saturday, December 5th due to other artist commitments, but our last one of the year will be December 12th. We've been chatting about doing something special for our local supporters ...

Website Changeover

There may be some intermittent outages to our website and email as we changeover to our new site and hosting. Hang in there with us ... the new look is going to be awesome! We'll still be available at during the change, it will only impact Thanks for your patience!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thank You!!

In this week of Thanksgiving, we wanted to express our utmost gratitude to the clients and friends of Midnight Blue. Taking this creative journey with you all is amazing and we wake to each new day, thrilled with the opportunities it may bring to be of service to you. Thank you so much!!

May your holiday be filled with love and joy ...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Need Jewelry?

Okay, maybe no one really needs jewelry ... Want Jewelry? Dream about beautiful things? Talk to us! We love doing commissions. We get really excited to help with that unique, special gift or making your vision for a piece come to life. And it is not that expensive ... earrings start at $12.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Art Market

Thank you to everyone who has been attending the Art Market!

Our next market is this Friday & Saturday ... 11 am to 4 pm. We will be in Suite 13 at the Palisades Village Shopping Center (between Little Shop of Hers and Country Crossroads), located at KK & 54 in Osage Beach. A full house of artists and artisans is lining up ... there will be woodworking, jewelry, photography, paintings, holiday trees, embroidery ... great gifts for the holidays and you will be supporting the arts in our community ... come by to see us! The coffee pot will be going ...

Artists interested in showing and selling your work, please let me know ... I will give you the details.

The Art Markets will be on hiatus for after December 12th. We are hoping to reconvene in 2010.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Bottle #5 for Charity

Print #1 of "Bottle #5", from a limited edition of 5, will be auctioned at "A Taste of the Vine" this Saturday. It is an 8"x10" black and white print, archive matted in white to 16"x20" and framed in a thick, black wood frame under glass. A certificate of authenticity accompanies it, along with the actual bottle of bubbly from the photograph. This photograph was done as a special project, just for this event!

A Taste of the Vine is lots of fun and benefits the Shriners this year ... hope you'll be able to attend and please bid on the piece!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Photoshop Plug-Ins

What would be the one Photoshop Plug-In I would not want to do without? Tough one ... I am a plug-in junkie. Love them!! Get sucked in by the newest, coolest ones. But if I had to choose just one, it would be Nik Sharpener Pro. I have been using Nik Sharpener for years and pretty much every one of my photos runs through this plug-in, just to be sure its the crispest it can be. I have the whole Nik suite and their software is some of my favorites, but there is lots of cool stuff out there ... OnOne, AutoFx, Flaming Pear, Imagenomic, Topaz ... they all offer things a photographer can use. Plug-ins are a great way to make Photoshop even more powerful for you and help your images to perhaps sing in new ways. But as a junkie, I give this warning, be careful not to overuse them ... its easy to get carried away, piling on effects. There is a balance point, just like with any art, a place where you need to stop before you ruin it ... use them to make a great image even better, you'll know when its right, that "aha" moment. Then 'Stop'! Don't just use it because its new or cool, if it doesn't step up the artistic quality of your image. Drives me crazy to see inappropriate filters applied to an image. Hang in there, the right image will come along to use that filter.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Another Waterscape

Not sure why, but I have been absolutely fascinated by reflections the last couple of years. I see them everywhere ... here is the latest addition.

I loved this because of the reflection of the trees on the surface, but you could still see all of the leaves and debris under the water's surface, too. I think there is stillness and depth to the photo that I like to try to achieve in my personal work.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Square Business Cards

A lot of people love our new business cards ... they are cool, square and eco-friendly! If you are looking to do something fun like us and do it in a way gentle to the earth, contact us ... we can help! (the logo at the top of our blog, that is actually the front of our business card)

Winter Glow 2009

The Art League of Germantown presents its Annual Fall Fine Arts and Crafts Show.

"WinterGlow 2009"

at the BlackRock Center for the Arts
12901 Town Commons Drive
Germantown, Maryland

Open 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, November 6-7, 2009
Open 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 8, 2009

Artist's Reception 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 8th

Admission is free.

Midnight Blue won't be able to be there this year :0( , but DC residents ... its a great show, with incredible variety of work ... be sure to check it out!

PPA Print Competition

PPA members, we are looking for advice on the print competitions, as we have never done one. If you can help, we would be very grateful!

Friday, October 23, 2009


Hang in there with us, Etsy fans ... the store is a little bare, we know. But we will start reloading it with lots of good stuff soon. There will be a bunch of new photographs, some photo jewelry, and maybe even a few little surprises. In the meantime, if you like a piece that is there, let us know you are coming from the blog, we will give you an extra, good deal ...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

March of Dimes Silent Auction Piece

This is the piece that will be offered at the March of Dimes Signature Chef Auction on November 11th at Lodge of the Four Seasons. It will be in the silent auction.

