I lived in Colorado Springs 15 years ago and absolutely loved it! It only lasted 11 months, but I have always wanted to go back. Now I find that Denver is on the list of best places for artists to live and that is what I am looking for…the best place for this artist to live. There is something about the Rocky Mountains that is inspiring and most of the people that I met in Colorado are very health conscious. I would even consider working at a ski resort in the mountains over the winter! I love to ski, but haven’t for many years.
I was able to spend a day in Denver and a day in Boulder, which is also on the best places list compiled in 2007. Boulder made the top 10 small cities for art compiled by American Style Magazine’s Summer 2010 issue. It is a beautiful place and had a nice number of galleries in a close area. Denver is #15 on American Style’s list of Big Cities and the artists that I spoke to there love being and working there! And, they are making their livings as artists.
The arts district was in an area which property values were low, so artists began to move in and create their magic. Of course, prices are going up now. I was in Denver on a Sunday and was very disappointed that so many of the galleries were closed. I was able to speak to a man, the husband of an artist. They lived and worked in their building which they fixed up themselves. They traveled to shows and taught classes. They were very optimistic about the art business and Denver. I also heard about Denver’s First Friday from quite a number of people. I look forward to going back to experience it!
I was able to visit the largest exhibit of Henry Moore sculptures at the beautiful Denver Botanical Gardens, so that helped me to get over not seeing many galleries.
A note about couchsurfing in Denver – a lot of adventurous couchsurfers are enjoying great times in the mountains on weekends or are hosting many people who visit the popular destination, so make your plans earlier than we did. We were fortunate to be hosted by a house of guys who lived down the street from a Hare Krishna Temple which served dinner on Sunday night. We enjoyed a great Indian dinner on the floor of the Temple after a little bit of chanting. It was definitely a highlight of the trip.
Our 2nd night in Denver was spent with a woman who has an online business. She was very inspirational and I believe that I have made a friend that will be a help to my online business in the future! I am already reading a book she highly recommended and enjoying it a great deal! “The 4-Hour Workweek” by Timothy Ferriss.
On the way out of Denver to Boulder, we stopped at the famous Red Rocks amphitheater. It was fascinating to see the preparations for an upcoming event and the creative use of the amphitheater by athletes of all kinds, walking and working out on the steps. The atmosphere is better than any man made theater that I have seen and I imagine that under a starry night it is even more amazing.
The day I spent in Boulder gave me time not only to see some galleries and artists in their notable shopping district, but also to take a ride to a summit overlooking Boulder. This is a place where I would have loved to sit and paint if I had extra time. I did have time for lots of photos that I can paint from later and cannot wait to get to it. There is nothing like an artventure to get the creative juices flowing! We also had wonderful hosts in Boulder. A super intelligent couple who put up with us overnight and had an amazing air mattress!
The drive out of Colorado to the Grand Canyon was also inspiring. Around every turn and over every mountain there was a new, amazing view. The rocks and vegetation constantly changing to keep things interesting. From time to time I had to stop just to catch my breath. That’s the thing about breath taking scenery. When I do this trip again, I will take more time so I can stop and breathe and paint.
And, do you know what is in between Colorado and the Grand Canyon (Arizona)? Wait til you see Utah!