Category: Folks

Desert dancerGrand Canyon National Park, AZ

Navajo dancer sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Speaking of seeing actual, authentic Indigenous culture on the road (as opposed to the fake stuff), I had a surprise waiting for me when I visited the Grand Canyon. I was perched on a stone wall, sketching something else, when I heard a crowd gather behind me. I turned around to discover my perch was… 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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Painted desertGrand Canyon National Park, AZ

Grand Canyon National Park sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Of course, with all this talk of national parks, leaving out the crown jewel of the Park Service would be downright criminal. But until last summer, I’d never been to the Grand Canyon. When I finally go there, I did my best to remedy the heck out of the situation. And the weather did its… More

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Hitching posts for HarleysDeadwood, SD

Deadwood sketch by Chandler O'Leary

I’ve mentioned before that I always seem to end up in the Black Hills right in the middle of the Sturgis Rally. Well, last summer I didn’t just sneak by on the highway—I jumped right into the fray. My destination wasn’t Sturgis proper, but rather nearby Deadwood, that infamously lawless frontier town of yore. I… More

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Dino you are, but what am I?Cabazon, CA

Cabazon dinosaurs sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Now, I’ve seen a lot of roadside dinosaurs in my day, but for me, nothing can top the iconic giants of Cabazon, CA. For one thing, unlike some others that come to mind, these guys are beautifully crafted and amazingly realistic (and no wonder: their designer, Claude Bell, created all the statuary at Knott’s Berry… More

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A street corner named desireNew Orleans, LA

New Orleans sketch by Chandler O'Leary

People like to categorize cities by things like food, or architecture, or climate, or whatever. Me? I like to categorize places by their signature style of lettering. So if I want midcentury neon Googie script, I might look along Route 66. For a good all-purpose wild-west Clarendon, look no further than Wall Drug. But if I want beautiful… More

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