Cottonwood Trees and Adobe Church dated 1976 by Betty Sabo [SOLD]


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Betty Jean Sabo, Southwest Painter
  • Category: Paintings
  • Origin: Western Artists
  • Medium: Oil on Board
  • Size:
    29-½ x 35-1/2" image;
    40-1/2” x 46-3/8” framed
  • Item # C4222
  • SOLD

Paintings like this colorful landscape piece illustrate exactly why Betty Sabo is considered to be one of Albuquerque’s finest artists.  Sabo was best known for creating excellent Southwestern landscapes. This particular piece, which is dated 1976, is a standout that deserves the consideration of anyone who appreciates her work.  In the foreground, the viewer sees a dry arroyo—a common sight here in the high desert. A small ridge runs alongside it; plants are flowering along its edge. These plants are gorgeous, most definitely worthy of a close study.  Their flowers are off white, their stems purple, green and pink. These colors combine with one another wonderfully, and accurately; Sabo knew very well how to highlight the natural pinks and purples of the desert. Above the ridge, Sabo provides a burst of color that will likewise be familiar to anyone who has explored this region during the fall.  Cottonwood leaves—bright yellow, with oranges and browns underneath—dominate the upper half of the image. They’re vivid, brilliant, and carefully textured thanks to Sabo’s masterful layering of increasingly bright colors.

When viewing the piece, one is immediately struck by its size.  It’s quite a bit larger than the majority of her works that have passed through the gallery. Its size works in its favor, allowing for detailed work in certain areas that might have been impossible to attend to were the painting smaller.  This is quite evident in the church, which sits behind the massive cottonwoods. A close look at its adobe walls reveals extraordinarily detailed work. Careful shading and superb color choices resulted in work that looks just like actual adobe walls do from a distance.  A gently billowing, round cloud formation hovers far in the distance, adding depth to an otherwise bright blue sky. Sabo’s exceptional work here extends beyond the details into something harder to describe but even more significant—the feeling of the piece as a whole. It’s bright, bold, and inviting; dreamy but totally natural.  Put simply, it’s enormously appealing. This is an exceptional piece from one of Albuquerque’s most significant artists.

Betty Jean Sabo (1928 - 2016) was a famous and successful artist who was born in Kansas City, Missouri.  Sabo rose to prominence as an artist while living and working in New Mexico. She majored in art at the University of New Mexico, and studied for five years under German-born painter Carl Von Hassler.  She is best known for her realistic oil paintings of New Mexico and Colorado landscapes, but she also found success and acclaim as a sculptor. Her works received many awards and are included in prominent public and private collections around the country.  Today, she is highly regarded by New Mexico collectors. In 2012, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez declared February 10th to be Betty Sabo Day, in honor of the artist’s considerable accomplishments. Sabo passed away in 2016, leaving behind a large body of work that is particularly beloved by New Mexico residents.

Betty Jean Sabo (1928 - 2016) signatureThis painting is signed “Sabo” in lower left.

Condition: this Original Painting of Cottonwood Trees and Adobe Church dated 1976 by Betty Sabo is in excellent condition

Provenance: from a New York collection

Recommended Reading: The Modern West—American Landscapes 1890-1950 

Relative Links: Betty SaboAlbuquerqueCarl Von Hassler, Paintingssculpturebronze

Close up view of the Church in this painting by Betty Sabo.