Daire's Dragon (c) Marika Reinke 2015
Daire's Dragon (c) Marika Reinke 2015 Watercolor

Daire’s Very Not Perfect and Wonderfully Uncompromising Dragon

Daire's Dragon (c) Marika Reinke 2015
Daire’s Dragon (c) Marika Reinke 2015

Daire’s Dragon

I breath fire, water and stars on rainbows in the moonlight.  Who says it can’t be so? I will turn them into air.

Watercolor 18″ x 24″ 

The Story

This is not a perfect painting.  By far, it is a lesson in the art of imperfection.  The wobbly line, the chaotic scales, the tail that swells and recedes, the messy colors and shadows, and my incredible frustration with everything about it.

Dragon Tail detail
Dragon Tail detail
Dragon Head Detail
Dragon Head Detail

(As I painted this the paper popped off its board, rolled up and buckled. I was too in love with the dragon to stop and try again.)

It popped off the board and curled
It popped off the board and curled

There are so many mistakes hidden in this painting and there are many, many lessons.

It is not a cartoon, not “high art”, not digitally enhanced or animated and very likely not what you think but maybe what you somehow know is true.

It is my son’s wholehearted and exuberant belief that he can have everything including the “impossible” and “magical”.

And like him,  we need impractical, imperfect, uncompromising magic. Yes, you do. Because life is only explicable to a point.  That blank space, the “I don’t know”, the “science can’t explain”, is where magic thrives, and this dragon lives folding her wings welcoming us to understand this:

We are creatures of magic; the everyday act of living.  

As I worked through the frustration of this very not perfect yet uncompromising painting I began to believe this as well:

Perfection is the enemy of magic.   

We have had it all wrong.

There is no such thing as “perfection”.

And that is real life magic.


Original Available: $400


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  1. ĽAdelaide says:

    She’s wonderful. I wrote awhile back that perfection is the enemy of creativity. Because it is… If we grasp at the image, trying to save something tho we want to keep going,we miss the true point of the creative process.❤️

  2. Love it. Most definitely perfection kills creativity. I’ve been reading a lot of magic based books with my daughter – Harry Potter of course but most recently Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy – so interesting that they all discuss magic as messy (not perfect, more art than science). And then recently my daughter told me that my art was like magic, turning one thing into another…. as does creativity. It all circles back on itself, doesn’t it?

  3. RAustin says:

    I like the dragon a lot. It screams motion graphics and animation to me. I just look at all this and think animation sequences someday. Emily and I are looking forward to the open house.

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