Archives For love

Love and Light

Mary Liz Ingram —  January 21, 2016 — Leave a comment

I woke up this morning to a dark blue sky streaked with gray clouds. Yawning, I made my way to a cup of coffee and settled in my chair in a quiet den. I felt clouded and sleepy, like the early morning sky. Struggling to wake, hoping to sweep away weary expectations, I leaned back and looked out the window. The rising sun sent a gentle light through the stripes of dreary January clouds, a hope-filled breakthrough. Light is always brighter than darkness.

Sometimes you are fortunate to capture these moments in life, to notice them like the morning sun, when love and light shines through.  A gift from a friend, a warm fire to welcome you home, a hug from a child.  I’m sure you can think of many others. I know I can.

Simple, everyday moments, like a father gently preparing his daughter for a performance, carefully drawing lines and arranging her hair. His hand placed tenderly on her cheek, her eyes closed in trust and rest. I was fortunate enough to be able to preserve this moment for a family, with a watercolor on canvas.

I love to watch for the light. You never know when it will shine through.

Love and Light, 20x20 watercolor on canvas

Love and Light, 20×20 watercolor on canvas

Give and Take

Mary Liz Ingram —  January 9, 2016 — 3 Comments

It’s in my personality to enjoy a challenge. I don’t mind sometimes doing without, having to be creative and find ways around a shortage. I don’t mind that our family of 5 has one bathroom; you just learn to take turns and by golly I can clean one bathroom, easy peasy.

An inconvenience I’ve been living with for sometime now is the lack of a home computer. No big deal, except for when it comes to blogging and updating my website. Well, Merry Christmas, I’m back, typing on a computer that lives here instead of one that comes home for belated visits after work.

detail of watercolor farmhouseIn the weeks leading up to Christmas, I worked full weekends and many afternoons getting a variety of commissions painted, drawn and framed. To keep my focus in our busy home, and tune out the (mostly) happy racket, I listened to audio books. While I painted a gorgeous family farmhouse, I listened to The Zimzum of Love by Rob and Kristen Bell, and imbibed a bit of give and take into the piece.

While I listened to the stories of living in a collaborative, relational dance, I thought of how the vines and time had grown and coated the old house in an aged patina. How the old house became one with the landscape, how the house and earth united to make the image so very beautiful. The walls made room for the plants; the plants adorned the farmhouse.

I worked with watercolor canvas, a surface well-primed for the give and take of paint. I layered strong, deep colors; I removed them ever so methodically. Over and over, my brush danced to the tune of cooperation, bantering calmly back and forth with the canvas.

While I listened and worked, I navigated my way through little sibling disputes, the needs and requests of the kids, the pets, and mealtimes. A game of give and take, pause and focus, time for myself and time for others.

The whole process wrapped up in give and take.

Wepritz Farm, 8x10 watercolor on canvas

Wepritz Farm, 8×10 watercolor on canvas

Love

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…

 

It was a few weeks ago, I was driving with the flow of before-work traffic, sipping my blessedly fragrant coffee out of my travel mug and listening to NPR, while my son counted repeatedly to 100 and my baby threw her toys around. I heard snippets of an interview with Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg. Between listening to counting, stopping and going down the highway, and planning for the day ahead, one piece stayed with me: Sandberg’s favorite workplace poster: “What Would You Do If You Weren’t Afraid?”

That got me to thinking. Mary Liz, what WOULD you do if you weren’t afraid? That half-answered and waiting question floats in and out of my head from time to time.

What would you do if you weren’t afraid…

I would stand up for what is right, for what I believe is good and true. I would take action when opportunity arises to make the world a better place.

I would do these things in spite of fear of what others would think, who would disagree, who might think of my beliefs with distaste, or question me. If I were not afraid, I would be a better person, I think.

So I’m going to try to take steps as they come, to do more good with less fear. I’m sure the lesson should be much deeper, the deeds greater, but you have to start somewhere.

So I start here. I support and want to encourage equality among people…we are all human, we all feel love and hate, sadness and joy; we are a mixed up lot and disagree so much because we are all unique. But no matter our circumstance, we are in this together, in flesh and blood, living and breathing. We all have a story, half-hidden, so do not judge; I won’t judge you.

“Be kind. Everyone you meet is in the midst of a great struggle.” -Plato

Marriage Equality, 3x3 pastel on card

Marriage Equality, 3×3 pastel on card

Love at First Sight…

Mary Liz Ingram —  December 3, 2012 — 2 Comments

Everyone remembers the day when you first met your true love. Oh, the euphoria of that first glimpse, the excitement of realizing what has been revealed before your eyes.

About 7 years ago, I was walking across a beautiful bridge in Paris, on my way to visit Notre Dame. It was a beautiful, romantic afternoon in an amazingly romantic city. The clouds were soft, the water languid…I was strolling along, making my way unexpectedly through the city, when I looked up. Continue Reading…