Category: Built to Last

LandsharkOcean Shores, WA

Sharky's Souvenir Shop sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Normally this would be the part where I tell you all about the souvenir shop with the giant shark’s head I found on the Washington coast—but I think I’ll just let the pictures do their job. Instead, I wanted to let you know that Sharky here has joined 29 more of his roadside brethren on… More

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Disappearing act(Former) Hostess Cake factory, Seattle, WA

Former Hostess Cake factory sketch by Chandler O'Leary

All cities grow, shrink or evolve over time—but as Seattle is in the midst of yet another building boom, the place is changing so rapidly that I can’t keep up. Landmarks and local mom-and-pops disappear in a puff of smoke—while presto-change-o, mammoth condos and office blocks pop up, seemingly overnight. Painted plywood fences mask building… More

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Boat sweet boatLake Union houseboat districts, Seattle, WA

Seattle houseboats sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Some cities have inner pockets that feel like worlds unto themselves—little enclaves that are either well-hidden, little-known, or inaccessible to the general public. The perfect example is Seattle’s numerous houseboat communities. I’d been dying to sketch the houseboats ever since I moved here, and on Sunday, I finally got my chance. Every two years the… More

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Faux farmVashon Island, WA

Vashon Island barn sketch by Chandler O'Leary

You know I have a real thing for farms—as evidenced by all the sketches that have cropped up here (no pun intended) so far. But I also have a fascination with fake farms—you know, the odd sort of agricultural replica that you sometimes see at museums, tourist traps, or—as in the case above—private property. I… More

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Corn-fedMinnesota State Fair

Minnesota State Fair sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Here’s what you do: you go to the Minnesota State Fair with at least four or five people in your party. Then everybody chooses one or two things to eat and shares with the group—that way, you get a small sample of a lot of different things. (Added bonus of sharing small bites: not suffering… More

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A Bushel and a PeckMinnesota State Fair

Minnesota State Fair sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Every year that I lived in Minneapolis I told myself I’d do a piece of crop art someday and enter it into the State Fair. Well, I never got around to the real thing, but I did draft an idea in my sketchbook! It really doesn’t matter, though—I’m just glad I got to spend so… More

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Fair weatherMinnesota State Fair

Minnesota State Fair sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Even though it’s been years since I lived in the Twin Cities, and the Great Minnesota Get-Together was a part of my summer tradition, I can’t bring myself to switch allegiance. No matter how much time goes by, to me there is no other state fair than the Minnesota State Fair. This year’s Fair is… More

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Island havenCoupeville, Whidbey Island, WA

Whidbey Island sketch by Chandler O'Leary

I did this sketch on a Friday afternoon last year, having escaped after an insane week of deadlines and project-juggling. Here I am on a similar Friday, and the thought of spending the afternoon in the sun, on an island, staring out over pristine blue water with just the breeze and the sparrows for company—well,… More

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Reflecting poolBlue Rocks, Nova Scotia, Canada

Blue Rocks, Nova Scotia sketch by Chandler O'Leary

I really should have a bumper sticker that says something like “I brake for tiny fishing villages.” I know I’m not the only one, either. I figured Blue Rocks would be another Peggys Cove in terms of number of fellow tourists—but I was so happy to be mistaken. That morning, at least, it was just… More

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