Category: Built to Last

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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Time-tested tablesSanta Fe and Albuquerque, NM

Plaza Cafe 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. Next time you’re in New Mexico to admire the hollyhocks, you’ll be sure to work… 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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Hitching posts for HarleysDeadwood, SD

Deadwood sketch by Chandler O'Leary

I’ve mentioned before that I always seem to end up in the Black Hills right in the middle of the Sturgis Rally. Well, last summer I didn’t just sneak by on the highway—I jumped right into the fray. My destination wasn’t Sturgis proper, but rather nearby Deadwood, that infamously lawless frontier town of yore. I… More

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