|About the Artist
Natalie is first and foremost a wife, and mother of three precocious children. Natalie has the luxury of being a stay-at-home mom, and truly enjoys the chance this gives her to grow up with her kids. However, one must maintain one's sanity, and after cycling through various unfulfilling hobbies, Natalie stumbled onto the joy that is Fractal Art.
Originally introduced to fractals by her husband (who happens to be an aerospace engineer and computer whiz), Natalie dismissed them as "fun but much too difficult". Natalie has always been vaguely confused by mathematics and has never considered herself much of an artist, either. However, after being persuaded by a friend to post her nature photography at deviantART in the spring of 2006, Natalie discovered that fractals could be generated by using software that handles the complicated mathematical component. Intrigued and excited, Natalie began teaching herself how to create fractal flame art both through experimentation and the help of tutorials made by generous fractal artists at the deviantART community. Natalie still doesn't feel like much of a mathematician, but has been thrilled to discover that she is, indeed, an artist.
About the Art
So what exactly is a fractal, you ask? A fractal is a geometric pattern that can be subdivided in parts, each of which is (at least approximately) a smaller copy of the whole. Fractals are pretty much self-similar (parts look like the whole) and independent of scale (they look about the same, no matter how far you zoom in). The specific subset of fractals Winter makes is the fractal flame, from the iterated function system class of fractals.
Natalie has played with many great fractal programs, but the art you'll see in the galleries here was all made with Apophysis. Apophysis is a free, open source fractal flame editor and renderer for Microsoft Windows. It was created by Mark Townsend and has since been improved and updated by Peter Sdobnov, Piotr Borys, Susan Chambless and Ronald Hordijk (the Sourceforge project developers).