Category: Before & After

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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Of man camps and mass destructionWatford City, ND

North Dakota oil fields sketch by Chandler O'Leary

I always embark on road trips with the expectation that I’m going to delight in what I see along the way. Mostly that’s the case—I’m interested in just about everything, and the road is always full of pleasant surprises. But while this blog mostly has been a collection of things I love, I also sketch… More

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The final tallyFlorida to Washington

Road trip map sketch by Chandler O'Leary

If you happen to follow along on Instagram or Facebook, you’ll know I’ve just returned from a 4000+ mile road trip across the south and west of the county. One of the things I like to do at the end of a trip (and the end of my sketchbook) is a map and recap of… More

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Lone wandererBig Sur, CA

Big Sur sketch by Chandler O'Leary

I just got back from two and a half weeks of wandering in California—and by the time you read this, I’ll be on the road again, after just a few hours at home. The pre-trip scramble is never the most fun part of traveling, but I know that the trip ahead will have plenty of… More

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