Category: City Mouse

Horton hears a houseVictoria, BC, Canada

Victoria, BC custom house sketch by Chandler O'Leary

This might just be my favorite building in all of Victoria—and not just just because of the architecture. What I love best about the old custom house is how it sits apart from its neighbors, neither bounded completely by streets or by water. The building is in the absolute heart of the city, yet somehow… More

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The swan song of the KalakalaTacoma, WA

Kalakala sketch by Chandler O'Leary

There are restoration success stories like Lucy…and then there are others without the happy ending. In my part of the world right now, a floating rust bucket is the talk of the town. That’s because at long last, an odyssey spanning nearly 90 years, thousands of miles and a whole lot of folly is about… More

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Frozen & festiveSaint Paul, MN

Saint Paul Winter Carnival sketch by Chandler O'Leary

I had to go back quite a few years to dig up this sketch—it’s been some time since I lived in a place where the new year meant a real, no-kidding winter. But no matter—I love changing the calendar no matter where I am. Whether you’re starting 2015 in an ice palace or a tropical… More

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Curtain callSeattle, WA

Pacific Northwest Ballet Nutcracker (with sets by Maurice Sendak) performance sketch by Chandler O'Leary

I’m sad to report that one of my favorite holiday traditions came to an end this weekend. For the past thirty-plus years, the Pacific Northwest Ballet has staged a unique version of The Nutcracker—complete with unusual choreography, nontraditional storytelling, and incredible kinetic theatre sets by one of my illustration heroes, Maurice Sendak. I’ve seen the… More

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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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Tea and cakesPortland, OR

St. Jack bakery sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Life seems to be going at a thousand miles an hour these days—between work and the season, it’s hard to find any sort of break. So when I came upon this sketch today, it reminded me to take a deep breath, looking forward to the next quiet moment.

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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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Mountain shadowsTacoma, WA

Mt. Rainier sunrise sketch by Chandler O'Leary

A lot of people are going to be up early today to participate in holiday craziness—but for me, this time of year has a completely different incentive to be out before the sun. Because if you live in the South Sound area and you’re very, very lucky, you might catch that rare phenomenon where the… More

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