It is not an exaggeration when I say I have been painting, painting and painting for the last few months. I have been painting inside and outside. I have had paint all over myself, paint cans, brushes, the living room floor, on old wooden panels, concrete blocks and on canvas. I have painted so much I can’t use my painting apron and some brushes anymore.
My latest and biggest project has been to paint the full set for the Wonderland musical production for Beach Nuts Theater. And finally, now that the production is underway, I can share the real work with you here.
The set consists of 22 4 foot x 10 foot panels and about 6-7 weeks worth of solid outdoor work in buggy, muggy and rainy Costa Rica. I loved every minute of it and mostly I have loved the kids reaction to them. Those kids put so much energy and love into this epically entertaining production, they deserve every amount of joy I can give them back.
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.
A Beautiful Mind (c) Marika Reinke 2015
Unusual Weather (c) Marika Reinke 2015 Watercolor
Life Begins at Sea (c) Marika Reinke 2015
Daire’s Dragon (c) Marika Reinke 2015 Watercolor
A Wedding Vow After 12 Years (c) Marika Reinke Sept 2014 Watercolor
I’ll start at the beginning.
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.
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 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 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 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.
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.
This post is a continuation from Part 1 posted last week. In order to be successful with Part 2, Part 1 is required reading. You can’t make magic by skipping steps. Come on, you know that. 😉
Step 3: Plan
Yes, I know, planning isn’t really the way it works in the movies or in fairytales. Unfortunately or fortunately, real magic does not require a magic wand, staff or mirror. And magic isn’t going to happen if you just wish for it or say some magic words. Sorry. Life would be easier wouldn’t it? But then, it wouldn’t be such an adventure either.
Like any good potion though, it does require ingredients, and planning is one of them. So we must add a Plan to our potion.
Remember, you are an apprentice. Like any good apprentice, you will have to work hard, study and learn in order to make this potion work. Think about Harry Potter, he had Hogwarts, a whole school and curriculum to study magic! Even Gandolf the Grey learned, toiled and practiced until he became the White Wizard. Don’t you want to be like him? I do.
If you want to practice magic, you must commit to being a student of magic. You must always plan.
It will help to think of your plan as a treasure map that will help you get from where you are now to your Idea.
You are building a map to attain your Idea. The more detailed this map, the better.
So lets do it.
1. Articulate Your Idea
In words, pictures, writing, song, you must spend time really understanding your Idea. You must know this Idea inside and out. You must create a vision of what the world would like if your idea came true. How would your life change? What will you have accomplished? How will the world be different? What artifacts will have been created as a result of this idea?
See yourself in the middle of your idea. What does it feel like? taste like? sound like? Put yourself there and then describe it, record it, perform it in whatever method works for you.
Be as specific as possible.” I kinda think it will look like this…”, “I’ll try…” or “I hope…” does not cut it! Use direct action words, start with ” I will…”
Paint exactly what your Idea looks so you know it when you get there without a doubt. This is your treasure, treat it like a treasure!
As you learn more about yourself and your Idea, you will come back to this vision, over and over again, adding facts, tweaking and rewriting. That is life. But the Idea is the same, do not waiver from the Idea. You must believe ( see step 1).
2. Create Goals
Goals are the key markers to getting to the treasure. Think about a treasure map. It will take 2-5 years to get to the treasure, but in three days you want to cross the river. Crossing the river is a goal. It is the smaller steps towards getting to your Idea, it marks progress and gives you a sense of accomplishment. It gives you hope. You will need hope.
Magic. Is. Hard.
The bigger your Idea, the more goals you will need. Why? Some goals will be easier to attain and some might come easier than you think. If you have the goal, you will know you made progress. It will give you hope and keep you motivated.
What can you achieve that will mark your path on your way to your Idea? Think about this, research this question, read some books and talk to people. They will have different ways of getting to your Idea and they will be helpful. As you think and research start brainstorming goals.
Write or draw each goal on a separate piece of paper.
When you create your goals make sure they have these components:
What will happen?
Keep creating goals. Brainstorm all the goals you can that will help you feel closer to your idea. Remember you are putting each goal on a separate piece of paper. This is important!
It’s a mess isn’t it? Maybe even overwhelming? Here is a sad truth; somethings must get worse before they get better. (Sorry…suck it up…and keep goal crafting.)
Once you have a good set of goals, let’s make it better. Detangle them. Make a map.
Which goal needs to happen before others? Which needs to happen first? Which ones last?
Lay each goal out from first to last. Some goals can run parallel to each other, overlap a little and some will happen at the same time. This is ok. This is great!
How Will You Know?
Now that you have a Map take a look at the first few goals and ask:
How will I know that I have accomplished this goal?
