Category: City Mouse

Portland palmsPortland, OR

Palms Motel sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Now, unlike the Wagon Wheel Motel on Route 66, I haven’t stayed here, so can’t vouch for the place as a whole. But its spiffy new paint job and its place on my other favorite historic highway give it a permanent place in my heart, nonetheless.

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Just duckyTacoma, WA

World's Largest Rubber Ducky sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Speaking of nautical things that are here today, gone tomorrow, this big gal was just a brief visitor to my town, but she certainly brightened up an otherwise grey day. It seems that all of Tacoma shared my feelings on this—it was all anyone could talk about that weekend. It wasn’t just her sheer size… More

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Sleeping with the fishesSeattle, WA

Seattle sketch by Chandler O'Leary

When it comes to Seattle, it seems like an increasing number of my sketches and posts are about things that are going away…or already gone. I already can’t keep up with my “wishlist” of sketch destinations—but in the fastest-growing city in the country, my race to draw disappearing things is a constant losing battle. By… More

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Hog wildSan Antonio, TX

Frank's Hog Stand sketch by Chandler O'Leary

San Antonio is home to another defunct barbecue joint—but while I’m sad I can’t buy a pulled-pork sandwich here, I’m more interested in the building itself. That’s because this here pig…is actually a duck! Now if only there were a duck-shaped duck that actually sold barbecued duck…that would be a find.

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Let’s eatPhoenix, AZ

Bill Johnson's Big Apple sketch by Chandler O'Leary

To me, nothing says the Fourth of July like good barbecue. So this week I’ll be focusing on some dern good BBQ—or at least, places where you “used to could” get it. Sadly, Bill Johnson’s, once a Phoenix fixture, closed for good just a few months after I was there. But I’m glad to know… More

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Poles for the peopleVictoria, BC, Canada

Victoria totem poles sketch by Chandler O'Leary

I need a little palette cleansing after all those fake Midwestern totem poles—this is much better. Besides, this week Canada is celebrating its sesquicentennial, and it’s nice to see that the festivities there are including all Canadians. Happy 150th, Canada—and happy Canada Day later this week!

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Art-ifactsDenver, CO

Indigenous art and sculpture sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Another place I tend to spend hours poring over American Indian artwork is the fabulous Denver Art Museum. In addition to things like beadwork, the museum devotes two entire floors to an astonishing range of Indigenous art, from Pre-Columbian pottery to Plains paintings to Salish heritage poles, and everything in between. The collection includes at… More

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Glass pixelsTulsa, OK

Potawatomi beadwork sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Whenever I’m in Tulsa I try to make time for the Gilcrease Museum, a place devoted to the art of the American West. Yet as much I love perusing the galleries of Russells and Remingtons and Catlins, what I’m really there for is the beadwork. The Gilcrease, whose namesake was himself a member of the… 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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