This poster has been developed as part of my Colorado Vintage Travel Poster series. Created in Adobe Illustrator, I am able to enlarge and reduce the illustration without loss of quality.
I call this the “travel poster” look which is a simplistic graphic illustration style but with more gradations than the old world travel posters from the 1930’s and 40’s. The process: I first create rough sketches. Then I tighten up each part as a pencil sketch and scan the drawing into the computer. I then use this scan as an underlay importing it into Adobe Illustrator. Each part of the image is created as a shape and eventually I fill the shapes in with color. After the color palette is established, I then create simple gradations to allow the image to have some depth. This piece has been printed as a giclee on watercolor paper.
Red Rocks Park is a mountain park in Jefferson County, Colorado, owned and maintained by the city of Denver as part of the Denver Mountain Parks system. The park is known for its very large red sandstone outcrops. Many of these rock formations within the park have names, from the mushroom-shaped Seat of Pluto to the inclined Cave of the Seven Ladders. The most visited rocks, around the amphitheater, are Creation Rock to the north, Ship Rock to the south, and Stage Rock to the east.
The red sandstone found throughout Red Rocks Park is geologically identified as belonging to the Fountain Formation. Other Colorado examples of Fountain Formation geology include nearby Roxborough State Park, Garden of the Gods near Colorado Springs, and the Flatirons near Boulder. The rocks were formed about 290-296 million years ago when the Ancestral Rocky Mountains were eroded during the Pennsylvanian epoch. Later, uplift during the Laramide orogeny tilted the rocks to the angle at which they sit today.
An Army expedition led by Stephen Long discovered present day Red Rocks in 1820. The park was in times far past a favored campsite of the Ute tribe for it provided natural cover from the elements. Its earliest known name was the Garden of the Angels, reputedly given to it on July 4, 1870, by Martin Van Buren Luther, a pioneer Colorado judge. It was renamed Garden of the Titans in 1906 by famed editor John Brisben Walker when he purchased the place with proceeds from his sale of Cosmopolitan Magazine; John Brisben Walker organized concerts on a temporary platform at the Garden of the Titans. Known however by the folk name of Red Rocks since the area was settled, it was formally given that name when Denver acquired it in 1928 from John Brisben Walker.
Within the park boundaries is the Red Rocks Amphitheatre, a world-famous venue used since 1941, which hosts many concerts and other events. The amphitheatre is an award winning venue for concerts. Denver Mayor Ben Stapleton resisted developing the already beautiful Red Rocks but city Park Planner George Cranmer used a program developed by Franklin D Roosevelt to build an amphitheater. Ultimately, the Amphitheater was designed by Burnam Hoyt within the area between two massive slabs of Red stone (Ship Rock and Creation Rock).
The park along with Mount Morrison Civilian Conservation Corps Camp were added to the National Historic Landmarks program in 2015.