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Living in Colorado, it's not hard to become inspired by many beautiful landforms, sunsets, rivers, forests, and more. From the Front Range with 5 million people to the more rural high country, the vistas of the Rockies and High Plains are unsurpassed. Many of Richard Van Vliet's themes can be drawn from his surroundings in this beautiful state.
Richard moved to Denver in 1970 to study art at the University of Denver. Eventually, he wound up building a house with his brothers and college buddies in the central Rockies. The Tarryall Range is a smaller range of 12,000 foot mountains that sits between Denver and Colorado Springs, where he now frequents with his family. Many of the landforms and vistas around these parts inform his work, with subtle distinctions to the category of Southwest. Colorado is really where West and Southwest overlap, as we know usually identify these themes in art. The Sangre de Cristo Range is a perfect example, running from south-central Colorado near Salida all the way down into New Mexico, to Taos, and finally Santa Fe. The Four Corners area around Durango is definitely Southwest, with all the Anasazi ruins and mesas, yet transitions into the massive Rockies as you go deeper into Colorado. The Wyoming border is as desolate and dry as the Southwest, yet takes on a thematic image of its own, as do the intermountain plateaus of central Colorado, like South Park. And, of course, the High Plains, coming up from Kansas have a completely different feel, as they often give one breathtaking views of the Rockies from a distance.
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