236 Pages - 14 Years in the Making

Available at:

The Manitou Art Center
Miramont Castle
Manitou Heritage Center
The Cliff House


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Table of Contents


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Visit Miramont Castle to view 60+ images from Love Songs of Middle-Time

When Charles Rockey strolls down the street, he rarely makes it more than four steps before someone stops him to say hello. He'll lean on his polished walking stick, pull at his grey beard, while an old friend — often another longbeard — will ask if there is anything Rockey needs.

Young women, sunburned and smelling of incense, call out, "Looking sexy today, Rockey! We love you." They'll hang on his neck for a moment. Kiss him on the cheek.

To the Manitou Springs uninitiated, the 81-year-old's rock star status may be puzzling. But virtually anyone can begin to understand Manitou's undying affection for Rockey by taking in the artist's collection of fantasy drawings at Miramont Castle. The new exhibit features rich pen-and-ink and mixed-media collages of fairies, warriors and wizards from Rockey's upcoming book. The dates of the included artwork range from 1963 to 2002.

"When we were hanging all these, he said he did a story about Miramont Castle in his book. I think that may be a reason he's letting us have them," says Jennifer Walters, administrative assistant at Miramont. The exhibit is semi-permanent at this time, says Walters, "but it would be an honor if it became permanent."

Miramont registrar Danielle Persinger spent two days cataloging the works, detailing not only the ornate details of the subject matter, but also its presentation. "He makes almost all of his frames," she says of Rockey, who works out of a studio on Cañon Avenue. "One is made of pasta and rope; another has snap peas on the inside with sticks on the outside edges."

The exhibit contains nearly one-third of the illustrations in Love Songs of Middle Time Echoed Through Illuminations and Fables, a much-buzzed-about project Rockey has been writing and illustrating for 12 years. ("I had to put half the title on the first page of the book," he jokes.) The 270-page hardback will include 200 drawings and an embossed cover with a gold inlay. Currently being printed, Love Songs will be available in August at Miramont.

To Manitou's beloved artist, the publication of his book represents the culmination of 50 years of hard work. "The book is 115 love stories — short, little stories," he says.

"Because that's all that matters. Love."

By Joshua Hutton




Some Insights into CH Rockey’s “Love Songs of Middle-Times”
David Ball - Assistant to the Artist-Author-Publisher CH Rockey

First off, I’d like to say I believe this book is a truly work of art and that there is no other book like it in the world. It is, as is C.H. Rockey, one of a kind.

This book, as the Preface explains, is a collection of illuminations and fables, made up of Rockey’s imagery from paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures and furniture from the past fifty years of his creativity.

The book is very visual and a delight to “look at” by leafing though pages and perusing the images and page compositions with elements like drop caps, titles, frames and drop socks to conclude the story.

But the book has a wide variety of storys to be read. And within the writing some of the deepest appreciation of the book’s meanings and messages are to be found.

There are 150 different stories in the 246 pages of the book, most being one or two page stories, with a few that are 3-6 pages in length.

An oversimplification might be that imagery creates an immediate enjoyment - while the writing asks longer for attention that will yield deeper understandings.

What are some of the common themes amongst the collection of 150 stories?
Rockey likes to say “Its all about Love.” Indeed there are many stories about love, yet love has many forms. Let’s first consider the artist and author of the book, C.H. Rockey.

Rockey is many things. He is a father. He is a citizen of Manitou Springs. He is a lover of Mother Nature - having painted her more than 1,000 times. He is a man of faith. He is a romantic. a dreamer, a friend. He was a teacher for more than 35 years, and He is at his core an artist.

For each of these qualities in Rockey there are stories in his book.
For instance,
18 stories are specifically about or include his children.
12 stories are about or include the town of Manitou Springs.
15 stories are about the beauty of Mother Nature… or mankind’s disregard for her.
11 stories are about spiritual faith and devotion.
14 stories about marriage, romance and sexual attraction - both good and not so.
24 stories about friendships.
12 stories about being an artist and the impulse to create and invent.
6 stories about learning and education.

And there are more themes found in the book.
New ways of being.
Seeing beyond appearances.
Music as an essential ingredient to enjoying life.
Journeys to understanding and enlightenment

There is quite an assortment of characters to be found in the 150 stories.
From royalty to paupers. From the real to the imaginary. From the newborn to the ancient.
Angels, sprites, fairies, ogres, elves, imps, whompies.
Bears, Foxes, Rabbits, Ladybugs, Mermaids, Dragons, Birds of all kinds.
Princes, Princesses, Teachers, Students, Wise Elders, Sleeping Babes, Maidens
Artists, Inventors, Warriors, Musicians, Townfolk, Villagers, City folk.
Castles, Caves, Valleys, Mountaintops, Rivers, Bridges, Ponds, Streams.
Trees, Flowers, Clouds, Rainbows
All kinds of light; shimmering, glowing, gleaming, shining, etc.
The list goes on.

In conclusion to this quick overview of this truly one of kind book, I can assure those who are lucky enough own one that you will continue to be intrigued by its contents, its messages, its meanings, its delights for years to come.

David Ball



The Artist - His Art - Love Songs of Middle-Time Book - Manitou Springs