wild garden

Digital Atelier


The Digital Atelier is a resource, built originally by Lori Gloyd, for members of the Soul Food Cafe Community interested in digital art. Apart from having links to wonderful resources for digital artists, Atelier is a place where members and contemporary artists can experiment and share ideas about Digital Art. Once you become a member of Soul Food and engage in this interactive community you will have access to these resources and the people who have made them so rich.

Making E-books with PDF


Celebrating Thanksgiving - Sanctuary of Stillness
by Genece Hamby

Over recent years there has been a proliferation of good web publishing tools. When I was teaching English and working with students ranging in age from 7 - 17 I looked to engage them by providing meaningful forms of publication. During the eighties and nineties I used Microsoft Publisher and Power Point but since then a myriad of wonderful tools have appeared.

Adobe significantly changed the way people use PDF to communicate and collaborate with others. PDF captures formatting information from a variety of desktop publishing applications, making it possible to send formatted documents and have them appear on the recipient's monitor or printer as they were intended.

To view a file in PDF format, you need Adobe Reader, a free application distributed by Adobe Systems.

At Sanctuary of Stillness, Blogmaster, Genece Hambly used PDF technology to create her annual Thanksgiving Booklet. People who want to create books will find PDF's an exciting tool.

Genece Hambly has generously prepared a PDF which tells us how to make an e-book.

Download Adobe today, experiment and create that book you have always been meaning to write. It will be the perfect Christmas present for your friends and family.

Heather Blakey: Soul Food Cafe

Discover Etsy


Etsy encourages people to take a pledge and buy handmade things. Etsy is a place to buy and sell all things handmade and is a haven for many artists.

Vi Masters Corel Painter X


Vi Jones may have just turned eighty but that does not deter her from taking up a challenge here at Soul Food. When Genece Hamby offered a tuturiol with Corel Painter X at Artelier Digital


Vi was one of the participants who downloaded the free thirty day trial. Here she shares some of the experience

"It was a challenge when I started work on Genece’s great tutorial.  But when I came to my first painting of the tiger, I really messed up…the colors were all wrong, and the work itself messy. Not to make any excuses, but some of that was due, I’m sure, to my having to work with a mouse, in my case a trackball. It was hard to control, especially for the more intricate parts, the smaller the area, the more difficult it was to do. But I managed it and this was the result. The colors as you can see below are all wrong, and the work sloppy.  A Wacom Tablet is in my future, but I don’t know how soon that will be. . I have to start saving my pennies.

I was not through playing with our giant feline, when my thirty day free trial of the Corel Painter X program ran out. Horrors!  All that work and then I was left with no program, an expensive one at that. I moped around the house for several days until Ginger decided that she was not going to put up with my mood until Christmas. So my stocking was filled early. I was back in business, so was the tiger, bless his yellow eyeballs."





Day 9

The attention span of people surfing the web is very short. Like a butterfly, if they don't like what they find, they will quickly move on to something else so it's up to you to make the images on your home page as striking, quirky, colourful and/or attention-grabbing as possible.
Carol Abel

Meet Blogmeisterin: Genece Hamby

Genece Hambly

Over recent years Genece Hamby has found that life moves in and out of deep stillness, has become a natural place to rest, to be inspired, to connect and listen to all within that shapes and shifts her world.

Becoming a contemporary artist is was new adventure for her, even though she had been involved with graphic and commercial arts for almost 30 years. As a kid, she loved the Etch-A-Sketch toy. She would sit for hours drawing and found she had a talent for it. Years later when the Mac and PC came along, it reconnected her back the old Etch-A-Sketch. Now, thanks to technology she has found that the world has broadened. Today, she is thankful for the ongoing technical developments that make digital painting easier to reproduce onto canvas which allows for the art to show and sell. Her art gallery is a place where the visitor is immersed in stillness and tranquility.

From the moment Genece Hambly arrived at Soul Food she has made a difference to the community who resides here. Here you can see Priscilla benefitting from one of her Corel Painter X, digital art tutorials which can be found at Atelier Digital here at Soul Food.


Priscilla undertaking Genece's Tutorial

Artistic Blogging by Carol Abel


What attracts you to a blog and makes you scroll down the page further than just the bottom of whatever is visible on the screen?

The answer of course, apart from the intrinsic interest of the content matter of the blog itself, is its artistic presentation. Blogs which permit you to customise the header (the pictorial part at the top of the page) and sidebars (columns on the right and/or left side of blogs where additional text/pictures can be included) inevitably make for the most attractive blogs and the possibilites for arting up your blogs increase almost on a daily basis and are increasing in sophistication too.

The three main blog hosting sites are Typepad, Blogger and Wordpress. Each of these now offer customised headers as opposed to headers which already contain a fixed image. Depending on your artistic ability you may choose to use a simple photograph or a scan of your artwork as a header. Bright and colourful images invariably draw the eye down the page and tempt you to explore the labyrinth hidden behind. If you find the eye-candy appealing you will almost certainly explore some of the links the author has helpfully provided in attempt to distract you from whatever it was you were supposed to be doing before you thought to yourself "I"ll just have a little look here ...". I know because I've been there. I'm also guilty - if guilty be the appropriate word - of attempting to make my blogs as attractive as possible in the hope that someone will spend hours browsing throught the artwork I have made and the photos I have taken and who will naturally recommend my blogs to their friends as being some of the brightest, best, etc. ..

The attention span of people surfing the web is very short. Like a butterfly, if they don't like what they find, they will quickly move on to something else so it's up to you to make the images on your home page as striking, quirky, colourful and/or attention-grabbing as possible.

The artistic appearance of your blog can be improved by the addition of slideshows, collages, revolving cubes, or by links in the sidebar to an online photo-storage facility like Flickr, for example.

Not only can blogs showcase your art but they can also be used to provide tutorials. One such blog is the atelier digital where Genece is in the process of teaching some of us the basics of digital painting.

Some of my favourite artistic blogs are:



Within the Soul Food Café we have a share of our own talented bloggers too:

Lori, Monika, Genece, Quinn and Anita. Each of them works hard to maintain the visual presentation of their blogs and to make it a pleasure to explore them.

Since we started blogging in August 2006 we have found that our work has improved by leaps and bounds and this has come about with the increased confidence gained from being members of such a supportive and encouraging group. Without the gentle, guiding hand of the Enchanteur in the background we would not be where we are today. As Guillaume Apollinaire said:


We have been pushed to the edge and jumped. 

Written for 2007 Advent Calendar by Carol Abel


Download the free Corel Painter X trial and begin experimenting. But be warned. You may well find this totally addictive and notice a blow out in your budget when it becomes a 'must have' program.