It is an 16"x24" metallic photographic print, matted in a double mat with the main mat in white and the narrow reveal mat in black. The frame is wide black matte metal and is 23.5"x31.5". The image is under glass, not plexi.

The image was created in November 2006 in Yellowstone National Park, in Montana. It is of blown snow on a parking lot pull off ... it was so cold and windy that day, but there was this little piece of nature's magic beauty. The print is really interesting ... full of silver and gold flecks. This piece gets a lot of attention at shows because it is so 3-D ... at first glance, it can appear to be sand. Midnight Blue does not appear in the actual print.

Please come bid on it for a great cause!!

Autumn Photos

Jaree is hoping to get back out on Sunday to get some more autumn fine art photos. Hopefully the rain will not take down all the leaves ... the color in the Ozarks has popped some this week. Not full glory color this year, a lot of brown, but there are some spectacular individual trees about. Just need a nice, sunny day to get those trees against the blue sky.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Dawn at Bennett Springs I

Dawn at Bennett Springs I
Originally uploaded by 12amblue

Been posting some autumn photos at Flickr ... check it out if you have a moment!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


We use Alien Bees in the studio for our strobes. Jaree's niece, Bethany (who is an extraordinary portraitist, by the way - Bethany Baird Photography) introduced us to them almost ten years ago and they have been going strong in our studio since then. We have four of them, along with a a collection of light defining tools, and they have never failed to deliver. We even take them on location and they are great.

Lately, though, Jaree has been craving using a constant light source when in studio, instead of flash ... but the traditional studio "hot" lights are not the answer ... we have been watching the development of the new LED studio lights - when they get to a reasonable cost, awesome!! There are also some compact florescent light sets out there ... we may try one and see how we like it.

Our advice, photography is all about light, so just like a painter would choose their brushes, take your time and choose your lighting tools with thought and care ...

Saturday, October 3, 2009

What Printer Do You Use?

It's funny, we get this question a lot. Our photo printer is an Epson Stylus Pro 4880. It's HUGE compared to our last printer and has to be connected directly to the computer, but its worth it. Beautiful prints. Especially, as we favor printing matte and not glossy in studio. We use the Epson inks and tend to use Epson papers, but not exclusively. It depends on the project.

To be printing at this level, we have learned quite a lot ... especially to be sure we have the latest paper profiles, they are very important and we have had to study color management more thoroughly to ensure WYSIWYG.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Musicians Looking for an Artistic Partner

Hey Musicians! ... we LOVE working with you all. We can take your photos, process them so they are unbelievably cool & distinct, and create your layouts for CDs, posters, or other promotional materials, ready to send to the printing company. Drop us a line, we'll be happy to show you some of our work ...

PS - If you don't have this album yet, I highly recommend it. Still listening years later ...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Need Processing Help?

Photographers, are you frustrated working with Photoshop or Lightroom? Do you just want to be out there taking photos (or having some fun with family & friends), not stuck in front of the computer? You don't have to be disheartened or time-crunched ... we are wild about processing images, we think Photoshop is the coolest thing ever, we have been working with it almost daily for a decade, and we want to help you process your images! We will work with your image files to get them to where you want them to be, ready for the lab and/or digital display ... from simple, basic corrections to elaborate effects and layouts. And then you can be out doing what you love.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

What Photo Processing Software Do You Use?

Jaree uses Photoshop CS4 to process her photography. She has been working with Photoshop for almost a decade now and its become an integral part of her digital workflow.

It takes time to learn, but its so powerful, its worth every effort. If you want to use Photoshop, she recommends taking an introductory class or finding a mentor to help you get started.

Friday, September 18, 2009

How to Get Ready to Have Your Artwork Photographed

We have seen bunches or articles about how to photograph artwork ... it takes, patience, practice, the right equipment, and know how to do it very well. We've been at it for close to a decade now and had to learn mostly through trial and error, but now have a methodology that works nicely. And still we learn, there are always challenges.

Artists out there, yes, you can photograph your own artwork ... but if you really need it right on, don't forget that there are professionals like us that are ready to help you. Spend your time wisely.

So ... what do you as an artist need to know about bringing in your artwork for professional photography? There are things that you can do to help us do the best job possible for you.

First of all for all artists, please plan to bring your artwork to our photography studio (unless it is too big to travel easily). We can provide the very best setup in our space and that means the best results for you! We will take care of your precious artwork, that is part of what we are expected to do and it takes time and care to get the perfect photos. If you don't have a vehicle to carry it, ask about pick up and delivery.

