Tag: Heart

Spare Change

Spare Change and Legacies

My father, who died 17 years ago, used to keep a 5 gallon water jug for spare change. It was a way of saving, a game and my confession: my brother and I used to “steal/borrow” from it as children.

Dad wanted to see if he could fill it up but he expected to live much longer than 49 years…so he didn’t. And our sneaking didn’t help his goal, the quarters disappeared fast.

After he died, my mom kept it and added a little to it over the years.

Today, she handed it over to our kids; a heavy bowlful of change that can’t be counted in one sitting. It is a gift from a ghost and from a time when having kids were little more than maybe a thought to the 23-year-old me.

My kids are through-the-roof excited.

Dad touches them, with a small habit, very tangibly right now like a small bit of time travel.  I’m happy he could give them something they feel at this age, a small brushing of souls.

He touches us in many unseen ways too.

And maybe he meant to save the money for them and maybe he didn’t. I don’t know.

But legacies play this way. We think we know what we leave behind, but we don’t. We just do our best and leave it for the people left behind to make meaning of it. The meaning making is our legacy.


Follow Your Heart (2014)



When our bodies betray us what works suddenly fails.  It leaves frightening, crippling, questions and an uncertain future. A hole in the heart chambers mixes oxygenated red cells and de-oxygenated blue cells and causes fainting, weakness and an erratic heart beat. The brush with the unknown couldn’t be unthinkable death?  

And modern medicine is the answer.  Heart surgery, an ablation procedure and a little synthetic fan-like device can re-gift a healthy life, strength, a rhythmic heart, a singing open spirit, laughter and revived perspective.   

But more, a perceptive soul listens closely to a failing heart.  It speaks and wisely leads the way to a renewed identity of meaning, humanity and faith.

Watercolor 16″ x 12″

The Story

This painting was custom work for Kristen Johnson who asked me to paint her heart.  The 26 year old had two heart surgeries to fix the hole in her heart.   After her first  surgery at 22, she woke and knew that her future needed to be helping others with heart problems.  As a result, she finished nursing school and is now a cardiac ICU nurse.  This commission is one of the first gifts she has given herself with a “real paycheck” since becoming a nurse.

Creating this painting was a mutual gift.  It was an honor and joy to celebrate Kristen’s story.

“I have to say -I got it home and read the thing (story card) and looked at the painting and cried a good little cry. It is perfect. You did an amazing job and I love it.” Kirsten Johnson.

Kristen sent me the following images to work from.

Closure Device
Closure Device
Heart Echogram
Heart Echogram
Burn Point on Misfiring Electrical Pathways
Burn Points on Misfiring Electrical Pathways

After reflection, I sent Kirsten a quick watercolor sketch of where I wanted to take the image.

Follow Your Heart Sketch
Follow Your Heart Sketch

Upon agreement, I began the painting process, updating her everyday with progress reports.

Follow Your Heart Stage 1 - by Marika Reinke
Follow Your Heart Stage 1 – by Marika Reinke
Follow Your Heart stage 2
Follow Your Heart stage 2

Until the final one emerged with a lovely glow than rightfully matches Kristen’s spirit.


For more information about commissions and how I handle and price them, see here:  https://marikareinke.com/buy-art/commissions/

Heart, Humor, Spirit copyright Marika Reinke

2014: Heart, Humor, Spirit

Heart, Humor, Spirit copyright Marika Reinke
Heart, Humor, Spirit copyright Marika Reinke

What gives me strength when I am weak? Courage when I’m scared? Confidence when I’m uncertain? Heart, humor and spirit written gently on each finger. Because floating in an unknowable sea is just a lovely, bumpy, mysterious dream.

Watercolor 12″ x 9″

In The News

This painting was featured by the Northwest Art Alliance in May 2015.

Buy Here

Buy Heart Humor Spirit Here

 Original Painting: $150

Personalized Limited Edition Print (of 25) : $45    What’s special about a limited edition print? Click on my Print Options

10 Pack 5″ x 7″ Art Cards: $35

About print Options

To read complete details about the options for buying please read my About Print Options page.


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