Tag: overheadsquat

Paint and Sip Night

I had the good fortune to host a watercolor lesson at Stoneway Crossfit as one of their community building ladies’ potluck and sip nights on December 6th.   And if Success = fun + learning – I’m confident this night was successful.

This was my very first attempt at teaching others some painting techniques and definitely a challenge for someone that largely paints intuitively. But with over a dozen years of experience teaching I could hardly plead that I didn’t have the skills to tackle it.  And I’ve always loved teaching, so why not?      

To begin with the supplies we used:

  • Arches 140lb 100% watercolor paper mounted on 11″ x  14″ panels.  The best watercolor paper is necessary for success and to really experience the full characteristics of painting with watercolor!
  • Winsor and Newton Student Grade watercolors:  Cadmium Yellow Hue, Ultramarine and Cadmium Red Deep Hue
  • daVinci #6 round, #2 round (and a #4 flat that we didn’t use) synthetic brushes.  These are stiff brushes that are easy on beginner hands, but need a bit of water massaging to loosen up.  I recommend getting familiar with only one or two brushes in the beginning.
  • Q-Tips and cotton pads for dabbing up water and pulling up mistakes.
  • Jars of water
  • Strips of paper for testing the paint before painting
  • Wash cloths for cleaning off the brushes.

Because this was a crossfit night, I was asked to teach a crossfit theme and used my Lady of Power, the Overhead Squat, as a template.

A Healed Body is a Fit Body: Overhead Squat copyright Marika Reinke
A Healed Body is a Fit Body: Overhead Squat copyright Marika Reinke
painting party template
painting party template

I used tracing paper to trace the basic composition for the class and this allowed me to focus the course on techniques of watercolor.

katies woman





This exercise allowed us to walk through some very basic techniques circle by circle, letting everyone build skills.  Then we combined skills to create more advanced effects.  We were able to cover:

  • Wet on dry washes
  • Wet on wet  techniques
  • mixing colors in the palette
  • layering colors on the paper
  • using gravity to paint
  • planning painting
  • fixing mistakes
  • combining wet and dry techniques to create shading

By the time we worked on the final shape, the difference in confidence and technique was apparent as everyone tackled the nuances of shading.

Some lessons I learned:

  • Show how to fix mistakes first to build confidence in painting from the beginning.
  • Beginners like lots of guidance, they want step by step and examples.
  •  A end goal and final picture kept everyone focused and motivated.
  • Focus on less for quality in the final product.  These students want something they can hold up and be proud of creating.
  • Repetition is always good.
  • Get permission to post pictures of people on my blog!

Overall, the night was fun, satisfying, challenging and a learning experience for everyone.



A healed body is a fit body copyright Marika Reinke.

Fall 2014: Injury and Recovery

A healed body is a fit body copyright Marika Reinke.

About three weeks ago, on October 11, I made a trip to the ER with ear-ringing pain in my leg.  For about four weeks, I had been recovering from a herniated disc and moderate sciatica.  After getting a new mattress a week and half before, the pain had been getting worse at night until that morning when it knocked me off my feet.  I couldn’t handle it any more, I needed help.  The sciatica was acute and I could barely walk.

MRI herniated disc prolapse
MRI herniated disc prolapse

What followed was two weeks of limited and painful mobility, lots of sleepless and angry nights and a slow and constant ingestion of Vicodin.  I was invalid, needing help with everything from getting dressed, to eating and walking.  And I was haunted by the sense that I was transformed. I wouldn’t ever be the same.  But I’m still not clear on how.

So I painted.  I sat in bed, when I could, and painted in whatever position my body would allow. I researched painting, I blogged about my painting.  I ingested more art than pain meds.  And I painted my injury.

Here is my herniated disc:

Herniated disc copyright Marika Reinke
Herniated disc copyright Marika Reinke watercolor 24″ x 12″

That red bulge is what is pressing on my nerve root and causing shooting pain all the way to my toes.  And yes, beautiful because any life experience is.

This MRI shows the compression even better.

MRI Herniated Disc
MRI Herniated Disc – the white oval is the squished nerve root.

Here is my rendering.  Interestingly it is like a mirror showing the prolapse on the right but actually mirroring my body as I paint.  And the prolapse is exaggerated…like the pain.

Herniated Disc 2 copyright Marika Reinke
Herniated Disc 2 copyright Marika Reinke watercolor 18″ x 12″

Because pain, after time begins to feel as much psychological as physical.  The fear of the pain is as debilitating as the pain itself.  Every sensation is amplified.

Of course painting an injury begs the question, what about painting a healed Marika?

A healed body is not the same as a healed Marika.  I don’t thinking painting a repaired herniated disc would represent a healed me.  The answer made me think but, truthfully, it was obvious.  It just wasn’t obvious until I began to emerge from the debilitating pain and detoxed.

I can walk now and tackle my rehab exercises.  I can see the future.  I have a vision.  I love being fit and active and I’m ready to do what it takes to get back to it.  Ican’t wait to return to crossfit and rock climb.

A healed body is a fit body copyright Marika Reinke
A healed body is a fit body copyright Marika Reinke watercolor 24″ x 18″

Give me my weights back and a pain-free crossfit workout, then I’ll declare myself healed.