2-Dimensional Artists:

We know how it exciting it is to finish a piece ... you want to get it ready to show. But if you think you want a professional photograph ... stop right when it is done and get it to us. Please don't varnish oils until after they are photographed. Please don't frame anything, and especially don't put your artwork under glass. Those of us that do this often know how to treat your work gently and with care, even when it is vulnerable and unprotected. If you want to mount it, that is fine, but leave the top mats off. Put your flat work in portfolios, wrap canvases gently in cloth or plastic for the trip to and from the studio.

Photos have a lot of detail, but they will not be at the same level as a flatbed scan (which is most often used for giclees) because the lens has distance from the artwork. If you are wanting to do fine art prints to sell, we have had great results from photos going down in size from the original, but always recommend going to a giclee print house if you want the same or larger sized than the original.

3-Dimensional Artists

It gets trickier to provide advice here because each media is so different ... please be sure to ask your photographer what you can do to help get the best photos. Think about what type of setting you would like ... do you want a light or dark background or should the piece dictate? Will we need stands or other props? We really appreciate when all artwork comes to us clean and well protected. It helps if fibers are unwrinkled from folding and we have instruction on how to safely smooth the type of fiber. Metals and woods should be polished, if needed. For glass, ceramics, and pottery, you may want to mark the best side with a piece of tape. Whatever you can do to help get it ready for its very best presentation will go a long way.

We like to send proof sets to artists before we bring back the artwork, just to be sure that they are happy with the results. Don't be afraid to say something, if you feel it needs to be adjusted. It's amazing, we all have a different way of looking at the same piece of art ... but this is for your portfolio, so it should match your sense of the piece.

When you are happy with the results, you should get your pieces back along with the images on CD. We always provide two sets ... one set of full size .tif files and one set of web size .jpgs. This will allow you to make good prints or use them on a website or in emails without file manipulations.

Not all photographers do this type of work or can do it well ... ask around amongst your artist friends or at art groups or at galleries for whom they would recommend. Be wary of using anyone without experience ... it sounds easy and they may offer a low price, but trust us, it can be more challenging than you think and you want great results when you are paying for it.

PS - To our fellow photographers, if you are inexperienced, please be sure get help from someone who is ... this can be more challenging to do than you would guess. Work for an artist friend at first, who will be understanding as you get the process down ... we thought lunch out was great payment for our first artist portfolio assignment ;0).

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Lake Arts Photo Club

If you are a photographer of any level or style at the Lake, come join us! Click here for more info ...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Got Project?

Calendar is getting busy, but we would be happy to talk with you about any autumn or holiday projects you might have ... photography or design or custom jewlery ... just drop us a line or give us a call!

Graduate School

Jaree was accepted into graduate school and will be beginning that journey on October 5th. It is something she has wanted to do for a long while. First it will be an MBA and then on to an MA/MFA. Life is a learning process and you are never too old to go back to school!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Trash the Dress

We have been working through some of the photos from our Trash the Dress session with Meghan ... you can see them at Flickr.

Mobile Blogging

It's a mobile world, we can now blog on the road!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Book with Us On-Line

We are happy to offer the option of booking your initial consultation with us on-line ... this is how to start the process of a great collaboration!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Looking for a Place to Teach at the Lake

Jaree is looking for a place to teach workshops at the Lake of the Ozarks ... if you have any ideas, please don't hesitate to share.

Autumn/Early Winter Workshops

For all you workshop lovers, Jaree has scheduled thus far two workshops for the autumn/early winter months ... October 10th she will be teaching "Intro to Digital Photographic Composition – Kentlands Landscapes". It's a quick, fun two-hour workshop for those just getting into digital photography. And she will be teaching two workshops on December 29th ... one for kids and one for adults in acrylic painting - "Holiday Break: Paint in Acrylics". Again, another quick, fun workshop to get you painting.

You may find more info at the City of Gaithersburg Website or on the Midnight Blue Facebook Fan Page. Hope to see some of you there!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

One More Day

Thank you to everyone who came by to see the Midnight Blue booth at the Art & Ambiance Fair today! We loved seeing you there! There is still one more day to the fair ... we will be there Sunday from 11 am to 4 pm.

Just a little plea ... please support our local arts community by making a purchase from one of the artists, even just a little something ... it's how we can keep bringing the art you love to you! Thank you!!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Art & Ambiance Fair

Midnight Blue will be at Stone Crest Mall at Lake of the Ozarks for the Art & Ambiance Fair this weekend. Come on out to see us ... we will have some of our new work available!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Audubon Magazine

There are some gorgeous photos of flowers in this month's edition of Audubon Magazine
We saw a feature about the photographer on CBS Sunday Morning, it was very interesting, and I was excited to see some of his work in print ... thought I would share!

Friday, July 10, 2009

New Piece!

