Category: Country Mouse

Bright and earlyMt. Rainier from Tumwater, WA

Mt. Rainier sketch by Chandler O'Leary

I’m generally a morning person—especially when it comes to sketching. But I live at 47 degrees north latitude, where for months at a time, being a morning person means spending a lot of time in the dark. Right now I’m still shaking off that lazy Northwest winter-mode version of “early,” where 8 am still feels… More

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For the wearyPenland, NC

Wingback chair sketch by Chandler O'Leary

This might be a holiday weekend for a lot of people, but some seriously looming deadlines mean it’ll be a working weekend at my house. So while I might normally imagine traveling to exotic locales to pass the time in the studio — this time I have a feeling I’ll be dreaming of nothing more… More

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B.P.O.E.Rocky Mountain National Park, CO

Rocky Mountain National Park sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Probably the most spectacular thing about Rocky Mountain National Park is the alpine tundra landscape above the treeline. The Tailor and I found a well-marked hiking trail up there and struck out, hoping to catch a glimpse of a pika or two among the glacier-strewn rocks. What we got instead was a little more than… More

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Basin & rangeNear Brigham City, UT

Wasatch mountains sketch by Chandler O'Leary

There are plenty of places in the West where you don’t reach the mountains until after you cross miles and miles of foothills. Well, not here. There’s something about the sheer scale of this part of Utah—of perfectly flat valleys abruptly cut off by steep mountain slopes, of towering peaks dwarfing farms and towns and… More

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Only a paper moonNear Missoula, MT

Moonrise sketch by Chandler O'Leary

It’s difficult enough to sketch from the passenger seat of a moving vehicle: keeping a steady hand, drawing quickly enough to keep pace with a changing landscape, etc. But when you throw in trying to sketch by moonlight… Well, I guess you just have to be willing to embrace imperfection—and wait until morning to see… More

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Fish talesKenora, ON, Canada

Husky the Muskie sketch by Chandler O'Leary

When I lived in Minnesota, people used to tell me hair-raising stories of going fishing “Up Nort’” for muskellunge, and catching specimens that measured in feet, rather than inches. It’s no surprise the muskie is the stuff of legends—but imagine my delight when, without even stepping foot in a boat, the Tailor and I “caught”… More

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Sailor’s warningHeceta Head, OR

Heceta Head Lighthouse sketch by Chandler O'Leary

I have never yet managed to visit Heceta Head in anything other than a raging gale. (Thank goodness for the car overlook where I could park and sketch in comfort while the Pacific threw bathtubs of icy spray at my windows…) But then again—what better way to see firsthand exactly what lighthouses are for?

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Sailor’s delightLudington, MI

Lake Michigan lighthouse sketch by Chandler O'Leary

As a lifelong landlubber, I don’t often get to see lighthouses from the side they’re designed to face. So as you can probably imagine, not only was I gleefully waving back at the folks on the breakwater—I was also practically hanging off the side of the boat to get a better look at the beacon.

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Island beaconsCape Neddick, York, ME

Nubble Light sketch by Chandler O'Leary

You already know I’ll drive hours and hours out of my way for roadside attractions, but I’ve also been known to make some ridiculous detours and extra-long pit stops for lighthouses. As a result, I have a lot of sketchbook drawings similar to this one. I could probably keep this blog going for half a… More

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