Archives For Art

Baby Brothers

Mary Liz Ingram —  April 11, 2014 — 1 Comment

Recently I had the great pleasure to do three precious portraits of baby brothers. They are such cute little babies, I just kept staring at them while they rested on my art desk!

Here’s a peek at my portrait process:

There’s always that middle point, when I begin to cover the bright colors, when I panic. And babies especially make me sweat, with their smooth little faces. You have to be so careful to keep all shadows and lines subtle, to keep their chubby cheeks chubby and their newness young.

Introducing three cute little buddies, and a huge thanks for this fun commission!

Baby Brother, 8x10 pastel

Baby Brother, 8×10 pastel

Baby Brother, 8x10 pastel

Baby Brother, 8×10 pastel


Baby Brother, 8x10 pastel

Baby Brother, 8×10 pastel



Mary Liz Ingram —  April 4, 2014 — 1 Comment

A portrait really is something special.

Of all the art in my house (and I have a lot, as you can imagine), the ones that make me stop and stare and think and smile are the portraits of my three kids.

I grew up with an artist for a grandmother. Her den was filled with family portraits that she painted. I could describe every detail, because I spent so much time looking at them. When she died, everyone took their portraits home, a treasure that lasts. She made them with her own hands, and her children and grandchildren pass them down.

Now I have the honor to do that for my own children, and for other people. I love to look at the pastels I’ve drawn of my three buddies, and think (or hope) that one day they will treasure them in their own home. Something lovingly made by an adoring mother, attempting to express what treasures they are by creating a piece of art to capture a moment.

If you’d like me to create a lasting treasure for your family, check out my portrait page. I’d love to get started and create something meaningful for someone you love too.

Now let me share my newest piece, finally adding my little Nora to the wall, next to her brother and sister. I will have this piece on display at my art show in Crestline tomorrow, April 5th.

Nora, 18x24 pastel

Nora, 18×24 pastel

Upcoming Workshop

Mary Liz Ingram —  March 2, 2014 — 1 Comment

Out of the Box with Mary Liz Ingram

Quack, 8x8 pastel on cardCome discover a new side to working with soft pastels!
Join award-winning pastel artist Mary Liz Ingram, and learn how to paint stunning landscapes. Mary Liz will demonstrate techniques to move you beyond traditional light & smooth pastel drawings to pastel paintings alive with brilliant color. We will be creating two finished pastel landscapes, large and miniature. You’ll achieve great results that will have people guessing your medium! Click here for details, and visit Forstall Art Center’s website for more info.
Saturday, April 12, 10-4pm.
Forstall Art Center, Birmingham, Alabama
$85, supplies needed, lunch included.


Mary Liz Ingram —  February 18, 2014 — 1 Comment

This is my city: Birmingham, Alabama. Home sweet home.

Birmingham, 8x16 pastel

Birmingham, 8×16 pastel


Mary Liz Ingram —  February 16, 2014 — 2 Comments

“Love was made for me and you…”

I can hear Nat King Cole and see flowers and hearts and mushy, huggy love all around me.

Valentine’s Day has come around again.

The aftermath of children’s Valentine’s parties clutters my counters with tiny cards and candy wrappers, my toddler’s art work adorns the mantle draped with kid-painted heart garlands, flowers from my Valentine smile from the den table.

I really like Valentine’s Day. Many curse it, blaming Hallmark for sucking us into consumeristic spending traps. Many find it a lonely day that highlights something missing. But it is about love, and we all have that, in some form or other.

It’s a good day to show it, to whomever you love. Love is a big deal. You know when you love someone. You can’t help it.

This year, I have a Valentine and three tiny Valentines. I also made sure to tell my family and my friends “Happy Valentine’s” because I love them too. Love is bigger than a boyfriend, a girlfriend, a husband or wife. Love is for all of us.

