Category: Before & After

Secret enclaveMinneapolis, MN

Milwaukee Avenue sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Revisiting Ladd’s Addition last week reminded me of another favorite neighborhood of mine. Well, not so much a neighborhood as two perfect blocks: Minneapolis’s Milwaukee Avenue. Today Milwaukee Avenue is a two-block stretch of pedestrian-only street: originally named 22 1/2 Street, to the unwitting eye it just looks like an alley between 22nd and 23rd…. More

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Hole in oneUniversity Place, WA

Chambers Bay golf course sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Since I was thinking about examples of American ruins at the time, my plan was to head across town to sketch the remains of the old sand and gravel quarry at the site of the Chambers Bay golf course. But when I got there, the trail that leads to the ruins was closed while they… More

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Goonie weekendAstoria and Cannon Beach, OR

Old Clatsop County Jail sketch by Chandler O'Leary

I’m a bit of a movie nut—especially for anything shot on location. I’m a sucker for films that center around real places—and Astoria, OR has featured prominently in so many movies that the entire town has become a cinema icon. This Sunday marks the 30th anniversary of the release of the 1980s free-range-kid classic, The… More

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Blown awayMount Saint Helens, WA

Mount Saint Helens sketch by Chandler O'Leary

At precisely 8:32 am local time, 35 years ago today, Mount Saint Helens erupted. I wasn’t around for it—I wasn’t even quite born yet. But I’ve had a thing for volcanoes ever since I moved to the Northwest, so St. Helens has never been far off my radar. The funny thing is, it’s taken me… More

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Milking itSpokane, WA

Giant Spokane milk bottle sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Remember my post about Mary Lou’s Milk Bottle? Well, it might be the best giant milk bottle in Spokane, but it’s not the only one. Built in the 1930s, the bottles served as neighborhood satellite stores (read: ducks!) for the Benewah Dairy Company. After Benewah folded in 1972, the bottles came to serve different purposes…. More

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Mountain morningsNear the California-Oregon border

Mount Shasta sketch by Chandler O'Leary

I love coming back to a place I’ve already sketched, and giving it another go—I always end up with completely different results. These two drawings, for example, were done from precisely the same spot, almost exactly two years apart. Even though I’d been there before, and already spent a good amount of time studying the… More

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Dinner with ShiroShiro's Sushi, Seattle, WA

Shiro Kashiba sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Note: I think this might be a first on this blog—showing you a drawing I did only in (gasp!) pencil. But the night I did this sketch, I only had a regular notebook with me, and I needed to work fast—there wasn’t time to dig around in my bag for a pen, so I reached… More

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Color theorySkagit Valley, WA

Skagit Valley tulip fields sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Well, I got my wish. Friday morning ended up being the perfect time to visit the tulip fields. I spent the whole morning in the valley, and over an hour in just this spot. And to make the moment last just a little longer, I bought a little bit of the Skagit Valley to bring… More

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Tulip townLa Conner, WA

La Conner cafe and tulips sketch by Chandler O'Leary

By the time you’re reading this, I’ll be headed up north for this year’s Tulip Festival. The last time I was there, the day I made this sketch, the weather was iffy at best. At this time of year, forecasts aren’t worth all that much, so I’m just crossing my fingers and hoping for decent… More

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Rock n’ rollAsheville, NC

Airport rocking chairs sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Speaking of quiet places, usually the last place I’d think of as meditative is the airport. In fact, airports are usually at the top of the list of places that send my stress levels sky high (yet another reason I’m not a huge fan of flying). I should have known better about the Asheville airport,… More

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