Category: Before & After

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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Only a paper moonNear Missoula, MT

Moonrise sketch by Chandler O'Leary

It’s difficult enough to sketch from the passenger seat of a moving vehicle: keeping a steady hand, drawing quickly enough to keep pace with a changing landscape, etc. But when you throw in trying to sketch by moonlight… Well, I guess you just have to be willing to embrace imperfection—and wait until morning to see… More

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Thar she blowsRoute 1, Portsmouth, NH

Yoken's whale sign sketch by Chandler O'Leary

If you ever have to ask for directions in New England, beware. Folks there have a tendency to reference landmarks that no longer exist (this quirk is bred into me, too—sorry to anyone I’ve ever confused). “Turn left where the pizza place used to be.” “Go just past where the old highway ran through before… More

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Golden GatekeeperSan Francisco, CA

Golden Gate Bridge sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Last week’s posts all revolved around a central theme—I liked how that idea worked out, so I hope you’ll forgive me if I run with it for awhile. This week? I’ve got bridges on my mind. And what American bridge is more iconic than the fabulous Golden Gate? I must have drawn this thing from… More

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Life, illustratedSt. John, KS

Sketch by Chandler O'Leary

The Tailor and I took a road trip over the holidays to visit his family and friends in the Midwest. And while we had the chance to see plenty of roadside attractions along the way, the real purpose of the trip was to reconnect with the people from his past. I had met most everyone… More

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And a hat, to bootGeorgetown Hat n' Boots, Seattle, WA

Seattle Hat n' Boots sketch by Chandler O'Leary

For every alive-and-well Paul Bunyan statue out there, there’s a roadside attraction that’s gone to seed—or given up the ghost entirely. And since you don’t see a lot of vintage kitsch in museums or public trusts, these landmarks are too easily overlooked by community restoration projects. Not so in Seattle, my friends. The Hat-n-Boots have… More

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