Category: Hometown Tourist

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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Big winnerSeattle, WA

Seattle giant trophy sketch by Chandler O'Leary

The Summer Olympics are starting this weekend, though I must confess I’m more of a winter sports gal. So I’m not sure how much attention I’ll end up paying to the spectacle—still, if anyone is looking for a trophy to hand out, I think I know where there’s a really big one…

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Prehistoric pit stopVantage, WA

Gingko Gem Shop dinosaurs sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Remember when I posted that sketch of the Ginkgo sign in central Washington a couple of years ago? Well, I was so excited about the typography on that sign that I neglected to talk about what the sign advertised: the Ginkgo Gem Shop. On our way to Spokane that year, Mary-Alice and I stopped in… More

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Fish out of waterSeattle, WA

Fish sign sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Speaking of pescetarian signage, nothing beats this little beauty, tucked away in the back end of the Pike Place Market. The Market is chock full of fabulous and fishy neon, which I’ve sketched multiple times, but I just keep coming back to this one, hanging out by itself and telling you all you really need… More

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Neon butterflyCentralia, WA

Highway 99 butterfly sign sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Speaking of the Chinese new year, I’m reminded of this beauty along old Highway 99. The restaurant is still very much alive, and its current owners are doing a great job of stewardship when it comes to their vintage neon. So this week I’m wishing them a happy and prosperous new year, too.

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