Paintings of the Russian River in summer may be some of her best-loved work, though desert landscapes dominate this upcoming show. The paintings suggest a new direction but they reflect early memories of the desert's holding power: sky, red rock, and "the incredible ruins" of Native America. Robertson has a lifelong connection to the Southwestern desert where she traveled as a child to visit her uncle, James Brewer, a National Park Service superintendent in Arizona. "When I was just a little girl my mother would take us to the train station in Los Angeles and we would go to Phoenix or Flagstaff to visit Uncle Jim" recalls Mary. "I spent a lot of time there as a kid. I was like a goose – I imprinted on that landscape.
Her many admirers of the Russian River paintings will not be disappointed since a new series of views from her studio in Guerneville are also included. She still paints scenes as she sees people in canoes and inner tubes floating down the lazy green stream. But she's also painting the desert now, "Because I have to" said Robertson. "It's kind of like Richard Dreyfuss in that movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind, where he couldn't do anything but build the devil's tower in miniature…I have to do it!"