For 2009’s Winter card and mix CD, I wanted to create a series that was crisp and light, yet still colorful. In the end I think I succeeded, but as always, the Winter series never goes as smoothly as I hope. I started off with photos of frost-rimed vegetation, which I then planned on filtering to get the right look. I had just started using an interesting new Photoshop plug-in called “Filter Forge”, which lets users create their own plug-ins, download plug-ins created by other users, and edit them. There are thousands of plug-ins available for download from their site, and searching yielded several that looked like they would do the trick. The plan was to find the right plug-in that would give me the effect I wanted in one go. In the end, I had to use two different plug-ins from Filter Forge for the series, as well as a Flaming Pear’s Organic Edges plug-in, lots of Photoshop adjustments and layer effects, and good old dodge and burn. I thought I would be done in a couple days. It took a couple weeks… Sigh.

“Vibrant Frost 1” incorporates an image from stock.xchng photographer Martin Boulanger. With a border, this image was used for my holiday card. Without the border, it was the cover of the Winter 2009-2010 Mix.

While having a strong background in photography and traditional printmaking, Richard Maier has mostly worked as a digital artist since the mid-90’s. His abstract and non-representational work tends toward a lush color palette and stark design, often filtered through the lens of chaos and noise. The natural world, as both the microcosm of biology and the macrocosm of space, is his favorite subject matter. He strives to create art that is both visually pleasing and intellectually fascinating.

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