Mary Roberson was born in 1948 in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Her family relocated to Redondo Beach, California, where she spent most of her childhood. She studied at the Chouinard Art Institute and the Otis Art Institute, both in Los Angeles.
Utilizing impressionistic and surrealist techniques, Roberson’s paintings invite the viewer to enter into her view of the world, where animals possess totemic meaning, and where texture and movement come alive.
For Roberson, wildlife is a symbol of the workings of the universe. Her thick brushstrokes evoke the dense underbrush where many of her western wildlife subjects make their homes. Recently she has been traveling to Africa and painting the incredible wildlife she sees there.
She lives in Hailey, Idaho, where she takes advantage of nearby Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks for inspiration. She has said that she feels that wildlife chooses her as subject matter, rather than the other way around. For Roberson, composition is the driving force and she uses a muted palette in order to highlight the composition. She builds her paintings through layers of paint, with representational images of animals against earth-tone backgrounds. The understated effect hints at meaning seen and unseen.
Roberson has captured the attention of private collectors and museums alike. She was the featured painter at the 2010 Western Visions Show & Sale at the National Museum of Wildlife Art. Her painting, “The Mystic Forest,” is part of the museum’s permanent collection.