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Learning Log, Jul 2022

Fitting for “touch grass” season, I’ve pretty much not touched a computer for personal projects in July. Instead, sketchbook art has taken up a large proportion of creative brainspace.


Discovered this method of breaking in a sketchbook and found it to be quite effective. Also learned about the Zorn palette (and that it’s best for health/environmental reasons to get cadmium-free versions of paint).

I also finally made it out to a meetup with Urban Sketchers Seattle. I found the group during the pandemic, so they were on hiatus at the time for in-person outings. Took me a bit to be available for a meeting once they were back on.

Me holding a picture of trees and a railed walkway in front of said scene. Froth water lies between. Me holding a pen drawing of fence shadows on top of a fence near water A sketch drawn of windows showing shadowy fish swimming by The tree scene in my sketchbook again, now with a fern drawn beneath it
A bunch of sketchbooks lying on a sidewalk. The dominant color is green.

We used a lot of green paint to sketch the Ballard Locks on a meltingly hot day. I’m trying out Neocolor II wax pastel crayons, which were fairly soft from the heat (messier and more fun in equal measure). I still have plenty of room to learn, but honestly had the best time wandering around sketching.

Fiber Art

Indigo dyed fabrics hanging on a line in a sunny back yard. Some of the blue and white patterns are strongly graphic while others have loose waves or solid color

July was apparently a month for meeting new people: my friend Meg co-hosted an indigo dyeing party in her backyard one night after work. I seem to have gotten shyer since the pandemic (out of practice), but it was such a nice and peaceful time making things during the golden hour.

An 11 x 17 wall hanging with 3 thick bands of red, salmon pink, and yellow cotton fabric. The binding is salmon pink. There is a pattern of horizontal quilted lines 1.5 inches apart. The wall hanging is filled with all manner of cute enamel pins, including 3 corgis, web-themed icons, a couple cocktail, 'protect trans youth', and a couple eggs.

In more vibrant hues, I also made a wall hanging with which to display my enamel pins.

Creative hobbies & guilt

Mulling over this Yumi Sakugawa quote via my ever-thoughtful friend Izzie:

What if instead of guilting yourself for not working hard enough on your creative projects, you ask yourself: what would make this so exciting and compelling that I can’t wait to play and create and build on these ideas?


Back on the computer, I finished the Mode basic SQL tutorial while also being dangerous in Mode itself (figuring out enough to hack a couple things together). I can’t wait to actually learn joins! Working on the Intermediate tutorial now…


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  • Melanie Richards on

    ✍️ The fuller the month, the later the Learning Log…
  • Reply from Dave Rupert on

    Such wonderful creations! I wish I had the patience to sketch more.
  • Reply from Melanie Richards on

    It should be noted I have very few personal life demands outside of work right now 😉 (except that wedding planning I keep putting off…)
  • Reply from bkardell on

    Nice! I didn't know you sketched? Do you post your art somewhere? Insta? Mine in mainly my art but I seem to have mostly burnt out on it recently
  • Reply from Melanie Richards on

    Yep! I’ve been out of practice for a long time but getting back into it in a big way lately. Also posting on IG whenever I want to share
  • Reply from bkardell on

    I also got out of it for about 13 years. I seem to have trouble moderating between "i art constantly" and "meh, nevermind 😕"
  • Reply from Melanie Richards on

    I feel you! My constant struggle is how to deal with several creative hobbies and feeling guilt about not spending time with them. Might’ve had a recent breakthrough though, will share on the blog!
  • Reply from bkardell on

    Oh nice! Looking forward to reading it. /Subscribe