Love looks different to different people, too. It’s not our job to say whose love is right and whose is wrong. We’re all human; we all know love. So let’s show a little more of it. A little more understanding for unknown struggles, a little more patience with those we don’t know, a lot less pointing fingers and telling others what to do, and a little more minding our own business and loving our people. It won’t hurt much, I promise.

Valentines from our daughter, colored pencil

Valentines from our daughter, colored pencil

From the mouths of babes…

The first conversation we ever had with our kids about homosexuality was about our neighbors. Two women who live together in faithful partnership. We simply told the kids that our neighbors love each other, but some people don’t think that’s okay. That was that.

But our eldest said, “Well that’s dumb! No one can tell you who to love!”

Smart kid. I agree.


Homemade Valentine cards, a family tradition:

My Hero, watercolor & ink

My Hero, watercolor & ink


For my 3 tiny Valentines

For my 3 tiny Valentines

If You Weren’t Afraid…


Kids are Fun

Mary Liz Ingram —  February 13, 2014 — 2 Comments

I love my life.

I just have to say it.

Sure, most nights I collapse on the couch in exhaustion. Yep, some days are pretty rotten and I want to pull my hair out. My kids fuss at a me at least a few times everyday, sometimes it seems to be most of the day. I have to change a lot of gross diapers, do A LOT of laundry (the bane of my existence), constantly take out trash and wash dishes…you know, all that rotating, never-ending domestic stuff. I have to squeeze in showers on busy mornings, and rush off to work with frazzled hair. I get cranky and fussy and bossy and pitiful when my poor husband comes home, and he assuages me with cookies to bring me back down to homeostasis. I get dates mixed up when I have too many meetings and tasks at hand, and I get behind on returning calls and art association blog posts. I take a lot of Advil and I have a dirty car.

But I. LOVE. MY. LIFE.Messy Fun

And nothing reminds me more than a tea party with my 1 year old.

The simple joys of being a kid. Nibbling plastic cupcakes and sipping pretend tea. Playing. Laughing. Drawing. Painting.

It makes all the rush and dirt and stink of the have-to’s just a small part of the program and not the real show.

…That’s the way it should be, I think.

"Nora's Tea Party," 6x6 watercolor doodle

“Nora’s Tea Party,” 6×6 watercolor doodle


Southern Snow Day

Mary Liz Ingram —  February 12, 2014 — 2 Comments

Today is a snow day…but so far it’s a rainy cold day.

We are all waiting and watching the weather, snow supposedly approaching.

Here in the South, snow causes paralysis. You can’t go anywhere, as my previous post of being snow-stranded attests. And if that’s not enough, take a read through last year’s hairy adventure driving home in the snow.

So… it’s a big deal if we might have 4 inches of snow this afternoon.  We’re all home from work and school, some hoping and waiting for snow and some crossing their fingers we miss it (can’t blame them, after our last episode).

I personally love a snow day and adore the falling snowflakes, despite the chaos it can cause. It is a magical thing here in the South; a gift that is never guaranteed. Some winters we have no snow; some only a few flurries; and rarely do we have a big, dangerous event. Remember the ’93 blizzard, anyone? Sleeping by the fire in our den, eating smokey-tasting soup cooked in our fireplace day after day, carving paths through the snow for a lost duck and a cold neighbor… for a week without power…. Fun times.

Feeling the impending winter doom hanging over us in the gray, clouded sky, wondering if we will actually see a snow flake or not, this morning I read an article by Rick Bragg, aptly entitled “Dixie Snow.” Speaking of the wonderment we Southerners feel when it snows, he writes:

I still feel it, some, when I see children rush into a snowfall that could not cover pea gravel. I see them using spatulas and spoons to scrape up enough snow to make the saddest snowmen you have ever seen, more red mud than anything else. They last a day, or a morning, and then become forlorn lumps. I have seen children make snow angels in what, mostly, seemed to be slick gravel. But I love to see them try.