This photo was taken last autumn on the bluffs at Ha Ha Tonka State Park as evening descended. A lot of fun was had in the processing over many months and hours ... there was such a lovely play of light on the trees.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Inspired By The Masters Kids Summer Art Workshop

We are super excited about this workshop ... it was a very hard choice, there are so many great artists and fun things to do! But we have decided the artists we will be studying for the week are Alexander Calder, Georgia O'Keefe, Paul Klee, Michelangelo, and Joseph Cornell. Cool projects are being planned, come join us!

For more info, check out our event on Facebook or to register, visit the City of Gaithersburg website.

Paper Beyond Drawing Kid's Summer Art Workshop

The list of tentative projects has been set for "Paper Beyond Drawing"! We are going to make smocks the first day, so bring an old button-down shirt. We will also be making name tags, a portfolio to keep projects in, a creative journal, tissue/ripped paper art, papier mache, art prints, pinwheels, mixed-media collage, origami, kirigami, pop-ups, engineer snowflakes and garlands, create quilled art and make our own paper. Its going to be a fun, busy week exploring a lot different areas working artistically with paper.

For more info ... check out the event listing at Facebook or to register, please go to the City of Gaithersburg's website. Hope to your favorite young artist there!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Juried Member - The Best of Missouri Hands

Exciting news around the studio ... Jaree was accepted as a juried member of The Best of Missouri Hands/Missouri Artisan Association this past week for her photography! This opens up a lot of opportunities for her to show her work in some more exclusive venues.

Independence Day Art Show & Sale

If you are in the Lake of the Ozarks area this weekend, there will be an Independence Day Art Show & Sale on Friday, July 3rd and Saturday, July 4th from 11 am to 4 pm both days. There will be six local artists present showing their beautiful creations. The show is located in Suite 13 of the Palisades Village Shopping Center at Hwys 54 & KK. Come by and see us if you can!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Wearable Art and Fibers Summer Workshop

The Wearable Arts and Fibers Summer Workshop starts next week! It's hard to believe its summer already. Jaree has some fun projects planned for the young artists attending ... original art T-shirts, one-of-a kind flip flops, friendship bracelets, weaving, intricate string art, dyeing silk scarves, silk painting, and patriotic beaded jewelry. There are still a few places left, so be sure to sign up by Friday ... hope to see you next week!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Relay for Life

Jaree is looking forward to walking in the Relay for Life on Friday night. She'll try to get some photos. Click here for more info ...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

New Logo, New Dedication

We are changing our look ... check out the new logo.

The change in look is going along with an increased dedication to providing our clients with extraordinary services and experiences when they choose to collaborate with us. Our goal is for everyone we work with to enjoy the creative process as much as the end product and come away having had an amazing experience to go with the gorgeous artwork, making it all the more meaningful.

We are also increasing our commitment to our environment, looking for ways to make our operations and products as eco-friendly as possible.

We hope you like the direction we are headed, we are pretty excited about it ...

Saturday, May 9, 2009


Jaree has decided to bring the beaded jewelry part of the business to a close. It has been lots of fun and we have great clients in this area, but she would like to focus more on photography for awhile. She is even trading out her beading supplies for some fun camera equipment (although she has kept a little stash and all her tools).

As a result, we are going to be running a sale on the jewelry ... everything is being marked down on Etsy and at the art shows. We hope you'll take advantage of the opportunity to get some fun jewelry at a really good price.

And for those that love Jaree's beadwork and Midnight Blue's jewelry in general, don't dismay, we will still do one-of-a-kind commission pieces just for you ...

Friday, May 8, 2009

Camera Equipment Looking for a New Home

Jaree is parting with some faithful camera equipment from her set, as she just acquired an upgrade. Her Nikon D200 and D1X camera bodies are both being offered for sale.

The D200 is in really great shape ... its been gently used for the last couple years and works perfect. It will come with the manual, an LCD cover, battery and charger and any cords she can dig out of the cord box. It is being offered for $375 plus shipping.

The D1X is in good working order and has served well for many years. It also has a manual, two batteries and a charger, and the cord/converter to plug it into an outlet. It did have a little accident that bent the hot shoe, but the hot shoe works normally (a flash unit and strobe radio transmitter slide right on and off and work) and the camera has been otherwise unscathed. It may be about time for a preventive maintenance good cleaning and tuning, but otherwise, its been working well when pulled out of the equipment cabinet. Since its just sitting most of the time now, its time for it to have a new home. Jaree is asking $100 plus shipping, but will entertain any fair offer.

