Category: Hometown Tourist

Morning mistTacoma, WA

Port of Tacoma sketch by Chandler O'Leary

On this morning, my city felt like a stage set of paper cut-outs. I just about killed this sketchbook dead by working and reworking the flimsy paper for this drawing—but even as the paper threatened to give out on me, I found myself wanting to add more and more layers. Capturing reality accurately proved elusive… More

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Bathing beautySeattle, WA

Neon diving girl sketch by Chandler O'Leary

The Olympic Athletic Club diving girl isn’t vintage, but she sure looks like a throwback to me. Every time I find myself in Ballard—or even that general end of the city—I make sure my route takes me past her. I can definitely see her being a Seattle icon fifty years from now—our own Little Mermaid.

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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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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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Decking the hallsTacoma, WA

Mantel sketch by Chandler O'Leary

When we head to the mountains on Sunday to get our tree, the holiday decorating will officially begin. At our old house, most of our decorating focused on the mantel—since we don’t tend to go overboard with that sort of thing anyway, sometimes it was the only place that hinted at anything festive. At our… More

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Indigo-a-go-goPuget Sound, WA

Puget Sound sketch by Chandler O'Leary

It’s on my list today to refill the pans in my paintbox—starting with indigo, which is most in need of it. Before I moved to Washington, I didn’t use indigo—it just wasn’t a color I needed often, and if I did, I could mix a reasonable facsimile. But now that I live here, and the… 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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