Category: Hometown Tourist

Both sides, nowTwo views of Fox Island, WA

Fox Island sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Much as I love the excitement of sketching in an unfamiliar place, I also love exploring my own corner of the world. The best part, for me, is returning to the same place over and over again, and seeing it from a new angle— —or in a whole different light.

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A room with a viewTacoma, WA

Tacoma sketch by Chandler O'Leary

The Tailor and I haven’t done a whole lot of traveling this year, because we’ve spent most of our time since January searching for and finally buying our first home. After what has seemed like an eternity (though it has actually been a lightning-fast whirlwind!), we finally moved in a week ago. Now we’re surrounded… More

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Kings of the roadMuffler Men, various points around United States

Muffler Man sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Well, if I’m going to spend all this time talking about roadside attractions, I would be remiss if I didn’t include the legendary Muffler Men—guardians of gas stations, presidents of photo ops. If you’ve ever taken a road trip, you’ve probably seen at least one of these guys along the way. These behemoths started appearing… More

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Short and stoutTacoma, WA and Zillah, WA

Bob's Java Jive sketch by Chandler O'Leary

I am pleased to tell you that Washington is the proud owner of not one, but two teapot-shaped buildings. (Well, one is a teapot and the other is a coffee pot, but since the designs—and even the colors—are nearly identical, I think that’s close enough.) The first might just be, as advertised, world-famous. Tacoma’s very… More

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Disappearing act(Former) Hostess Cake factory, Seattle, WA

Former Hostess Cake factory sketch by Chandler O'Leary

All cities grow, shrink or evolve over time—but as Seattle is in the midst of yet another building boom, the place is changing so rapidly that I can’t keep up. Landmarks and local mom-and-pops disappear in a puff of smoke—while presto-change-o, mammoth condos and office blocks pop up, seemingly overnight. Painted plywood fences mask building… More

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Boat sweet boatLake Union houseboat districts, Seattle, WA

Seattle houseboats sketch by Chandler O'Leary

Some cities have inner pockets that feel like worlds unto themselves—little enclaves that are either well-hidden, little-known, or inaccessible to the general public. The perfect example is Seattle’s numerous houseboat communities. I’d been dying to sketch the houseboats ever since I moved here, and on Sunday, I finally got my chance. Every two years the… More

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The TurningNear Castle Rock, WA

Fall foliage sketch by Chandler O'Leary

There’s been a crispness in the air here all week—the first sign that my favorite season is well on its way. Autumn in the Northwest isn’t quite the spectacular show of reds and golds that you might find in New England or, say, Wisconsin, but I love it for its own qualities. Instead of huge… More

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Faux farmVashon Island, WA

Vashon Island barn sketch by Chandler O'Leary

You know I have a real thing for farms—as evidenced by all the sketches that have cropped up here (no pun intended) so far. But I also have a fascination with fake farms—you know, the odd sort of agricultural replica that you sometimes see at museums, tourist traps, or—as in the case above—private property. I… More

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