Category: Hometown Tourist

SODO stumperSeattle, WA

Seattle sketch by Chandler O'Leary

One of my favorite things about Seattle (at least, while they’re still around to love) are the old wooden wharf buildings that still define the SODO neighborhood, among other places. There’s something about all that wooden clapboard and all those clerestory windows that just speak to my soul. This building is particularly intriguing because it… More

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Fox talesSan Juan Island, WA

San Juan Island sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Every time I visit San Juan Island, my collection of fox sketches grows. They’re inescapable there, as much a part of the landscape now as the treeless prairies they prowl at Cattle Point. They’re not native to the island, though. In the 1890s, settlers introduced rabbits here for game, and apparently failed to foresee the… More

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Seaside splendorSan Juan Island, WA

San Juan Island sketch by Chandler O'Leary

You already know that San Juan Island is perhaps my favorite place on earth, and the California poppies that grow wild at Cattle Point are just one of the many reasons why. I actually started this sketch on an earlier trip, and came back to this spot exactly one year later to finish it. And… More

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Just duckyTacoma, WA

World's Largest Rubber Ducky sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Speaking of nautical things that are here today, gone tomorrow, this big gal was just a brief visitor to my town, but she certainly brightened up an otherwise grey day. It seems that all of Tacoma shared my feelings on this—it was all anyone could talk about that weekend. It wasn’t just her sheer size… More

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Sleeping with the fishesSeattle, WA

Seattle sketch by Chandler O'Leary

When it comes to Seattle, it seems like an increasing number of my sketches and posts are about things that are going away…or already gone. I already can’t keep up with my “wishlist” of sketch destinations—but in the fastest-growing city in the country, my race to draw disappearing things is a constant losing battle. By… More

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Four-wheeled farewellAstoria, OR; Tacoma, WA; and others

Sketch by Chandler O'Leary

If you’ve been reading here for awhile, you’ve seen this picture before—and others like it. My car, Wild Blue, has made many appearances here over the years, because she’s as much a character in my stories as any place I’ve visited. In fact, she’s sometimes the star—though even when she isn’t, she’s never far from… More

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Cabbage patch kidPuyallup, WA

Cabbage field sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Farmland in the Puyallup Valley is becoming a precious commodity, as suburban and industrial development threaten the small vegetable farms that still cling to the valley floor. Yet for now, at least, I can still count on finding a view like this just a few minutes’ drive from my house. May it ever be so.

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Rereading the mapUnited States

50 States pictorial map illustrated and hand-lettered by Chandler O'Leary

I finished this map before the airwaves were inundated with red and blue election maps—and today it’s a good reminder that America is more than its electoral divisions. That there is good in every state, and that there is so much to love and celebrate in every nook and cranny of our nation. This is… More

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Purple hazeSan Juan Island, WA

Pelindaba Lavender Farm sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Here in the Northwest, we’re in the thick of my favorite season right now. I don’t mean summer, per se, but lavender season. Our climate is pretty much perfectly suited to growing lavender, so other than maybe the south of France, there’s no better place to stand on a purple hillside, awash in scent.

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Portal to the PacificSeattle, WA

Seattle tunnel sketch by Chandler O'Leary

This weekend marks my eighth anniversary of living—and sketching—in Washington. I’ve covered a lot of ground in that time, but I still feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface of all I want to see, do, and draw here. All I can do is roll up my sleeves, put that pen in my hand, and… More

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