Archives For gift

Big Chalk

Mary Liz Ingram —  January 14, 2016 — 1 Comment

One of the main reasons I began using pastels was to loosen up.

In high school and early college, I was the queen of minute detail. I loved teeny tiny brushes and sharp pencils. I had a huge callous on my right middle finger from squeezing the pencil so hard to get every last dot on paper.

detail of "Martha," 18x24 pastelI still love detail, as I adjust the picture next to me to the best angle and spell check myself as I type. I’m sure it drives my husband crazy, as I settle in on the couch each night, needing the correct lamps turned on, my blanket just so…the list goes on. I will spare you, even though he is trapped. I attribute this desire for order and quirky detail to my father (hi dad!), who must have his lunch of a sandwich and chips on a paper plate every day, with a Mountain Dew of course.

But I digress. My oldest daughter, to whom (poor thing) I’ve passed much of this down, calls us “noticers.” We notice things. I’m good with that.

But when it comes to art, it can be FRUSTRATING. Especially on a portrait. Sometimes you just have to let go; you have to loosen up. So I grab a big piece of chalk. Still getting good detail, the large pieces keep me from over-detailing, from stressing and focusing on minutiae. It has helped me take the leap from tight drawing to something closer to my favorite style of Impressionism.

Using big pastels is like having a third child.

You have to loosen up, or you won’t survive. It just won’t work. You have to learn and train yourself to go with the flow, to notice the important things and pass over the stressors and tiny dots that just distract. You can more easily see the beauty that stands out, and enjoy it, record it, embrace it.

Martha, 18x24 pastel on board

Martha, 18×24 pastel on board

Gift Cards

Mary Liz Ingram —  December 1, 2015 — Leave a comment

Sometimes it’s so hard to choose a piece of art for a friend! Or you want to commission a portrait for a family member, but you’re not sure which photo they would like. If you’re stuck, I have an option for you:

Gift Cards for artwork!

Gift cards can be purchased in any amount and are redeemable for commissioned or available pastel paintings of chosen value. From pastel portraits, to ink doodles, to watercolors…so many options available for your friend or family member to choose from!

Gift Card

Gift cards will be written for the amount paid & purchase intention noted (ex: 5×7 framed pastel; 8×10 unframed portrait, etc.). Gift cards will be signed by the artist for authenticity. Those receiving gift cards may upgrade to higher-priced artwork by paying the balance. 

While we’re on the subject of portraits, this was a fun one…

A Mother’s Day gift, some sweet daughters wanted to give their mother a portrait of their grandmother. Working from an old black and white photo, we created a color portrait to bring out the beautiful auburn hair and red lips of this lovely lady. Here are some progress pictures of this watercolor commission:

Mother's Day Commission, 11x14 Watercolor

Mother’s Day Commission, 11×14 Watercolor

Birmingham Doodles

Mary Liz Ingram —  November 17, 2014 — Leave a comment

Introducing my new series of Birmingham doodles… I’m happy and surprised to say they are going fast! Ranging from $25 – $45 for original drawings, to $20 sets of notecards, these make great gifts for the holidays. I enjoy capturing the iconic landmarks of my wonderful city, and sharing them with YOU!

These doodles will make their debut, along with my pastels, at the Mountain Brook Art Association Holiday Show, open December 5th – December 19th at Brookwood Mall. Hope to see you at the opening reception December 5th from 6:00- 8:00!

2014-holiday-card-hi-rez

On Christmas morning, the family is gathered round the tree, sharing thoughtful gifts and making memories. We’re all there, my mom and dad, my three kids and husband, my sister, brother-in-law, my little niece and nephew. We’ve spent time and effort choosing meaningful gifts to share and enjoy.

Some of us may or may not be wearing some wonderfully horrible pajama shirts from the 80s, recently recovered from the attic. Some of us may or may not be wearing spectacularly tacky (and award-winning, I might add) Christmas sweaters. Some of us may or may not have received man-sized superman jammies, and home-made ties.

Let me pause a moment.

Yes, we are very silly. We had a jolly good time. Merry Christmas!

This year we introduced “Granny gifts.” You see, my Granny – whom I reference quiet often as passing down art and so much goodness into my life – she gave some terrible gifts. I mean it. One year, “the year of the beret,” she gave almost every girl a red fleece beret. It was a little weird (somehow I was overlooked..whew!). In her memory, we decided we would sneak in a Granny gift here and there, and you never know when it’s coming.

