Tag: 2015


Storm (c) Marika Reinke 2015
Storm (c) Marika Reinke 2015

A Story:

There are  incredible storms in Costa Rica, but none match the one I’ve lately tended to inside. A little over two months ago, I left my burgeoning art career in Seattle to move to rural Costa Rica.  And my identity was lifted in the air and then…what?

The storm and dissonance are my path now.  I have relearned firsthand that the moments when identity is challenged are powerfully formative, if uncomfortable.

Almost nightly,  I watch lightning, matched by rainy sheets, occasional torrents and echoing thunder. And I breathe deep, bracing myself with who I am and want to be; an artist, a writer, a mom, a wife, an entrepreneur, strong, starting over and learning to enjoy the stormy ride.

Watercolor 24″ x 18″

To Buy

Original $400

Prints will be available soon.


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2014: A Wedding Vow After 12 Years copyright Marika Reinke

The Paintings I Carry

One week left in Seattle and then we hop on the plane for a new adventure in Costa Rica.  Mostly, packing has consisted of purging, the getting rid of and lightening, but I’m willing to carry a few items for sentimental reasons.  I will paint in Costa Rica.  I’m packing all my paints but I can’t realistically take all my paintings. I’ve settled on five and as usual they tell a collective story not only of my painting, but the reasons why we have made this decision to pick it all up and try something new for our family.

I’ll start at the beginning.

A Wedding Vow After 12 Years (c) Marika Reinke Sept 2014
A Wedding Vow After 12 Years (c) Marika Reinke Sept 2014

It has now been 13 years married and a partnership 15 years old.  But the sentiment of A Wedding Vow After 12 Years so perfectly describes the complexity of our marriage.  And believe me, this big move, the huge purging of a very settled life, the intentionally unsettling and the transition time is creating a few more explosions, merging and reconstituting.  We move in hopes of realizing some dreams but also in reconnecting over a slower paced life too.  This big change is also a renewal of our vows and the painting is a worthy reminder.

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

Continuing with the theme of bringing our family closer together, Daire’s Very Not Perfect and Wonderfully Uncompromising Dragon is dedicated to my son and his initial rendering, but also an illustration of the stubborn insistence on believing in magic and that you can have just about everything, even if it contradicts itself.  Because we believe this, we move to Costa Rica just to see what happens.

Life Begins at Sea (c) Marika Reinke 2015
Life Begins at Sea (c) Marika Reinke 2015

Life Begins at Sea is a painting based on my daughter’s drawing and commitment to our family.  But this also illustrates our commitment to sustainability and the natural world, not to mention we will be living in an area saturated with many nesting sea turtles.  The school the kids will be going to, La Paz Community School, is also committed to the legacy of sustainability and is a strong motivation for sending them there.  This one must come.

Unusual Weather (c) Marika Reinke 2015
Unusual Weather (c) Marika Reinke 2015

Unusual Weather is one of my personal favorites.  It is a story of climate change. As rapidly as the world is changing around us, I feel a deep need to go see it before it all slips away and reforms itself.  This is why now is the time; not retirement, not when the kids are out of the house.  Now.  Those years in the future are filled with doubt and likely unlike anything it is now when these other milestones hit.  I want my kids to have memories of the way the world is now, not an urban life or in the shadow of collective political panic of climate disruption.  Now we go.

A Beautiful Mind (c) Marika Reinke 2015
A Beautiful Mind (c) Marika Reinke 2015

A Beautiful Mind is dedicated to my son again, who we recently found out is dyslexic (and as a result we found out my husband is too). This realization has reconnected me to my passion for education, specifically for dyslexics and educational justice. I have been fascinated by the study this summer and will spend the next couple years helping my son literally re-wire his brain to become as fluent a reader as he can be. It represents another renewed commitment to the best I can give my family, not to mention I think the painting rocks.

They are now rolled up and waiting for their next adventures, just like us.

