Category: City Mouse

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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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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Quiet on set"Mork & Mindy House," Boulder, CO

"Mork & Mindy" house sketch by Chandler O'Leary

I loved Mork & Mindy as a kid—not simply because it was funny, but because it’s the first show I watched that had a strong sense of place. Silly comedies aside, it’s amazing how much that quality has affected me now—has affected the person I have become. And I realized that so much of Robin… More

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Holy cannoliModern Pastry, Boston, MA

Modern Pastry sketch by Chandler O'Leary

If you want the best cannoli it’s possible to get outside of Italy, you really can’t go wrong in Boston’s North End—there are plenty of places that will deliver the goods (special shout-out to Maria’s!). Probably the most famous are Modern Pastry and it’s rival, Mike’s. I’ve visited both many times over the years, and… More

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Pinstripe parapluieMontreal, QC, Canada

Montreal sketch by Chandler O'Leary

I live in a place where umbrellas are pretty much never used for sun-related purposes. So whenever I get to see a parasol in use elsewhere, it gives me all kinds of summer cheer—because the reason for using the parasol in the first place is my favorite thing about the season.

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Summer hazeTacoma, WA

Commencement Bay sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Right around the Fourth of July, it’s like someone flips a switch around here, and the dry season begins. Then the stereotypical Northwest rain goes away, and nearly every day is clear, dry and balmy. You can bet that this is when I do the most sketching around my town—and you can probably guess what… More

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Secrets, seastars and spring tideEdmonds, WA

Puget Sound tide pools sketch by Chandler O'Leary

There was one other time that my sketching had the benefit of a supermoon. Last summer I spent a morning with some fellow sketchers under the ferry landing in Edmonds, WA. This is one of a few spots along Puget Sound where the tide goes out far enough to expose more than just a strip… More

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