Collections – Abstract Realism

Aspens in the Southwest

Aspen trees are known for their vivid yellows, golds, oranges, and reds. Aspens typically start to change color in mid-September and reach peak color around early October. One of the best places to see aspens in the fall is in the San Juan Mountains, which are home to some of the most extensive aspen groves in the state. Other good spots for viewing aspens include Rocky Mountain National Park, Mesa Verde National Park, and the White River National Forest. So, if you want to see some unique colors, check out one of these fantastic places in the Southwest!

Monsoons in the Southwest

The monsoons in the Southwest are a truly awe-inspiring phenomenon. Every year, as summer heats up and humidity builds, the skies darken, and thunder rumbles in the distance. Then, suddenly, the rains come with torrents of water that transform the landscape into a lush green paradise. The smell of wet earth fills the air, and lightning illuminates the sky with dazzling displays of color. It’s a time when nature is at its most powerful and beautiful, reminding us of our small place in the world and inspiring us to appreciate every moment of life.

Big City Life

A big city is electrifying, always buzzing with energy and excitement. From the towering skyscrapers to the bustling streets, there’s never a dull moment in this urban playground. You can find world-class restaurants, high-end shopping, and endless entertainment options everywhere. There’s always something new to discover, whether a hidden gem of a coffee shop or a trendy rooftop bar with stunning skyline views. The pace of life is fast and stimulating, and the possibilities are endless. In the big city, anything can happen, making it an endlessly fun and exciting place. The hustle and bustle of big city life can be invigorating. There’s always something new to see and do. The energy and excitement of being in a busy place can be addicting.

Colorado The Beautiful

Colorado is nicknamed “the Centennial State” because it became a state one century after the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence. Colorado is known for its diverse geography, which includes alpine mountains, high plains, deserts with massive sand dunes, and deep canyons. Colorado is a beautiful state that has something for everyone. The Rocky Mountains offer stunning views and great opportunities for outdoor activities like hiking, camping, and skiing. For those who enjoy a more urban environment, Denver is a great place to live, with plenty of restaurants, bars, and shops to keep you entertained. And if you’re looking for a little bit of everything, Colorado Springs is an excellent compromise between the two. No matter what you’re looking for in a vacation destination, you will find it in Colorado.

Colorado Geopolitical Issues

Colorado is often susceptible to wildfires due to the state’s dry climate. Wildfires can cause damage to homes, businesses, and natural resources. Wildfires also create air pollution that negatively impacts public health. Drought is another environmental issue that Colorado often faces. Drought can lead to water restrictions, dust storms, and increases in wildfires. Poor air quality is another environmental issue that can arise from drought conditions. Additionally, Colorado is home to several emerging art, science, and technology industries. These industries can bring economic growth and jobs to the state but also create new environmental challenges.

American Cowboy

I am an American Cowboy. If you’re looking for a tough, rugged individual who’s not afraid of hard work, then you’re looking for a cowboy. Modern cowboys spend their days riding horses, fixing fences, and working long hours in all kinds of weather conditions. It’s not an easy life. Cowboys still carry guns, wear boots and hats, and have to be expert horse riders. Some of the ranches in the American West cover thousands of hectares with steep hills, raging rivers, thick forests, and rocky mountains making the line of work dangerous. You need grit, determination, and a sense of adventure to survive and thrive as a cowboy. If you’ve got what it takes, then saddle up and ride.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park, Colorado

America the Beautiful. Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is a must-see for anyone visiting western Colorado. The deep, steep-walled gorge carved by the Gunnison River is a sight to behold. Roads and trails along the north and south rims offer stunning views of the canyon and the Painted Wall cliff. The East Portal Road winds its way down to the river, providing even more opportunities to take in the natural beauty of this stunning place. Wildlife such as mule deer, elk, and golden eagles can often be seen in the park, making it an ideal spot for nature lovers. Whether you’re looking for breathtaking scenery or a chance to commune with nature, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park is sure to please.

Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

America the Beautiful. Rocky Mountain National Park is one of the most beautiful places in Colorado. The Rocky Mountains provide a stunning backdrop for this national park, home to various wildlife and natural landscapes. Visitors can enjoy hiking, camping, fishing, and other activities in this unique and picturesque setting. Rocky Mountain National Park spans the Continental Divide and encompasses protected mountains, forests, and alpine tundra. The park is known for the Trail Ridge Road and the Old Fall River Road, which offer stunning views of the Rockies. The Keyhole Route is a famous climb that crosses vertical rock faces and leads up to Longs Peak, the park’s tallest mountain. Bear Lake Trail offers beautiful views of the peaks. Other popular trails include the Emerald Lake Trail and the Alberta Falls Trail. Rocky Mountain National Park is a truly unique place that should be on everyone’s list of places to visit.