If you are interested, just drop a line to Jaree at: jdonnelly at Or if you know anyone who might be interested, we would appreciate your passing along the word.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Finding Words

As Jaree venture's into the project of reworking/growing/focusing her photography portfolio, she has been seeking the words to describe her work. This is what we have come up with so far:
  • simplicity
  • peaceful
  • intriguing
  • poetic
  • muted
  • soft
  • intimate
  • patina
  • stillness
  • natural
But its hard to get distance, so we would love your input! If you would not mind sharing your thoughts as we post the new photos, your help would be much appreciated.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Friday, April 17, 2009

Hitting the Road

Jaree is off to a great photography workshop in North Carolina tomorrow. She has really been looking forward to it, its a small group and led by Arthur Rainville. Stay tuned for the results!!

Hope you all are having a good spring ... the flowering trees are getting to be so pretty around Missouri right now, especially the Dogwoods. The Redbuds have been lovely, too.

Thursday, April 16, 2009



This is a photo by Jaree and its a personal favorite ... we think it is strking for the extreme angle of the shot and how it emphasizes the architecture, as well as the almost eerie clouds floating overhead. It is definitely best in black and white, although the colors of the painted lady and the deep blue sky were pretty that day.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Sneak Peek

Water Drop II

Water Drop I

Here are two photos Jaree just finished for photo club ... she loves exploring the unusual subject/composition for personal projects like this.

The rainy day was the inspiration ... the drop of water was place on a mirror, sitting on a windowsill and it was photographed with a Macro lens.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Student Art Quest

Jaree had the BEST time yesterday helping to judge the Student Art Quest for 2009 with the Lake Arts Council, it was awesome. There are some tremendously talented kids in the Lake area, kudos to them all! The panel of five judges really were challenged to choose amongst all the outstanding work.

If you are going to be in the Lake of the Ozarks area in April, we encourage you to check out the student artists work at Stone Crest Mall. It will bring a smile to your face to see the potential and vision of the upcoming generation.

Monday, April 6, 2009

What's Up Lately ...

Just wanted to let you know that there are more new photos posted, both at Midnight Blue at Facebook and on Flickr (search for "12amblue" under "People")... check it out if you have a moment and let us know what you think ...

Also, Jaree will be heading off to a workshop on April 19th that she is very excited about. She will be studying with Arthur Rainville for two days in North Carolina. He is an excellent teacher, very inspiring ... you can't help but come away from your time energized with new ideas.

Also, stay tuned for the Peeps adventure ... as soon as the wind and possible snow stops, we will be out with our Peeps, having some fun, taking photos for National Geographic Traveler's Flickr challenge ... if you have not seen it, check it out on Flickr ... search for "NGTpeeps".

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Autumn Sunset

This is a digital watercolor created from a photograph that Jaree took last autumn ... it was a spectacular night ...

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Spring at Ha Ha Tonka Infared #1

This is a photo Jaree took at Ha Ha Tonka last Autumn and had some fun with it in Photoshop. She may play some more ... she likes the black and white, but it has some gorgeous color, so that might be even more fun.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Website Design

I have been working on a website design the last few days ... its nice to get back to some good, solid design work. I think it will be a good site ... simple, clean ... but has the look of recycled paper in the background which goes with their branding from their business stationary. I'm excited to get it moved into Dreamweaver and set up for testing.

Friday, March 13, 2009


We have been posting photos and will continue over the next few days... you may find some of them at our Facebook page for Midnight Blue or at Flickr (search for 12amblue under "people"). Hope you have a moment to check them out and let us know what you think.

We are also rebuilding our website portfolio, so that should be available soon.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Photographic Composition

Jaree had such a nice time this evening leading a presentation and discussion on photographic composition for the Lake Arts Photo Club. Its always fun to be with other people who love photography and are excited to talk about it and share great ideas.

It had been awhile since she had taken the lead in an educational event, but it was great to pull out materials and revisit the basics.

Thank you to the Photo Club for the opportunity!! :0)

This month's project was about camera white balance ... this was Jaree's study ... she never would have thought Flash would end up with such nice coloration. Fun project!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Student Art Quest

Jaree is very excited and honored to have been invited to help judge the "Student Art Quest" this year at Lake of the Ozarks. Its an annual competition event, exhibited at Stone Crest Mall, of the best art work from the local students in the three counties surrounding the Lake. Judging takes place in early April, with the exhibit to continue on into April.

She can't wait to see all the beautiful artwork!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Missouri Studio Space

Midnight Blue's studio space in Missouri has been moving around a bit over the last few years. We are most eternally grateful to Jaree's brother and sister-in-law for sharing their home with us and that is from where we work when in MO, but they have been making a big renovation change to their house, and as a result, we have been drifting about in boxes and bins.

But the big day has come, the renovated space is ready and we will be settling down (at least for now). It is great space ... bright, organized, and so nice! For us, it means lots of surface area to spread out projects and really get down the creative process. We are very excited, mostly for them and their great new space and what it means to them, but feel blessed to be able to share it with them.

