Archives For retro

Retro Icons

Mary Liz Ingram —  March 30, 2014 — Leave a comment

I’m gearing up for my art show next Saturday, April 5th in Crestline! Over the next few days I’ll introduce you to the pieces making their debut and ready to find new homes.

My newest series “Retro South,” is all about history, color and icons of the South, and even more specifically the city I call home: Birmingham.

Take a look and follow the links to read more about each piece:

Yellow Truck



Sloss Furnace & Airstream

Rusty Train





A Rear View

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

It’s been nine years since I sat on the cool marble bench, in a brightly lit room, surrounded by people.

One of my dearest friends by my side, we stared at a very nice, very shapely rear end.

We had quite a conversation about this certain rump, exposed and shining in the overhead light.

We laughed and closed one eye, pretending to give it a pinch from our seats.

We even took a few pictures.

Michelangelo knew how to sculpt a butt. David has quite a nice tushy.

That was not the only time I’ve been mooned by a statue.

We residents of Birmingham, Alabama can be mooned any day of the week by our resident Roman god of the forge, Vulcan.

Sloss Furnace, 12x14 pastel

Sloss Furnace, 12×14 pastel

Vulcan watches over “the Magic City,” which grew so fast in the early 1900s due to the abundance of materials and ability to make iron and steel (hence Sloss Furnaces!). He has a pretty cool story. We had to write reports all about him back in my early school days. Here’s a snippet about Vulcan, but you should really check out Vulcan’s full story.

“Vulcan, Birmingham Alabama’s colossal statue is the world’s largest cast iron statue and considered one of the most memorable works of civic art in the United States. Designed by Italian artist Giuseppe Moretti and cast from local iron in 1904, it has overlooked the urban landscape of Alabama’s largest city since the 1930s.” (source)

So in my pursuit of capturing iconic landmarks and pieces of the “Retro South” with my pastels, I of course am obligated to give homage to Vulcan.

Now, Birmingham residents may notice what I chose to depict in his hand. Vulcan, restored in 1999, now holds a spear. But when I was growing up, he held a lighted torch. It glowed green on days when there were no traffic fatalities, and red when someone had died in an accident.

Perhaps a little strange, a little morbid, a little heavy for kids, but my sister and I were obsessed with seeing if anyone died or not each day. I confess I was a little disappointed when this quirky signal was changed. But hey, my kids still love to see if they can spy Vulcan atop Red Mountain whenever there’s a chance.

And they thought it hilarious the day we were at Vulcan Park, standing on his pedestal overlook, high in the air, looking up at his big naked booty.

Vulcan, 8x13 pastel

Vulcan, 8×13 pastel

Retro South

Mary Liz Ingram —  February 4, 2014 — 2 Comments

Over years of creating art, I have noticed cycles of creativity. Every winter, I get a touch of those dreaded “winter blues.” Art to the rescue! Tired of the same old, same old, I try something new. This year, I’ve been very much inspired by the 1940s and 50s, draw to images from that era.

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you’ve seen most of this new art. But it’s past time for the website debut!

Let me introduce to you my new series, “Retro South”:

Airstream sketch

Airstream sketch


While my husband drives, I take pictures of the sky, the fields, the cities, old buses…whatever strikes my fancy. My phone is always clogged with potential art subjects. My art journey into the “Retro South” started with a quick snap of my phone camera on a trip through Alabama, when I captured a shiny RV and bright blue skies. I loved the angle, the iconic Southern image it presented.

I turned it into an Airstream, and voila! It was the first in a new journey of Southern art.

Airstream, 12x15 pastel

Airstream, 12×15 pastel


Sloss Furnace Sketch

Sloss Furnace Sketch

Sloss Furnace

Next, I moved on to another picture I took from the car window, as we drove through downtown Birmingham. Sloss Furnace is a huge and historic part of my city’s skyline and heritage, and I love it’s rust and age. The significance of Sloss Furnaces is stated best on it’s website:

Sloss Furnaces produced iron for nearly 90 years, which gave rise to the city of Birmingham, AL. Now recognized as a National Historic Landmark, Sloss Furnaces with its web of pipes and tall smokestacks offers us a glimpse into the great industrial past of the South and our nation.

Sloss Furnace, 12x14 pastel

Sloss Furnace, 12×14 pastel


The Alabama Theatre

Continuing to tell the story of my place, I painted another historic Birmingham, Alabama landmark: The Alabama Theatre. This beautiful building opened in 1927, and I love to go watch old movies there with popcorn and cherry coke. Check out my earlier post about the Alabama Theatre to see some photos of the gorgeous interior.

Alabama Theatre, 7x12 pastel

Alabama Theatre, 7×12 pastel

Other pictures are coming, and some have already been shown, such as my new “Old Rusty Train.” I have lots of plans for more art, so stay tuned!