Category: Built to Last

Wigwam-a-ramaHolbrook, AZ and Rialto, CA

Wigwam Motel (Arizona) 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. Route 66 wouldn’t be Route 66 without its bevy of American-Indian cultural appropriation kitsch. The… 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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Taking the plungeCoronado, CA

Villa Capri Motel sketch by Chandler O'Leary

I didn’t do a ton of traveling in 2016—all my adventures last year took place in the Pacific Northwest (and that’s fine with me!). Sticking close to home ended up being a necessity, as well, what with improvement projects around our 95-year-old house, and massive, years-long projects occupying me in the studio. I have no… More

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Courtyard pantrySanta Fe, NM

Santa Fe chili ristras sketch by Chandler O'Leary

I live in the Pacific Northwest, where the weeks after daylight saving time ends can be pretty grim. To combat the dark gray days, I surround myself with color. On my studio table is a big bouquet of fall flowers in a bright yellow pitcher. In the root cellar are piles of rainbow root vegetables… 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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Painted desertGrand Canyon National Park, AZ

Grand Canyon National Park sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Of course, with all this talk of national parks, leaving out the crown jewel of the Park Service would be downright criminal. But until last summer, I’d never been to the Grand Canyon. When I finally go there, I did my best to remedy the heck out of the situation. And the weather did its… More

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Remember the AlamoSan Antonio, TX

Alamo sketch by Chandler O'Leary

It’s been awhile since I ran my Mission Mondays series, but I figured it was high time to add an honorary member to the list. Because after all, America’s collection of Spanish missions are not limited to California. And there’s probably no mission more famous than the Alamo. I visited the Alamo last winter, on… More

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