Category: Country Mouse

Color theorySkagit Valley, WA

Skagit Valley tulip fields sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Well, I got my wish. Friday morning ended up being the perfect time to visit the tulip fields. I spent the whole morning in the valley, and over an hour in just this spot. And to make the moment last just a little longer, I bought a little bit of the Skagit Valley to bring… More

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Tulip townLa Conner, WA

La Conner cafe and tulips sketch by Chandler O'Leary

By the time you’re reading this, I’ll be headed up north for this year’s Tulip Festival. The last time I was there, the day I made this sketch, the weather was iffy at best. At this time of year, forecasts aren’t worth all that much, so I’m just crossing my fingers and hoping for decent… More

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The wind through the treesJoemma Beach State Park, WA

Joemma Beach State Park sketch by Chandler O'Leary

After Monday’s post, and all the noise and disruption present in that sketch, I felt like something a little…quieter today. I did this drawing almost a year ago, on a gorgeous Sunday that should have had the park packed with picnickers. For whatever reason, though, the Tailor and I had the place entirely to ourselves…. More

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Of man camps and mass destructionWatford City, ND

North Dakota oil fields sketch by Chandler O'Leary

I always embark on road trips with the expectation that I’m going to delight in what I see along the way. Mostly that’s the case—I’m interested in just about everything, and the road is always full of pleasant surprises. But while this blog mostly has been a collection of things I love, I also sketch… More

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Palouse paletteEastern Washington state

Palouse sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Every once in a while, I don’t even bother starting with a line drawing, and just go straight to watercolor instead. On this day, the dust being kicked up by tractors had obliterated much of the definition of objects in the scene. The result was a landscape distilled down to blocks of pure color, like… More

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Quick n’ dirtyColumbia River, WA

Columbia River sketch by Chandler O'Leary

And then there are sketches where I don’t have the luxury of time. I did this sketch from a (however slowly) moving train, so I frantically blocked out the drawing in pen, and then approximated the color based on whatever was currently passing by my window. It’s maybe not the most precise or accurate way… More

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No hurry, no worrySonoma County, CA

Alexander Valley sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Speaking of quiet moments, I had the luxury of what felt like all the time in the world to do this sketch. In reality the whole thing took me less than an hour, but in the moment it felt like time was stretching ahead of me to the horizon—just like the rows of grapevines below.

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Lone wandererBig Sur, CA

Big Sur sketch by Chandler O'Leary

I just got back from two and a half weeks of wandering in California—and by the time you read this, I’ll be on the road again, after just a few hours at home. The pre-trip scramble is never the most fun part of traveling, but I know that the trip ahead will have plenty of… More

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Baa ram eweBadlands National Park, SD

Badlands National Park sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Friday’s post got me thinking about other places where you can see (and sketch) wildlife that’s totally unfazed by your presence. And since we’re coming up on the beginning of the Year of the Sheep, the Badlands zoomed right to the top of the list today.

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Sealed with a kissSan Simeon, CA

Elephant seals sketch by Chandler O'Leary

I’ve never done Highway One in the summer, so I’ve never seen it the way most people do—choked with tourists and traffic. I prefer to see the coast highway in the winter, where the only teeming hordes to contend with are those of the pinniped variety. The elephant seal breeding ground on the Big Sur… More

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