Category: Before & After

The road aheadSouth Dakota, Wyoming and California

Black Hills sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Tomorrow this little travel blog turns one year old. In that time, I’ve jumped around in time and place, in hopes of showing you as many different sketches as I could: country scenes, cityscapes, vintage kitsch, wildlife, you name it. But while I love me some roadside attractions, I must confess that my very favorite… More

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Secrets, seastars and spring tideEdmonds, WA

Puget Sound tide pools sketch by Chandler O'Leary

There was one other time that my sketching had the benefit of a supermoon. Last summer I spent a morning with some fellow sketchers under the ferry landing in Edmonds, WA. This is one of a few spots along Puget Sound where the tide goes out far enough to expose more than just a strip… More

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Pink pachydermSeattle, WA

Elephant Carwash sketch by Chandler O'Leary

If the Yoken’s whale is the queen of the east coast’s Route 1, then the Elephant Carwash sign surely must rule Highway 99 in the west. The restaurant inside the Space Needle can eat its heart out—this jumbo gal is my favorite spinning landmark in the Emerald City.

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Spurred to sketchSouth of Moab, UT

Silver Spur sign sketch by Chandler O'Leary

I really have no idea why this sign isn’t where it’s supposed to be (in Durango, CO), and why we stumbled upon it at Hole n’ the Rock instead. But since Durango wasn’t on the list for that trip, and I never would have made this sketch otherwise, you won’t find me complaining!

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Perennial pagodaPoint Defiance Park, Tacoma, WA

Point Defiance Pagoda sketch by Chandler O'Leary

This Sunday my town is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the pagoda at Point Defiance Park. Originally a streetcar station, the building features an Arts & Crafts design, Japanese-style roof and Welsh ceramic roof tiles. A teenage arsonist nearly destroyed the structure in 2011, but the subsequent restoration brought back several of the original features… More

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Ghost lodgingPanama Hotel, Seattle, WA

Seattle Panama Hotel sketch by Chandler O'Leary

The Panama Hotel was the centerpiece of Seattle’s once-thriving Japanese community, until every one of the neighborhood’s residents was rounded up and imprisoned during World War II. Many stowed their personal belongings in the basement of the Panama for safekeeping—and never came back to claim them. The few who did return after the war found… More

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Boston StrongBoston, MA

Boston sketch by Chandler O'Leary

I wasn’t there at the time of the Marathon bombings last year—I was here, on the opposite coast. But Boston is my home city, and I remember feeling at the time that I had to do something, no matter how small. So I grabbed the first thing I always think of—my sketchbook—and put together this… More

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Calligraphic cobblestonesRoche Harbor, San Juan Island, WA

San Juan Island bricks sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Roche Harbor is a hidden little pocket on San Juan Island, with impeccably preserved turn-of-the-century buildings, picturesque lime kiln ruins, a pristine saltwater inlet, and wharf buildings that hearken back to some (perhaps slightly revisionist) halcyon era gone by. Yet I had to force myself to even look at those things, let alone sketch them—because… More

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