Metamorphosis copyright Marika Reinke

The Art of Moving

Countdown to Costa Rica

Purging and simplifying a family and home of over a dozen years is a daunting task.  Sifting through the massive pile of stuff hidden in the secret pockets of this old house has been both an adventure into timeless memories and a horror story.  Old letters and photographs aside, we have just plain accumulated a lot of used and useless stuff.  Until last week, this pile of forgotten things was one of the remaining obstacles separating us from the impending adventure to Costa Rica.

And then we sold or gave half of our stuff away at a massive family Moving Sale of epic proportions. I felt a shudder of relief as it left our house never to return.

Ironically, our house does not feel empty.  Sure, the unused are gone; open most cabinets and closets and they are almost bare.  But daily items still litter our dining room, coffee table and studio in a comfortable clutter.

Now that the stuffed psychic burden has lifted, I can turn to the box of framed original paintings that have flummoxed me.  I will take some, I will store some.  But the truth is, I’d much rather leave them in your loving hands and sell them to you.

The Art of  Moving Sale 

metamorphosis scarf daires dragondragon scarf


Garden on Fire (c) Marika Reinke Fall 2014

  • Garden on Fire (c) Marika Reinke

Here’s the Deal:

I’m discounting original paintings and scarves at great deals! I’ll pay for shipping for the originals (without frame). If you live in the Seattle area, I’ll deliver to you with the frame.    Payment plans and bulk discounts are available.

All paintings come with a certificate of authenticity and a story card

Contact me at [email protected] to purchase a painting or scarf or schedule a studio visit to check out everything available including prints and pendants.

Deal ends August 21st, 2015.

Mantas: A Love Story (c) Marika Reinke 2015

Mantas: A Love Story

Mantas: A Love Story (c) Marika Reinke 2015
Mantas: A Love Story (c) Marika Reinke 2015

There is no hope in understanding a marriage.  It is bound by love and faith, not analysis.  There is love in one another and more importantly love in what they create together. This home, this family, this feeling, this conversation, this intimacy, this strength, the gift giving, forgiveness and courage they form together and this friendship only exists in this marriage.  It is incomprehensible… and a wondrous fact.

Watercolor 28″ x 27″

More of the Manta Story: A Story of Color and Life


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Mantas: A Love Story (c) Marika Reinke 2015

Working with Color & Life

This commission is taking me a long time to finish.  I make three decisions  and then I’m exhausted, and the paint needs to dry.  I walk away.

As I work, I think about my client.  She has an irreversible and deadly disease.  This painting is for her life partner as a parting gift, in memory of their life together.  Their best memories are in the water, the mantas are metaphors and symbols.

Thrilling, intimate, scary, flowing, connecting …. fill in the rest here.

We all know life is finite.  But it is another thing to know death is looming. It is another thing to be touched intimately by it and be asked to partake in the goodbyes.

I love her (my client). Every decision is a worth a million more than the thought that goes into it. I want to have all the time in the world to finish this painting.  I want anything to slow down goodbyes.  I never want this painting done so she can never give it to him. So she will never die.

So I slow down. And reflect on color and life.

The Birth story: color and life

Of the images she gave me, there were sea turtles, mantas, sea life, water, underwater corral.  Of the words she gave me, mantas, moving together, light and colors, love and the stories she has shared with me about them.

This image burned for me.  This is sketched and painted on 9 x 12″.

just mantas number 1

Which eventually led to a rough idea and agreement.


I changed the mantas as little as I worked on the larger image which is  about 26″ x 26″.  They are purple; regal and spiritual.  They come together in a more fluid shape.  They merge so one is undecipherable from the other.  The energize each other at the connection point.

just mantas

And then I add background color.  I also altered the color scheme a little, adding deeper blues and  simplifying.  The challenge is to keep the eye on the mantas while creating motion, energy, support and a story with color.  A vivid purple draws the eye in just the right places, there should be color and contrast where meaning occurs.

mantas with color

The aquamarine frames the mantas.  Dark colors keep the eye inward.  The yellow draws the eyes to it and the mantas.  Purple and yellow are complimentary colors, they glow next to each other.

mantas with background

Now I’m happy with the basic composition which is different than the first sketch.  I took what worked from it and added and subtracted.  Then, I return to the blues and yellows, softening, shading, darkening and adding depth.

more background

This week, I came back to the mantas with more layers of colors and shading.  The rewards for patience pay back huge in vibrancy and motion. The mantas are deeper purple now, the result is higher contrast which builds more energy and richness to the painting.