In other words, how will you measure this? If you don’t know, go back and rewrite your goal. You must have a way of measuring your goal. It is simple, if you don’t, you won’t know that you have achieved your goal.
Because seriously, how can you celebrate if you don’t know what you are actually achieving?
This is the fun part! What is the use of goal if you don’t have fun? You Must Have Fun! Fun is deadly serious necessary business.
Create a reward system for attaining a goal.
You want to make $1000 dollars in a month? When you do, have some chocolate, drink some wine, buy your favorite sweater in that catalogue, ring a bell, dance, do it all and just make sure you do something that makes you feel good.
When you achieve a goal, record it somewhere. Create a book of goals you have achieved, or put it in a fancy box, sing a song or paste it on a poster. Make it colorful. Make it real. Make it feel like your goal really did just happen!
You want to watch the pile of achieved goals accumulate.
This will make you powerful!
The more powerful you feel, the stronger your magic.
As much as ideas define you, goals define the attainment of your Idea. Without goals, a map, and a celebration, no magic.
Strategy is the how, what, where and who you need to make your goals happen.
Think of your treasure map. Are you going to go through the woods or over the mountains? Are you going on horseback? How will you get a horse? by boat? by caravan? running or walking? Will you do this alone? bring your family? what about friends? when will you do this?
Pick 1-3 Goals that you are comfortable starting now. These should be ones at the front of your map.
Ask of these goals:
As I stand right now, do I have what I need to achieve this goal?
Do you need additional
to attain that goal?
You may need to take classes, educate yourself, practice, research, read, meet people, talk to people, develop yourself or stop doing something that is killing your time. You may need people with those skills you don’t have and who want to help you.
If you need more of the above, make a goal to get it and add it to your map.
Refine your goals. Make sure you have everything you need to make them happen. Be honest with yourself.
Are you sure you have the right 1-3 goals to start with and everything you need to achieve them?
Let’s move on.
Think in NOTS.
Ask the following of your goal;
What can I possibly do to make sure this goal does NOT happen?
No, seriously. Try it out.
Here is an example:
Goal: Sell $1000 in paintings this month.
My list of NOTs:
Let no one know I sell paintings. Do not price my work. Do not reasonably price my work. Do not show people my paintings. Do not talk to people about my painting. Do not show any enthusiasm for my painting. Do not love my painting. Do not post my work online. Do not share it on facebook or other social media. Do not contact galleries about my work. Do not contact interior designers about my paintings. Do not ask people if they want to buy my painting or commission my work. Do not actively search for people who like and buy art. Do not seek out ways to provide alternative affordable options for buying my work.
Now try it. Go on, get it out of your system. Give me all the NOTS you can think of. Take your time. It kind of feels good to get negative…in a productive way.
Is it clear now?
The point is:
Plan to Give Your Goals Opportunities! Lots of Opportunities!
I must say it again. A goal will never be achieved unless you plan to give it opportunities.
After you have listed as many NOTs as possible, delete the NOTs and you have the beginnings of your tactics.
Now get specific.
Spell out the when,where and how for each tactic.
Your tactics need to be flexible, this is a strategy. Make sure you have more than one tactic for how to achieve a goal. Why? One tactic will be more successful than another and sometimes it will surprise you!
Here is an Example:
I’ll share my work every week day (when) online on Facebook (where) and twice a week on my blog (where and when) These posts will include a picture of my work, a description, price and a means to contact me (how).
I will contact via email or phone (where) one potential buyer once a week (when), introduce myself and my work and ask for a brief meeting or studio visit to discuss my painting (how).
I will hold an Open studio party at my studio (where) once a year when (March 28th to be exact!) and invite people to review my work, purchase prints, paintings, commissions and socialize.
Now, you have a lot of work to do, don’t you?
I’m tired too.
I’ll leave you to it. It takes time to articulate your Idea, create your goals and build your strategy. And like all the steps, they are dynamic and you will return and tweak them. Over and over again.
But the more time you spend thinking and working on your plan, the stronger your magic will become.
It may seem like we are close to done, but we are only half way there. There are 3 more steps and they are just as critical as the first 3.
Hate is a very time consuming, energy sucking, and destructive pet. Not only does he ruin every rug in the house, pilfer every cabinet and consume all food; he is sure to eventually eat you. And you will be Dead.
For this reason, I do not recommend Hate. When you are in sustained pain or in a series of painful events, Hate may lurk under the porch light. My advice, let pain swell, listen to Hate knocking, but leave him at the door. He is not for you. You are better off.
No Pain is better than Hate. But being the absence of something is boring and shapeless. It is the epitome of “Eh” with a shoulder shrug. No Pain is numb, dull, anesthetized and blobby. No Pain will not kill you but will definitely waste your time and life.
