Betty Sabo “Cottonwood, St. I (Gathering Storm)” Collograph

C4631B-paint.jpg

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Betty Jean Sabo, Southwest Painter
  • Category: Original Prints
  • Origin: Western Artists
  • Medium: Collograph on Arches Cover White paper
  • Size:
    39” x 29-½” image;
    46” x 36-½” framed
  • Item # C4631B
  • Price: $1950

"Cottonwood, St. I (Gathering Storm)" is a collograph by New Mexico artist Betty Sabo. Collagraphy (also spelled as "collography") is a printmaking process that was created in the 1950s. The name comes from the Greek words koll or kolla, which means "glue," and graph, which means to write or draw. Ricardo Ximenes, the El Cerro Graphics master printer who collaborated with Sabo on this piece, provided a helpful description of the process:

"We'd take a plastic-type plate that's blank, and then we make up a mixture of a couple of different types of paste. It's made so that the artist can manipulate it on the plate, and at the same time it doesn't dry up fast. Once that's done, we have raised areas and valleys, and then we take different types of tools that we use to put the ink inside. Then we just rub it and rub it and rub it, until all the ink on the high surfaces is gone and all the ink is left down at the bottom. Then it's pressed."

Betty Sabo and Rick Ximenes' efforts resulted in a series of gorgeous landscapes, and "Cottonwood, St. I (Gathering Storm)" is one of the finest of the group. The titular cottonwood tree occupies much of the image, and its reflection on the river below occupies much of what's left. A blend of three different blues creates a sky that is at once beautiful and somewhat ominous, suggesting in its depth a coming storm. Dark red and purple tones create the tree and the land on which it sits, complementing the blues nicely and elevating the moody nature of the image. The unique textures created by the printing method seem to breathe life into the tree, offering much to the viewer who chooses to explore the series of shallow peaks and valleys formed by the unconventional printmaking method. At about 40 inches by 30 inches, "Cottonwood, St. I (Gathering Storm)" is a large and powerful piece.

The print is signed Sabo and marked P/P (printer's proof) in lower left. It is mounted on a gray backing, under glass in a wide black frame. The printing of "Cottonwood, St. I (Gathering Storm)" began in June 1988 and was completed in June of 1990. A numbered edition of six and two proofs were created. A copy of El Cerro Graphics' original print documentation is included with the piece.

Betty Jean Sabo (1928 - 2016) was a painter 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.


Condition: excellent condition

Provenance: this Betty Sabo "Cottonwood, St. I (Gathering Storm)" Collograph is from a private New Mexico collection

Recommended Reading: The Art of New Mexico - How the West is One: The Collection of the Museum of Fine Arts by Joseph Traugott

TAGS: AlbuquerqueCarl Von HasslersculpturebronzePaintingsBetty Sabo

Alternate close-up view of a section of this artwork.

 

Betty Jean Sabo, Southwest Painter
  • Category: Original Prints
  • Origin: Western Artists
  • Medium: Collograph on Arches Cover White paper
  • Size:
    39” x 29-½” image;
    46” x 36-½” framed
  • Item # C4631B
  • Price: $1950

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