Once everything gets settled from the move, we'll try to take a few photos for you ...

The Maryland studio has been the stable place ... also a bright space that is lovely to work in. And our photography studio remains there, although Jaree's basic camera equipment logs many miles back and forth.

What is it like having two studios? Its nice to have working space in both places we call home, but of course, something we need is occasionally in "the other studio". Ah well ... we make notes and get to it how/when we can.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Kid's Summer Art Workshops

Yeah!! We were just scheduled for teaching kids summer art workshops at the Gaithersburg Arts Barn ... "camp" time is such cool, fun time! This year we will be teaching the following:

Wearable Art and Fibers: June 22 through 26
Paper Beyond Drawing: July 20 through 24
Inspired by the Masters: July 27 through 31

The mornings sessions are from 9 am to 11:30 am and are for 6-8 year olds.
The afternoon sessions are from 12:30 to 3 pm and are for 9-12 year olds.

We like to get messy and the focus is on having a great time while exploring art. There will be an exhibit for family and friends of the artists on the Friday of the session week.

If you have kids in the DC area and they are interested in attending, please call the Arts Barn at: 301-258-6394 for more information or to register. You can also register over the internet through the City of Gaithersburg website.

The descriptions are also on the city's website or you can find them on Midnight Blue's Facebook Page under "Events".

And of course, we are always happy to talk with you more about our teaching personally.

Fun, fun, fun!! We can't wait for summer now ... hope to see lots of our young artist friends at the Barn ...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Oh Where, Oh Where Has Our Creative Time Gone?

In the last post, I was feeling optimistic we would be getting back to the good stuff ... the creative stuff ... but alas, it continues that we are having all of our creative time sucked away by the administrative stuff of life. I guess it is that time of year as we close a year and begin anew.

So projects remain sitting on our "to do" list while we take care of these necessities. But there will be lovely joy when it is complete and we can get back to creating. I think this time I will refrain from saying when that will be.

Part of the admin tasks has been that we are working on our show schedule for 2009 ... it has been interesting as we are applying for some juried festivals that we have not vended at before. You never know what will happen ... we remain positive that opportunities will unfold nicely for us ... we are always amazed how things work out. It's so cool!

We'll be posting again soon ... its just been a little hard to focus on bringing something really interesting to blog about with all the other tasks. But once the creativity breaks free, the flowing thoughts and ideas will, too.

And with regards to the photo included ... just a happy reminder that spring is around the corner ... and for those of you that reside in the DC area, it won't be long until Cherry Blossoms. We love it!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Been Busy!

Sorry that we have not blogged for a bit ... we have busy with other projects taking us away from the studios. Life as an artist is a balancing act of creative time with the other necessities of business and life. But it is always such a sense of contentment when we sit down to express our creativity again.

The good news is that there is a prototype now underway of a silver shamrock for pendant necklaces or maybe even a bracelet. It is already showing signs of being very lovely (as the Irish would say) and we are excited to share it with you soon.

That's all the news from here! Back to work we go ...

Sunday, February 15, 2009


We are wondering if you all would like to see some silver shamrocks in time for St. Patrick's Day?

It sounds like a kind of fun project for us. We can make them into earrings, bracelets, or necklaces ... they will be simple and kind of earthy, like all our silversmithed work.

Photo By jonmatthew photography @ Flickr

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day ... We hope you have a day full of love!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Silver Heart Necklaces

The silver heart necklaces are finally finished! Hurray!!
See all the details about them on Etsy. We think they are sweet and pretty ...

Each heart was handcut from silver sheet, formed, and delicately refined at the bench. They were then polished and carefully finished into pendant necklaces.

#3 did not make it through the finishing process ... such is life in the jewelry studio with occasional pitfalls of working totally handmade, but with each failure comes the lovely success of final pieces much improved . We hope you enjoy!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Art & Ambiance Fair - Show Announcement

Midnight Blue will be at the Art & Ambiance Fair again in 2009 ... the dates are August 8th from 10 am to 5 pm and August 9th from 11 am to 4 pm. The fair is located at Stone Crest Mall in Osage Beach, Missouri.

It should be even bigger and better this year ... hope to see you there!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Monday, February 9, 2009

Valentine's Week

It's Valentine's week ... and its not to late to get something for the sweetie(s) in your life ... check out our Etsy shop or drop us a line ... we would love to work with you. We will upgrade shipping to get things to you fast.

Enjoy celebrating love this week!!

Friday, February 6, 2009

National Wear Red Day

Midnight Blue's blog is "wearing red" today in honor of National Wear Red Day ... its a chance to help raise awareness of women and heart health. We hope you will throw something red on today, too!