If you are looking for a permanent companion, I do not recommend No Pain. There may be moments when you welcome No Pain; after a visit from Hate, or a really tough day at work or in the family. But No Pain should always be a temporary acquaintance.
I guarantee you will love Love. Everyone loves Love. Love feels good, warm, comfortable, life affirming and joyful. Love is a warm kiss and hug, a cup of hot chocolate, a cuddle, a heart bursting life affirmation, a good laugh, a connection and a purpose. Love promises much and can deliver on it and more.
I promise, you will be happy with this companion. Love is an excellent choice.
But, Love is only as good as her conditions.
For an even better life companion, I recommend a special crossbreed that will bring all the benefits of Love plus a thousand more. This crossbreed brings purpose, satisfaction, energy, empowerment, meaning, wisdom and unconditional Love. She may not be as beautiful, neat or symmetrical as Love, but this partnership will change your world, challenge you and return more than you expected.
This happens when Love is bred with a healthy understanding and acceptance of your Fear.
Warning: This interbreeding takes time, tending, reflection, constant care and a lot of forgiveness. But, it is when these two opposites interbreed that a life of magic can unfold. When you commit to live with Love while embracing your Fear, you are unstoppable.
My report card from middle school. A regular “A” student and good kid, but something is wrong in Art class. I remember being unsatisfied and I don’t remember why. I can’t recall the teacher’s face. She was mediocre and made it clear that I was a mediocre art student (B’s were mediocre in my family and the highlighting is mine). And by the way, I was good at Math but I didn’t like Math. That “A” had very little to do with “Like”. I liked art, my friends, writing, playing sports and reading.
My old work from 2002 when I was inspired to pick up a paint brush and paint. I painted from photographs, read books and pushed through countless so-so paintings (I only kept the best of them). I was heartened knowing that Frida Khalo didn’t start painting until she was 19 when she was suddenly bedridden and immobile after a horrible accident. I always thought creative talent was a birthright and to be an artist you needed to express it in youth like the genius Mozart. (I can’t comprehend that statement now, especially after having kids.) The realization that this wasn’t true inspired me to work, knowing the more I worked the better I would get.
And now, 2015.
SOLD: 2011: Dragon in the Tree copyright Marika Reinke Full Story Here: https://marikareinke.com/2014/10/31/2011-dragon-in-the-tree/
Conception by Marika Reinke Watercolor
SOLD: Road to Recover (Fall 2014) copyright Marika Reinke Read the Full Story: https://marikareinke.com/2014/11/12/roads-to-recovery-fall-2014/
Metamorphosis copyright Marika Reinke Read the Full Story: https://marikareinke.com/2014/12/17/metamorphosis-dec-2014/
SOLD: Casting Prayers in Puerto Vallarta (c) Marika Reinke Read the Full Story: https://marikareinke.com/2015/01/06/casting-prayers-in-puerto-vallarta-january-2015/
A healed body is a fit body copyright Marika Reinke.
Painting is important to me because painting is an act of love, and one that I’ve committed to making the center of my life. Love at the center of life – that is powerful.
It is easy to blame that teacher for stifling my creative expression. It is easy to blame a culture that creates the fantasy that talent, (especially creative talent), is born, not worked for. Or I can blame my “Type A” family that let that “B” slide because it was Art class and therefor not important.
But faults are in the past. Blame is useless. Blaming takes no responsibility for the future. I tell my kids, there is no use telling me whose fault it is, the question really is “How will you move forward learning from the experience?”
It is never too late to start answering that question. How would you?
Inspiration comes from the most unexpected places. This drawing is my son’s most recent dragon. A dragon that spits fire, water, rainbow, stars, snow, and anything else that comes to my boy’s mind. I love the energy that went into his frenzied inspiration as he drew and told the story of this dragon. I love the large lower jaw and teeth, the chicken legs and ultra-fancy wing. The composition of the body is a dragon meets T-Rex meets Tasmanian devil without arms. Fierce but friendly, a dragon that means well, powerful and ultimately scary but awe-inspiring. As I watched this dragon unfold, and listened to Daire’s story, I knew I had to paint this one.
Been working on adding more basic decoration to all of the dragon, working in one green for the body with the intent to bring in other shades later for depth. The wings are shades of pink, purple and cobalt blue and all shades within in but I’ll come back to them and bring more shading in as well.
I’ve deepened the coloring in the body and wings and started coloring in his fire, water, stars breathing capability. I haven’t decided if he is sitting on a cloud, a rainbow, the moon, a tree, a flower yet. I just can’t seem to decide, maybe I will ask Daire himself.
You must be logged in to post a comment.