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, Colorado

America the Beautiful. Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve is a unique place in the United States. The park is home to massive dunes, some of the tallest in North America. The dunes are constantly changing, shaped by the wind. They can be up to 750 feet tall! The park is also home to Medano Creek and Medano Lake. These bodies of water are seasonal, only appearing when the snow melts in the springtime. Medano Creek is a popular spot for wading and splashing around. It’s shallow enough that it’s safe for kids to play in. Medano Lake is a beautiful alpine lake perfect for fishing and swimming. There are plenty of trails to explore in Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. Hiking is a great way to see the park’s different ecosystems, from forests to wetlands. There are also several backcountry trails for those looking for a more challenging adventure. Whether you’re looking to relax or explore, Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve has something for everyone. Come and see this amazing place for yourself!

Coffee in the Morning

Do you always feel tired in the morning, no matter how much sleep you got the night before? If so, you’re not alone. Many people struggle to get out of bed feeling rested and refreshed. It’s no secret that coffee is the go-to morning beverage for many people. Something about the smell and taste of that first cup of coffee in the morning seems to make everything better. Coffee can also help you focus and energize and provides health benefits, giving you more reason to get brewing. So, if you’re looking for a delicious and healthy way to start your day, reach for a cup of coffee.

Route 91 Memorial

The Route 91 music festival shooting was a tragic event that occurred on October 1, 2017, when a gunman opened fire on a crowd of concertgoers in Las Vegas, Nevada. The attack killed 58 people, initially injuring another 546 and more, making it the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history. Police and FBI investigators found no clear motive for the shooting. The shooter had no criminal history, and his only known brushes with the law were minor traffic violations. He was a retired accountant and real estate investor.

The sentiment of a friend who lost loved ones, “I can’t make your pain go away, but I want you to know that I’m always here for you. You loved each other so much, and I know you have the strength to overcome this. You are so strong, and I know you will survive this. The tragedy claimed many innocent lives. My thoughts and prayers are with all of the victims and their families.”

War in Ukraine

The war in Ukraine initially focused on the status of Crimea and the Donbas, internationally recognized as part of Ukraine. The first eight years of the conflict included the Russian annexation of Crimea (2014) and the war in Donbas (2014–2022) between Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists. Following a Russian military build-up on Ukrainian soil in late 2020, open warfare began in early 2021. The United Nations has estimated that the war has caused over 13,000 deaths, including over 3,500 civilians, where more than 30,000 people have been wounded. The economic cost of the war is estimated to be in the tens of billions of dollars. The United States staunchly supports the sovereignty of Ukraine.

On Patrol

I am an American Soldier. I’ve battled the oppressive heat and sandstorms of Iraq and the bitter cold winters of Afghanistan. I’ve been on patrol, led raids, and emerged victorious in numerous firefights. Surviving on little food and sleep, constantly telling myself to “stay frosty” operating with a “head on a swivel” twenty-four hours a day in dangerous areas, kept myself and my brothers in combat safe. It’s hard to imagine what it’s like to be a soldier in Iraq and Afghanistan. Every day brings new challenges and threats, making warfighting a demanding job that requires courage and strength. I know what it’s like to be out there on the front lines and what it’s like to come home. I hope my art can give you some insight into what it’s like to serve in the military during a war.

  • IRQ -LEFT column. From the top. The observer is drawn into the art, down through the cities of Iraq, then on PATROL in the streets with the American Soldier.
  • AFG -RIGHT column. From the bottom. The observer is drawn into the art, up through the cities of Afghanistan, then on PATROL in the mountains with the American Soldier.

Artist Bio

Swope is a US Combat Veteran who survived multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is currently pursuing his career as an artist in Colorado.

Swope has always had a passion for art. As a child, he would spend hours drawing and painting. After high school, he decided to pursue his dream of becoming a professional artist, stopped only by the national security service to our nation.

Limited Edition Collections

Swope Gallery, Colorado

Business Email: Artist@Swope.Gallery

*Masterpiece originals in acrylic paint 20″ x 40″ with acrylic prints or canvas prints of originals available in 20″ x 40″ or 10″ x 20″. Mural and municipal project collaboration available upon request.

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