The U.S. Postal Service celebrates the blooms that brighten the days by issuing the Winter Flowers Forever stamps.
The four featured plants - amaryllis, cyclamen, Christmas cactus and paperwhite - bring a hint of spring indoors during the coldest months of the year.
Available in booklets of 20, the Forever stamps were issued during the American Philatelic Society AmeriStamp Expo 2014 at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock.
Winter Flowers Forever stamps.
Customers may purchase the stamps at: usps.com/stamps, at 800-STAMP24 (782-6724), at post offices nationwide and on eBay at: ebay.com/stamps.
Art director Ethel Kessler, of Bethesda, Md., chose four winter-blooming flowers with colors that worked together as a group yet stood out individually.
Potted plants served as stamp artist William Low's models.
To keep the images fresh, he photographed the flowers at their peak, capturing details in close-ups that accentuate the plants' foliage and blossoms.
Low created the digital paintings in Photoshop.
Using a cordless pen or stylus, he "painted" his brushstrokes on a pressure sensitive screen, adding dabs of color and weaving layers of texture into the paintings.
Kathleen Swanson is a spokeswoman for U.S. Postal Service.