All Images Copyright © Alice Kelley
The very first example of a computer generated fractal image I ever saw was this one, made by Robert Carr:
Heaven's Gate, by Robert Carr, 1994, used with permission
I saw this image around 1995. I was using a friend's CompuServe account and was investigating the "GraphDev Forum." Carr's image had won their weekly graphics contest, so I saw it featured on the opening page. I remember how stunned and excited I felt. This image seemed utterly beautiful to me, beyond anything else I had ever seen. There was no question that I was going to learn more about fractal art.
A relatively small group of people had been using Fractint, a 256 color DOS program, to make fractal art. I began to collect their images, and I still have that collection today. I even saved a group shot they'd posted of themselves and have kept it all these years as a part of the memories I have of those days. I share it on my page as a tribute to them.
I found an email written to me by Les St. Clair in 1998 that matches the names to the people: "Top left to right: Robin Bussel (B&W), Lee Skinner (glasses), Jo Weber (with beard), Me (Les St. Clair), Brian Jones (clean shaven). Middle row L-R: Kirsten Moe, George Martin (B&W with bow-tie), Sylvie Gallet (with cat), Bill Jemison, Marie Drozdis. Bottom left corner: Bob Carr."
FracDev Forum, Compuserve, artist unknown (Click to see larger size)
One newer artist caught my eye, Linda Allison, known as Gumbycat. Her fractals seemed to be particularly artistic in color and form. Linda encouraged me to give fractal generating a try, even though I was convinced the math would be beyond me, and finally I downloaded Fractint and made my first fractal on my 486 computer.
Untitled, by Alice Kelley, 1996
It isn't much by today's standards (and even standards back then), but I was ecstatic. With the help of other community members, such as Linda and Les St. Clair, I learned quickly and began to make images like Snowstar. Within about a year after I started, Rollo Silver, the editor of Avalanche's Fractal Universe calendar, chose two of my images to be published in the 1999 edition. Snowstar was one of them.
Snowstar, by Alice Kelley
I was a contributing artist to Avalanche Publishing's (now defunct) Fractal Universe calendar from 1999-2003, and the co-editor of the 2002 calendar. Meanwhile in 1999 I was contacted by Amber Lotus Publishing, and after 2003 worked solely with them as their artist for their Fractal Cosmos calendar.
2002 Fractal Universe, cover art by Colleen Deery
The computer I used to make my first fractals was a 486 running Windows 3.1 and DOS. I've upgraded my way through a couple of computers since that time, as I began to experiment with Stephen Fergusen's programs (such as Inkblot Kaos and Tiera-Zon) in addition to Fractint. I went on to use Ultra Fractal, Incendia, JWildfire, and Apophysis to make my fractals, and I have antialiased them in Paint Shop Pro 7. I would also like to mention Damien Jones, who was a great help and who hosted my first web fractal gallery.
I'm always happy when someone else enjoys my fractals as much as I do.
Customer Tom Allen, with Hatchling
One way to view the progression of my art is by looking through my calendars through the years. I have further information about my art here. And I have information about how I name the fractals here.