Switch back to the serious, sugary Christmas experience:

My sister is opening a small watercolor of her son on his tricycle. “Awwwww…” Then she opens a watercolor of her beloved Golden Retriever. “Ohhhh…Eloise!!!” Then a sketch of her baby girl. “Ooooohh, so cute!!!”

Then BAM. The Granny gift. A large, obviously framed, picture-sized gift awaits unwrapping. I can hardly contain myself. Snickering and rocking back and forth in my Christmas sweater, I watch her warily tear the paper.

What’s new pussycat?

It’s an ink and colored pencil portrait of my sister and Tom Jones – that’s right – riding a unicorn with a backdrop of rainbows. Boom.

Full Color

Full Color

I’m sure you have your share of inside jokes, and I’m sure my Facebook have been unable to avoid my sister and my “obsession” with harassing each other with Tom Jones. It all goes back to her move to Savannah, when she met her neighbor, the non-singer Tom Jones.

Upon hearing the name, I belt out in “She’s a Lady” and “What’s New Pussycat,” to her confusion and horror. She had never. heard. of. Tom. Jones. Flabbergasted, we first call mother and let her sing a few tunes, proving I am not the only weirdo around.

Then we proceed to google Tom Jones.

OMG.

The wealth of questionable pictures readily available on the web sparked a flood of fun. We text and post and share awkward Tom Jones photos with our own captions like there’s no tomorrow. You should try it, it’s fun. And if you’re looking for a treat for the eyes and the ears, just take a peek at this video (give it a minute, you won’t be sorry):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UxU8s7Au0A

Anyway, back to my story. I mean, how could I not create and give her such a treasure?! Oh, Tommy, what fun and joy you bring to our little lives.

The Sketch

 

A Few Doodles…

Mary Liz Ingram —  January 11, 2014 — Leave a comment

After a few weeks of intense commission completion, making sure the fur moved correctly and the eyes sparkled appropriately, I was ready for a few doodles.

The first doodle to share with you is a 5×7 watercolor of Jerusalem, a gift from my family to some friends who travelled with my husband to Israel last Spring:

Jerusalem, 5x7 watercolor commission

Jerusalem, 5×7 watercolor commission

My sister was the Christmas recipient of several watercolor and ink doodles to adorn her new built-in bookshelves. When I say “doodle,” I mean I didn’t take time to sketch first, or stick strictly to detail. I give myself more freedom and relaxation as I doodle away with a brush or pen!

Oh, but there is one more special treasure coming…stay tuned for the grand finale of doodles…

Furry Friends

Mary Liz Ingram —  January 9, 2014 — Leave a comment

While I’m parading pet portraits, here’s one more I did as a Christmas commission. In this pastel, I put two friends together from separate photos, two beloved pets who passed away recently. I was touched to hear on Christmas day that the gift was treasured, thoughtfully given and happily received!

Gift Giving #3

Mary Liz Ingram —  December 2, 2013 — Leave a comment

Looking for a unique gift that just seems to speak to you? These quirky, textured pastel farm animals are just the thing…a gift that will last and bring fun to any room! Check out some of my newest pieces that will be available for sale at my upcoming art shows. Contact Mary Liz if you’re interested in a special piece, or one of the farmyard friends below: marylizingramart@gmail.com

Holiday Show

Mary Liz Ingram —  November 30, 2013 — Leave a comment

Coming up is the always fabulous Mountain Brook Art Association Holiday Show at Colonial Brookwood Village. On the lower level of the mall, this huge show is full of wonderful art, perfect for gift giving! Join us for the opening reception on December 5th from 4:00-8:00, catered by Cocina Superior. The show will be up from December 5th through the 19th, 10-8pm daily. Grand Finale party 5-8 on December 19th. Lots of fun, lots of artists, lots of shopping! Hope to see you there!

MBAA Holiday Show

Gift Giving #2

Mary Liz Ingram —  November 28, 2013 — Leave a comment

Another great gift idea for your holiday season, these original pastel cotton bolls are symbols of the South. Drawn from actual pieces of Alabama cotton, this handmade local art is available in various sizes, from 4×4 to 16×20. Proving most popular, the small cotton bolls make fabulous gifts, affordably priced at $40.

Contact Mary Liz today to purchase your own! marylizingramart@gmail.com

 

Cotton Bolls, pastel on card Cotton Boll factory 4x4 pastel Cotton Bolls