Category: Before & After

Fox talesSan Juan Island, WA

San Juan Island sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Every time I visit San Juan Island, my collection of fox sketches grows. They’re inescapable there, as much a part of the landscape now as the treeless prairies they prowl at Cattle Point. They’re not native to the island, though. In the 1890s, settlers introduced rabbits here for game, and apparently failed to foresee the… More

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Major beefAmarillo, TX

Big Texan sketch by Chandler O'Leary

This post is part of an ongoing series called 66 Fridays, which explores the wonders of old Route 66. Click on the preceding “66 Fridays” link to view all posts in the series, or visit the initial overview post here. The Mother Road has no shortage of good steakhouses, but nothing quite matches the spectacle… More

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Sleeping with the fishesSeattle, WA

Seattle sketch by Chandler O'Leary

When it comes to Seattle, it seems like an increasing number of my sketches and posts are about things that are going away…or already gone. I already can’t keep up with my “wishlist” of sketch destinations—but in the fastest-growing city in the country, my race to draw disappearing things is a constant losing battle. By… More

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Four-wheeled farewellAstoria, OR; Tacoma, WA; and others

Sketch by Chandler O'Leary

If you’ve been reading here for awhile, you’ve seen this picture before—and others like it. My car, Wild Blue, has made many appearances here over the years, because she’s as much a character in my stories as any place I’ve visited. In fact, she’s sometimes the star—though even when she isn’t, she’s never far from… More

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World’s largest pie fillingSeguin, TX

World's largest pecan sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Just in case you were worried about making enough pecan pie for the holiday this year, I think I know where there’s a good supply. To all my readers in the United States, wishing you a happy Thanksgiving! Now if you’ll excuse me, there’s a slice of pie with my name on it…

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Green to goldPalouse region, WA

Palouse (autumn) sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Earlier this year I received a grant to travel to the Palouse region of southeastern Washington and sketch the changing seasons there. I’m sure I’ll be posting more about this in future, as there’s a lot to say and one post can’t possibly hold it all. But just as my sketching trips were my introduction… More

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Rereading the mapUnited States

50 States pictorial map illustrated and hand-lettered by Chandler O'Leary

I finished this map before the airwaves were inundated with red and blue election maps—and today it’s a good reminder that America is more than its electoral divisions. That there is good in every state, and that there is so much to love and celebrate in every nook and cranny of our nation. This is… More

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Criss-cross cornerAlbuquerque, NM

Route 66 sketch by Chandler O'Leary

This post is part of an ongoing series called 66 Fridays, which explores the wonders of old Route 66. Click on the preceding “66 Fridays” link to view all posts in the series, or visit the initial overview post here. In downtown Albuquerque is an unassuming corner with a curious distinction. This is the place—the… More

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New kid on the cobMitchell, SD

Corn Palace sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Last year I had the chance to revisit South Dakota’s world-famous Corn Palace for the first time in nearly a decade, and I had quite a surprise waiting for me. It’s common knowledge that the maize museum gets all new corn mosaics every year—but today’s Corn Palace has had more than a simple facelift. If… More

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Jurassic forestBetween Gold Beach and Port Orford, OR

Prehistoric Gardens dinosaurs sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Speaking of incongruous dinosaurs, if you ever find yourself traveling up Highway 101 along the Oregon coast, you might be surprised to see a brachiosaurus head poking up through the trees. Just like the Columbia River Gorge, the Oregon rainforest isn’t a place you’ll ever find actual dinosaur fossils. Still, there’s something about the misty… More

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