Recent paintings, watercolors, and drawings, by Bay Area artist Mary Robertson capture the color, light and feel of summer on the Russian River. An opening reception with the artist, Saturday, July 13th launches her fifth solo show at the George Krevsky Gallery that continues through Saturday, August 17th.
Robertson credits plein aire painter, Maynard Dixon as an influence. She admires him as a genius with a magical gift of creating beautiful landscapes while immersed in the scene. Unlike Dixon, she is a studio painter, comforted by not having to schlep equipment around, or contend with the dust, wind, rain, and cold. For Robertson, painting outdoors leads to what she describes as "en plein mess." Using her camera she explores the beach from the cliffs above and takes solace in painting for hours in her studio. This is time spent on her own terms, free to create compositions that go beyond what she saw from her vantage point. This is where we find her genius.
Writer Jon Carroll, a longtime friend of Robertson, reflects on her work. "I have always wanted to live on Mary Robertson's Russian River. Such an indolent place, so dreamy, like an underwater kingdom. The umbrellas, towels, beach chairs, and the people in Mary's paintings are frozen in time, always inhabiting that same summer. It's a little like heaven and a little like camp."
Mary Robertson is a California native and studied Art History at UCLA. After a successful career in graphic design and art direction she began painting full time. She has been exhibiting with George Krevsksy Gallery since 2002. Previously, solo shows include Campbell Thiebaud Galleries in San Francisco and Laguna Beach, and Addison Rowe in Santa Fe. Her artwork has been featured in public exhibitions at the Sonoma County Museum, the Stanford Faculty Club, the Santa Cruz County Museum, and the American Academy of Art & Letters.