Also, we are offering the matted print of "Two Hearts" at a special price just for today ... check it out on Etsy. If it sells today, we will be donating the proceeds to the American Heart Association.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Silver Hearts are Almost Ready!!

Just in time for Valentine's Day, we are going to have just three one-of-a-kind silver heart necklaces ready ... they are so pretty!! We can't wait to show you ... they are going through finishing right now ... stay tuned!!

Monday, February 2, 2009

What is the One Piece of Photographic Equipment You Would Not Want to be Without?

The most obvious answer is the camera ... but actually, Jaree carries a little digital point and shoot with her everywhere, just in case. Its not as powerful or sophisticated as the bigger Nikon, but it does a really nice job.

Besides the camera, it would be her old standby lens that she has had for decades ... a Nikkor 35-70 mm zoom. It takes great photos, is pretty fast at f2.8, and can handle most situations.

After that would be her monopod .... its easier to carry around than a tripod and will steady most shots and keep them crisp and clear.

Friday, January 30, 2009

KRMS Auction Items

For those of you residing at Lake of the Ozarks, be sure to listen to KRMS radio on February 7th. There are going to be some GREAT items from Midnight Blue up for auction ... check it out!

My Heart Valentine Jewelry Set

There really will be no doubt about your feelings with this set of jewelry...

This set of jewelry includes silver lever back earrings, a pendant necklace, and a matching bracelet. All have been created with Rose Quartz, polished silver, hammered silver heart, bright Bali spacer, and freshwater pearl beads. GORGEOUS!

The bracelet has been hand-beaded on steel beading wire, crimped with silver. The clasp is a simple silver lobster claw, so as not to compete with the heart. It is approximately 7/12 inches long. It may be adjusted if needed, please ask.

The necklace includes a pendant hand-beaded on a silver headpin, wire-wrapped and attached with a large silver jump ring. It hangs from an 18" snake chain with a spring ring clasp. The pendant is 1 7/8 inches long.

The earrings are also hand-beaded on silver headpins and wire-wrapped for security. They are approximately 2 1/4 inches long.

Great Falls I - Framed Photograph

This is a 8" x 12" black and white photograph on metallic paper that is custom matted, museum-style in an 16" x 20" white mat and custom framed in a thin, black metal frame. This image was taken in April 2003 at Great Falls on the Potomac River, just north of Washington, DC. The river was in flood due to all the spring rains.

"Midnight Blue" does not appear in the print, it is just there to help protect our copyright.

$25 Gift Certificate for Midnight Blue Products or Services

Don't miss out!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Do You Have Small Photo Prints?

Yes, we do! Almost any of our images, with the exception of limited editions, can be printed small. We usually make these small images into notecards, but we have sold just the image, when that is preferred. They are generally a minimum of 2.5x3.5 and no larger than 4x6 ... it depends on the image dimensions. The photo notecards are $3.50 for one, 4 for $12. The images alone are $2.25. Send us an email through Etsy or at, if you are interested.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Do You Have a Favorite Photographer?

That is a tough one ... Jaree actually likes selected works of quite a few photographers. The first person that comes to mind is Imogen Cunningham (well, and actually quite a few of Group f/64). There is something deep and thoughtful about her work. Of current photographers, probably Joyce Tenneson would be her favorite. The dreamy, ethereal nature of her photographs is absolutely captivating.

Check out some of their photos using the links ...

Monday, January 26, 2009

Tell me the story behind some photos ...

Every photo has a story ... here is the first of many ...

Evening at Ha Ha Tonak #1:

This photo actually was done as part of a series of photos, taken in preparation for a charity event. It was a gorgeous autumn day and I had been anxious to get out to Ha Ha Tonka State Park. I had not been there since I was a young girl with my Dad and I could remember how pretty it was and also, in the heat of summer, how lovely it was to be down by the spring, where the air was so much cooler in the valley.

I had a vision for the photos I wanted, so I had been collecting the props I needed for a bit of time, picking up a last few things on the way to the park.

I went up by the "castle" first, to scope out the setting, since my memory had faded of the details. I took some photos then, but light was still quite bright and not conducive to the image I had in my head. So I went down to the spring and photographed there for quite awhile, enjoying the beauty of the spring area.

When the light started to turn that lovely late-day golden, I went back up to the castle. I got out all my equipment and props from the car, hanging bags all over me, and hiked up the path back to the castle. I walked around the ruins one more time and tried to observe the best locale. The left window frame seemed like an ideal spot.

I set up my still life props and took a few test photos, moving the items around until they were pleasing to the eye. I then got out the red food dye and bottle of water, making my "wine" for the photos. I ended up taking close to 100 photos, moving the items around and changing my angles, throughout the process And also stopping to chat with a few people, interested in what I was doing.