-“Dixie Snow” by Rick Bragg, in Southern Living January 2014

It’s true. Countless images of my kids (okay, okay, and me…) come to mind: rushing outside at the first sign of snow, trying to catch some on your tongue before the flurries stop, making snow angels in a half-inch layer of snow while getting mud on your back, making tiny snowmen just to show you can. It’s a special gift, the magic of snow, when you don’t get to see it everyday.

But as the saying goes, “make sure you have plenty of milk and bread”…

"Snow Angel," 6x6 watercolor doodle

“Snow Angel,” 6×6 watercolor doodle

Keep Dreaming

Mary Liz Ingram —  February 10, 2014 — 1 Comment

Sunday morning, lots of PJs, snuggling and drawing. The 2014 Winter Olympics play on the TV, a recording from last night replayed for the kids.

My 8-year-old videos the already-recorded figure skating on a phone, enthralled by the young Russian who spins so fast you lose sight of what’s what.

Videographer, ink doodle

Videographer, ink doodle


My 6-year-old draws pictures of snow boarders and dreams of flipping through the air (something, I would argue, he already does off of my furniture).

Dream Sketcher, ink doodle

Dream Sketcher, ink doodle

The baby watches and rocks on her horse, periodically coming to see the drawings I’m doodling while sipping my warm coffee.

Horse Rocker, ink doodle

Horse Rocker, ink doodle

You know, it’s hard being a parent.

Being responsible for the nurturing and raising of a child, not to mention three. Responsible for encouraging talents, providing opportunities, while still keeping life carefree and simple and full of freedom to create and explore. So many, especially Americans, pack out their weeks with back-to-back extracurricular activities on top of homework and high demands for excellence. I’ve always promised not to buy into the crazy-busy schedules, letting my kids try one activity at a time.

But then I had three kids.

In a week of 7 days, extra stuff fills up the afternoons faster than I thought. What should they try? Dance? Piano? Gymnastics? Soccer? T Ball? …..

Swaying between doing nothing and too much, I let the Olympics inspire me this cold winter morning, and I signed up my flippy, head-standing, hands-walking son for gymnastics. It just felt right.

Ninja Training

Ninja Training

On the plus, the gymnastics teacher has tried out for American Ninja Warrior, one of my son’s actual dreams (he has trained by walking down the walls of the hallway, climbing door jambs, setting up courses in his room).

So it’s a go. And it works because it perfectly coincides with my daughter’s dance class. Knocking out two birds with one stone in one afternoon.

*Slow Exhale*

It’s a tough thing to be somewhat in charge of helping your child’s “dreams come true.”

I’m going with gut instinct and crossed fingers.

And lots of love.

Ice Skating Dreams, original photography

Ice Skating Dreams, original photography

Sweet dreams till sunbeams find you
Sweet dreams that leave all worries behind you
But in your dreams whatever they be
Dream a little dream of me

-Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong, Dream A Little Dream of Me

My Yellow Truck

Mary Liz Ingram —  February 7, 2014 — 1 Comment

So there’s this yellow truck…

I. Love. It.

I don’t know why…It’s just an old yellow truck that lives at the tire store across the street from my neighborhood. The tire people put it inside at night, and park it out front every morning. It’s big, it’s shiny, it’s very yellow. And I love it.

I try to take pictures of it every time I’m close enough, but could never get the whole thing. Finally, thanks to the patience of my daughter, and me looping around a few times in our car, I got the money shot. Well, sort of. There are always bushes blocking the front.

But I rigged it up with a few successful photos and variety of angles, and finally…FINALLY…I present to you my much-awaited “Yellow Truck,” 15×15″ pastel.

Yellow Truck, 15x15 pastel

Yellow Truck, 15×15 pastel


Mary Liz Ingram —  February 6, 2014 — Leave a comment

Here’s a much bigger MOO right at you!

Meet Beulah, a big, comfy cow resting in a sunny patch on a green Southern hill… 18×24′ Pastel on Pastelbord

Beulah, 18x24 pastel

Beulah, 18×24 pastel