What is left?

I need to keep working the shading in the two mantas, their upper bodies are still a bit ill-defined and the background colors still need a few more layers for richness and just the right frame.

Mantas: A Love Story (c) Marika Reinke 2015
Mantas: A Love Story (c) Marika Reinke 2015 #WIP

She loves it.  Believe me, she would tell me if she didn’t. I’m relieved and joyful. This project aches, but I’m so pleased that this painting is doing what she wants and needs it to do.

I could work on this forever.

She might have to tell me when to stop.

The Uprootable Family

Three years ago on the beach in Honolulu, my husband and I promised each other that 2015 was our year to change our lives, a year to do something crazy, a year to invite adventure and play out a little dream just to see how it goes. We have been quietly setting up our lives to do it, saving money, making plans, discussing it and coming to an agreement.

It is 2015 and everything is moving in one direction. On August 21st, we are all hopping on a plane and moving to Costa Rica for a year or two or so. Just to see how it goes. Details have been firming up since our recognizance trip this April.

My life right now is balancing the commitments I have left here which include a couple of commissions and stocking inventory for a gift shop consignment deal, cleaning up, packing and purging the house, connecting at least one more time with special friends and neighbors and a lot of daydreaming about what life will be like in less than 6 weeks.

I have been painting but I have not been blogging about it. I'll get better, I promise. I will be painting in Costa Rica, no doubt about it.

You can follow this new adventure more closely at the blog dedicated to it here:


We are the Uprootable Family.

Much love and excitement to all of you.


Steven Pressfield Quote: The War of Art


Steven Pressfield Quote: The War of Art
Steven Pressfield Quote: The War of Art

Steven Pressfield’s book “The War or Art” has been on my to read list for a few months.  Reviews are powerful and even transformational.

You know those days when you just can’t pick up a paintbrush?  Can’t focus?  Wonder why the hell you choose such a difficult career path?  And you think just about anything else would be easier than this thing that would let your soul sing?

So you start to run down that “easier” rabbit hole?

This is Resistance.  Ultimately a destructive force, the yin to our creative yang and your biggest enemy.

I’m not far through this book and it is unlocking a lot of meaning for me.  It is a book to savor, highlight and reflect upon.

I already highly recommend it for anyone struggling to find themselves in any art or transformational endeavor or those of us just living… and living… and living.


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Reflections at Marika’s Art Studio #2: A Quarterly Newsletter

Spring has been busy and granted me incredible learning opportunities with many mishaps and a few victories.  I’m very grateful for every success and I’m learning all about the joys and perils of accepting rejection too.

Lesson for all: Keep knocking on doors, some will open.

I’m expecting a summer full of the same.  Let the roller coaster continue.

I’ve released my second newsletter, coming to your mailbox soon (or already).  Take a peak here:

 Marika’s Newsletter for May 2015

Save these Dates!

Details are on my Events page.

Art in the Park on Summer Thursdays:

June 4th 11-6, and July 16th and August 4th from 11-8
South Lake Union Park in front of MOHAI.

Queen Anne Days Art Walk

Saturday, June 11th Art Walk 11- 9 pm
Queen Anne Community Center Field

Art in the Park Today

All set up without any broken glass. Success!

Warm and beautiful day. No rain. Success!

I'll be here from 11-6 at South Lake Union in front of MOHAI with other friendly and talented artisans.

See you soon!


If Gems Speak

A big day tomorrow! 11-6 at South Lake Union! I’ve been busy today and still have a few things to knock off the list in preparation. There is so much to do my head is spinning.

By request, a preview of the stories these little gems will tell are below. They are $40 each and I do take custom orders for $55.