Have sketchbook, will travel.
July 22, 2013 1:18 PM   Subscribe

Drawn The Road Again, artist Chandler O'Leary's "illustrated road trip blog."
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.
posted by shirobara (19 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
these are really nice. the ones with lettering especially awesome.
posted by fuzzypantalones at 1:25 PM on July 22, 2013

Part of what's awesome here is that she finishes each one, meaning fills in the whole area as far as reasonable. A lot of eager artists get discouraged half way through and abandon the current drawing because it just doesn't seem to be coming together, when taking it all the way would hide a lot of apparent errors or weakness, and give it a quality that doesn't show up until near the end. She mentions in the about section that she likes the poor quality Moleskine sketchbook paper (at least poor quality for watercolor) just because she avoids getting too wound up in the preciousness of each one.
posted by fatbird at 1:34 PM on July 22, 2013 [2 favorites]

That is an excellent representation of Wall Drug.
posted by troika at 1:39 PM on July 22, 2013

Those watercolors are GORGEOUS. Thanks for sharing!
posted by jillithd at 2:29 PM on July 22, 2013

I am SO VERY VERY JEALOUS of people who can draw. If I had one one-millionth of the talent shown here, I'd do nothing but wander the world and sketch everything I saw.

Thanks for sharing this.
posted by xingcat at 3:10 PM on July 22, 2013

Best compliment I can offer is, I want more. Well done.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 3:37 PM on July 22, 2013

This is great, thanks.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 3:43 PM on July 22, 2013

I am so going to Two Rivers, WI and getting some ho-made soup! You know it's got to be special.
posted by Mojojojo at 3:44 PM on July 22, 2013

Nice. Want more.

Sketch. All. The. Things!
posted by BlueHorse at 3:44 PM on July 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

Beautiful. I guess I need to go make some compliments on the actual blog, since if its accurate these were all put up in the last 15 hours, and only have a few comments so far, and need to be encouraged!
posted by TreeRooster at 4:03 PM on July 22, 2013

I wish I had talent. Chandler has talent, and has a fun sense of adventure, plus roadside attractions! It's the kind of thing I'd love to be able to do. When I was in Tuscany, my architect brother in law would sit down and sketch, and the drawings are much better mementos of the trip than my crappy photographs. The only thing my photographs have over the sketches are the time it took to make them gave me time to wander around and see other things.

Thanks for posting this, otherwise I might never have seen this. Now to get me something Ho-Made...
posted by Eekacat at 4:26 PM on July 22, 2013

These are gorgeous. I'm a complete sucker for the look of ink and watercolor, especially when it's urban sketches. I collect bookmarks of artists who work in this medium, and even though different artists bring their own styles to it, there's just a certain jovial pleasantness to the way ink and watercolor can be used to illustrate the landscape.

If I were near my laptop, I'd link to some others I like. Maybe later.

Great stuff! I want to retire early and just spend my time doing what this person does.
posted by malapropist at 5:57 PM on July 22, 2013

Ok wow. After reading the interview, she's also a printmaker and book binder of artist books. And she's still in her twenties! I want her career. I don't know why, based on these sketches I was imagining she was much older.
posted by malapropist at 6:12 PM on July 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

Please don't anyone here complain about a lack of talent keeping you from doing something like this. To be blunt, Chandler isn't that talented at drawing. These are excellent and beautiful and awesome, but they're not a display of raw ability. They're a monument to continued practice and a willingness to keep at something until you see results.

And they're all the more beautiful for being so.
posted by fatbird at 6:21 PM on July 22, 2013 [2 favorites]

Put a bit differently: Chandler is skilled because of a lot of practice, not somehow gifted with magic hands.
posted by fatbird at 6:22 PM on July 22, 2013

Yeah, that is the serious truth of art. Lots of people say "I wish I could draw," or some variation, and the truth is that you can! Anyone can! I think most people have an image of born artists who could sit down and off the top of their heads draw just about anything, and that's why people claim they can't draw, because off the top of their heads all they'd be able to accomplish is a stick figure. Truth is, every artist had to start somewhere, using references, practicing and committing to memory how to draw say, a dragon, or a human face, or how to draw folds in fabric or a streetscape or vintage typography.

Artists use reference all the time, and there's nothing wrong with that. In fact, it's how it's done.
posted by malapropist at 7:02 PM on July 22, 2013 [1 favorite]

Thank you for the post. Chandler's sketches make feel equal parts jealous and inspired! Need to get out my sketchbooks and start drawing...
posted by kaybdc at 9:12 AM on July 23, 2013

Fantastic. I love all these sketch posts, it inspires me to pick up my sketchbook and watercolour kit and get to work :)
posted by 1000monkeys at 6:06 PM on July 23, 2013

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