Category: Country Mouse

Vort daglige brødPoulsbo, WA

Poulsbo, WA sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Like the town of Solvang in California, there’s a Scandinavian town in my neck of the woods, too. Except in contrast to Solvang, I love Poulsbo. Even though it’s a bit of a tourist trap, Poulsbo feels more humble, more down-home, more real. Its Norwegian roots run deep—I have even heard Norwegian spoken on the… More

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Rural retreatLompoc, CA

Mission La Purisima sketch by Chandler O'Leary

This is the ninth installment of my Mission Mondays series, exploring all 21 Spanish Missions along the California coast. You can read more about this series, and see a sketch map of all the missions, at this post. Mission La Purisima Concepción was probably the one for which I did the least amount of research—the… More

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Soup’s onBuellton, CA

Pea Soup Andersen's sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Now this is more like it. Solvang might have seemed a little too much like a polished Disneyland for my taste, but in the next town over was something much more my speed. Though its name has changed slightly over the years, Pea Soup Andersen’s has been a Santa Ynez Valley institution for over 90… More

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Cheese DanishSolvang, CA

Solvang sketch by Chandler O'Leary

I think you know by now that I’m a fan of roadside attractions—anything cheesy, hokey, corny and kitschy has a special place in my heart. But I need to clarify something: I’m pretty snobbish about my kitsch. It’s got to be either bizarre but well-executed, or so bad it’s good, or of epic scale—or else… More

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Mixed-metaphor missionSolvang, CA

Mission Santa Inés sketch by Chandler O'Leary

This is the eighth installment of my Mission Mondays series, exploring all 21 Spanish Missions along the California coast. You can read more about this series, and see a sketch map of all the missions, at this post. For most of the missions along El Camino Real, the mission itself is the main feature (and… More

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Porch perchOrcas Island, WA

Orcas Island sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Sometimes one’s point of view can make or break a picture. The jury is still out on this one, as far as I’m concerned. This was such a weird vantage point for sketching—between the location high up on a hill, the wide-angle view of the rest of the porch, the water and ferry landing below,… More

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Desert welcomePalm Springs, CA

Palm Springs sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Well, since I posted my sketch of “The Palm Springs of Washington” the other day, I think it’s only fitting to show you the Palm Springs of…uh, Palm Springs. I have to admit, I don’t like this welcome sign quite as much as the charming ho-made white lie in Yakima, WA, but I guess the… More

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Blown awayMount Saint Helens, WA

Mount Saint Helens sketch by Chandler O'Leary

At precisely 8:32 am local time, 35 years ago today, Mount Saint Helens erupted. I wasn’t around for it—I wasn’t even quite born yet. But I’ve had a thing for volcanoes ever since I moved to the Northwest, so St. Helens has never been far off my radar. The funny thing is, it’s taken me… More

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