When I felt like I had what had been in my head, I packed it all back down to the car, just in time for the park closing for the evening.

This photo was a result of that series ... it has been worked with in Photoshop to get the romantic quality, but the image remains what was there that day.

Hope you like it!!

More stories of other photos to come ...

Friday, January 23, 2009

Thank You!

To everyone that has been visiting the Etsy shop to check things out, a big "thank you"! We appreciate it so much!

For you, our faithful followers, we have decided to try a little fun game of seek & find and have taken one of our items and are offering it at a a seriously amazing price ... you'll have to look to find it, but until its snatched up by a lucky person, it'll there and has been marked as such in the description. Have fun!!

And thank you again for being part of our creative journey ...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Last Day to Enter the Giveaway!

Just a reminder, today is the LAST DAY for the GIVEAWAY! Check out the link in the blog entry below to enter ... we can all use a chance for cool, free stuff, right? But you can still be a winner, even if your name is not the one drawn, we have cool stuff at great prices and there is a discount if you buy from us by the end of the day ... Valentine's Day is coming!

Update: January 23rd - Congratulations, Amanda! Your earrings are on their way ... :0)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Do You Teach?

This is a question we get quite a bit, actually and Jaree does teach ... both children's visual art and photography. Her schedule has been a little too busy the last couple of years, but it is something that she loves to do and hopes to get back to it some this year.

For kids, she has taught all ages ... from 3 years to 12 years old. Classes have planned projects to build skill and technique, but are kept free-flowing enough to encourage critical self-expression.

For photography, she has taught both kids and adults ... the classes are planned as explorations of techniques and materials, focused on building skills and knowledge.

She was the Arts Coordiantor for the Gaithersburg Arts Barn for several years and was responsible for scheduling the arts classes, workshops and visual arts events held there.

Currently scheduled, Jaree will be leading a discussion on composition for the Lake Area Photo Club on March 10th.

If you are interested in a class, please drop us a note ... if we get enough people, we will definitely put something together.

Monday, January 19, 2009

How Did You Get Started With Jewelry?

Honestly, I think we just thought it would be a cool class to take and something fun to learn together. And it was! We took an evening class at Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland on the basics of jewelry-making. We learned how to use all the different types of equipment, learned a variety of basic techniques (soldering is harder than you think when its a little, tiny object!), and came away with a love a new art form. From there, its been practice, practice, practice. We have also found mentors that have further helped us along the way and continued our education with workshops.

"Rattle Ring" - Silver band with silver and gold rings that are loose and move

"Modern Pendant" - Silver with bezel-set cabachons

"Anniversary Pendant" - Silver

The beading work, Jaree is self-taught in, as a follow-on to the silver-smithing and a request from a friend. There is TONS of great and detailed information out on the web, in books, and the very best place is your local bead store ... they can answer questions like no one else. It is also fun to go to the gem and bead shows that pop up through the year around the country. The vendors there are also a great wealth of information. Again, its just practice. You can see a lot more beadwork on Etsy ... these are in Jaree's private collection.

"Midnight Blue Earrings" - Silver with navy Swarovski pearls

Jaree has worked a little bit with PMC, taking a workshop. But we don't have a kiln at this time, so that is something not pursued. But it is a very, very cool way to create unique jewelry in silver without all the sawing, hammering, soldering, etc. Try to find a local workshop or class, you will need some help at first, there are tricks of the trade, but if you can work with clay, you can work with PMC.

Jaree has also taken a class at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, Virginia in wax carving and casting. Most commercial jewelry is made this way ... a model is made in wax, which is used to cast the jewerly piece in a choice of metals. This is actually Jaree's favorite way to work ... the wax is fairly forgiving and fun to work with ... the pieces created are more intricate and interesting. Again, this is something you will need to study in person, there are a lot of tricks of the trade! And you need to find a great caster ... that is serious equipment to melt metals.

"Hidden Bark Ring" - Cast Silver

That's how we got started ... now its your turn ... tell us about your jewelry work and send us some photos!

Friday, January 16, 2009


Do we take portraits? Yes, we do! Its one of our favorite types of work ... its fun and rewarding to spend time personally with our clients.

We can work in the studio or we can go on location with you.

Jaree has been to California to study with Tim Meyer the technical aspects of "Old Hollywood" style portraiture and its become a specialty of our studio. She has also studied with photo-painting with Arthur Rainville, which is a beautiful, unique method of portraiture.

We have taken photos for actors, musicians, families, couples, and individuals. And we love working with pets, too.

We have a ton of photos to show you in our portfolio, which will be up on the main website, soon ... but in the meantime, please just ask if you would like to see examples of our work. We are happy to email you copies.