Have sketchbook, will travelSalem Sue, New Salem, ND and Highway 1, near San Simeon, CA

Salem Sue sketch by Chandler O'Leary

You know when you’re on a road trip, and you see a highway billboard that says something like, “World’s Largest Two-Headed Calf, Exit Now!” and you consider stopping, just for a moment? And then your spouse looks it up on the map, and you discover that yeah, it’s this exit, plus maybe another 140 miles of dirt-road switchbacks in the opposite direction? And then you laugh, because who on earth would ever actually go there?

Well, that’s me. I am the one who goes there.

And I bring my sketchbook and a little box of paints with me. This is what I do. I’ve logged a lot of miles in my life, visiting as many patches of earth as possible and getting as much down on paper as I can. And for the first time, I’m putting these sketches out into the world. So here we are: I’ve collected all my drawings of crazy tourist traps and Paul Bunyan statues and hidden gems and panoramic vistas, and I’m sending them out like postcards. To you.

Welcome to my world—let’s hit the road, shall we?

Big Sur Highway sketch by Chandler O'Leary

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Comments (6)

  1. jacqueline

    Just popped over here from Jen’s (Painted Fish) Facebook link! You have an amazing gift! I love your sketchbook paintings, they are so fresh and lively and “right there”!

  2. Tim O'Leary

    Don’t know what I love more, your ho-made pictures or your home spun humor/observations. Keep ’em coming!

  3. Alouise

    I’m a complete sucker for cheesy road trip attractions and sites…I actually saw Salem Sue on a road trip I took about a month ago. Love your drawings. I’m definitely going to check back for more updates.

  4. adee

    hopped over from Taxi!
    really great stuff. i’m a sucker for recording travel moments and memories. as a writer, my way is to click pics, weave stories around them and then pester my friends and family to like them 😉
    really love your idea of taking a sketchbook instead of the camera. i can understand how vivid and detailed your memories will be!
    thanks for sharing your journey with rest of us!

  5. Gulliver

    Your method of experiencing then enjoying the traveled terrain is soothing.
    I’m from the Bay Area and you’ve captured Hwy 1 as well as my best memories.
    Plus, St Vincent really really really, rocks!

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