Category: Built to Last

Book bonanzaPortland, OR and Seattle, WA

Powell's City of Books sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Bookstores are a big part of our annual holiday shopping rounds, and my two most sketch-able favorites are Powell’s in Portland— —and Elliott Bay in Seattle. Of course I’m probably going to love any indie bookstore, but both of these places have such inviting spaces that I could stay and sketch for a year. If… More

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Decking the hallsTacoma, WA

Mantel sketch by Chandler O'Leary

When we head to the mountains on Sunday to get our tree, the holiday decorating will officially begin. At our old house, most of our decorating focused on the mantel—since we don’t tend to go overboard with that sort of thing anyway, sometimes it was the only place that hinted at anything festive. At our… More

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Kitschy kitchenettesColorado Springs, CO

Skylark motel signs sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Just like the neighboring town of Manitou Springs, Colorado Springs is filled with midcentury neon signs and fabulous Googie lettering. This sign is one of my very favorites. It’s been altered a bit over the years, but the fact that a relic like this still exists in a town that’s changing and expanding at a… More

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Get me to the church on timeSan Francisco, CA

Mission Dolores Basilica sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Of course, if you really want the feeling of sketching a cathedral…you could just go sketch a cathedral. I figure that’s just as valid a way to go about it. And considering that I scored an absolutely rock star parking space on a busy thoroughfare in the middle of San Francisco to do this sketch… More

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Spans and spiresCathedral Park, Portland, OR

St. Johns Bridge sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Cathedral Park is one of my favorite spots in Portland. It’s pretty far off the beaten path, so I don’t know how many non-locals make it out that way, but it’s well worth the effort to get there. The park is named for the effect created by the gothic arches under the span. The long… More

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Both sides, nowTwo views of Fox Island, WA

Fox Island sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Much as I love the excitement of sketching in an unfamiliar place, I also love exploring my own corner of the world. The best part, for me, is returning to the same place over and over again, and seeing it from a new angle— —or in a whole different light.

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Colorful courtyardAlbuquerque, NM

Albuquerque sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Today is one of those rare sunny fall days in my town—as sunny as it was the day I was in Albuquerque a couple of years ago. But in the Northwest, bright weather at this time of year means a wicked cold front—which has me missing the warmth of sun-baked adobe today.

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Ideal, for realBoulder, CO

Vintage strip mall sketch by Chandler O'Leary

I’m guessing you won’t be shocked when I tell you I’m not exactly the type of person who likes shopping malls. But a vintage midcentury shopping mall with fantastic neon signage…well, now that’s downright ideal.

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