The specter of climate change is an underlying disquiet. What unusual weather we are having is small talk, a subtle code and acknowledgement. There is change emerging around a corner too sharp to see around.
The question is not if it is a hoax or who caused it. The real questions: What will humans do about the impending change? Can we adapt? Will we fail or thrive as a species?
I do not know.
The Earth is healing. She’ll be fine. She may throw us off like unwelcome parasites to make room for her rebirth. But this world will re-emerge, glowing, growing and beautiful.
Are you looking for inspiration? A little down to earth reflection and renewal? Want to stay current on what’s new and what to expect from Marika? My emails are food for thought packaged with color, soul and humor.
Yesterday, the Seattle Schools District teachers walked out (as they should) to demand the money that was voted to be allocated to K-12 schools and has yet to appear. Please don’t get me started on this. I worked at a community college for long enough to understand the politics of this travesty. Political excuses aside, it is a travesty that the United States literally values its public education with a minimal budget, resources and outright condescension. Our under-funded school system may be the root of the demise of this country in the long run.
The point is that the kids were home all day.
Thankfully, we are reaching a parenting milestone and turning point. The kids are old enough to entertain themselves especially with the neighborhood kids over.
And I could work.
I love that I have a studio but it is located in a far away corner of the house. For all their independence, I feel better being able to hear my kids chattering, thumping and screaming. I just can’t do that in my studio.
So I brought my laptop into the dining room and dedicated the day to getting sh*t done. Literally, the stuff on my list I really don’t want to do – the dreggy, non-creative, linear, detail oriented shi*t. This is what grading is to teaching. Generally, yucky. And though many of these items have been on the list forever, I have not been able to focus on it. My records are a mess, my mailing list is scattered everywhere, my website is not cohesive and makes no sense for e-commerce. I have no idea what I’ve posted anywhere.
Usually, when I sit down to address this problem, I space out and forget what I’m doing.
But not yesterday.
Yesterday, I got sh*t done. I got a lot of it done. More than I have in a long time. I felt so productive it was like I was back at my old job, cranking out the high volume grading and lesson plans.
And the difference? The dining room. Or more specifically, not being in my studio.
My studio, is my haven; my place to forget words, hear my heart, listen to pictures, lose time. It is a place where I don’t look at where I am, but what is inside. It is a place that lures me. My most recent work-in-progresses whisper at me, they work at me subliminally. When I’m still, I’m working in my studio. When I’m staring at my database, I’m working on a painting.
Costa Rica Heat from Marika Reinke Original SOLD Limited Edition Print $45 – takes up to a week to ship. I will order and customize in silver, gold and iridescent paint. Pack of 10 5″ x 7″ Art Cards: $35 – takes up to 2 weeks to order and ship
The Magic Tree painting starts with a couple of lively sisters, 5 and 8, that love to climb trees and a mom that loves everything these girls teach her. When the family had their kitchen remodeled they all decided they wanted a painting. And of course the girls insisted it had to be a tree.
I am honored to be recruited for the project.
I visited their house, took pictures of their kitchen, noted the colors, absorbed preferences and listened to mom talk about trees, her kids and climbing. The assignment was a tree. I honestly didn’t know what it would look like when I left. But I had some ideas.
I sat down to sketch them out. A magic tree emerged, with a climber, to capture those magical moments and memories the family will always have of their climbers.
For reasons that can only be attributed to my manic painting behavior, I only had sketch paper available, all other boards were being used. When this sketch emerged on regular paper I knew it was what I wanted. I tried to paint over the sketch so that mom could get an idea of colors.
The colors are not what I intended. It is amazing how the colors just don’t match when painted on regular paper and you simply can’t work the color the same way to bring them out – the paper will disintegrate first.
Lesson learned: Always use watercolor paper when sketching an idea for a client.
Despite this, mom liked the composition, but not the colors. To clarify this key point before I started painting, I mocked up a color palette on watercolor paper and a detail of the painting to share with her.
I like the detail so much, I might just finish the painting soon, now that things are settling down.
With these three mock ups in place, mom was confident and gave me the go ahead to begin the 24″ x 18″ painting.
Mom let me post the progress on facebook and I kept her updated on progress. It took two weeks to finish, mostly because I was also trying to prep for my studio party. This painting would have taken about a week otherwise.
Here are the progress pictures:
As I posted these on social media, there were some interesting comments about leaving the climber as a negative space, including from my husband. This posed the question as to whether I should paint the climber or not. I had deliberately left the climber to the end to make sure I got a good balance of shading and color for it.
I asked mom what she thought, and she debated, but we agreed to paint it.
I wanted to paint it. I’m keenly aware that as a painting emerges there is a fear of f**king it up when it is coming along so nicely. There is a balance in that space and it takes a lot of thinking, reasoning and faith to not let the fear control the artistic decisions. I knew some subtle shading would add depth, and made the climber look like a child-like symbol instead of a ghost (in my mind). But it was a difficult space to be in at the end of the painting. Mostly, I had to believe in myself and my vision, not always easy. Mom really believed in my instincts and I’m grateful for that.
In the end, I’m pleased. More importantly, the family is pleased. When they came to pick up the painting, both girls were sure the climber was them. Exactly. Don’t many of us identify with the climber? The parents commented how much better it looked in person (it really does).
And the painting looks even more amazing in the kitchen.
And my first run of prints is gone, a couple sold before I finished the painting and the last two sold at my studio party. A wonderful success.
If you would like to learn more about my commission process and prices, you can visit my Commissions & Services page for an overview or contact me directly.
Limited Edition customized prints (of 25) are now available for $65. Contact me directly for purchasing information.
I’ve been sporadically working on my son’s Dragon and have some in-progress pictures here. I was inspired by a picture he drew with passionate energy. The post has been a lovely vignette of an enchanting kids painting in-progress (written with a touch of sarcasm).
I could scream
Maybe I did. I can’t remember clearly. There was a rush of something – maybe adrenaline – that clouded my vision, my heart beat accelerated and a trembling wave of shock radiated from my chest. Thinking rationally – gone. Control of my hands – gone.
The watercolor has a mind of its own! I can’t control it! Oh My God! Its running all the way into the green! The yellow! Oh no the yellow! All the hours in this painting lost. Where are the Q-Tips! They aren’t working! F*ck Watercolors!
I dropped the Q-Tips and brushes.
I. Must. Walk. Away.
I hate this painting
It is so trite and cliche. I’ve seen it before, not original, definitely done somewhere else by someone else more skilled. A kids vision. Not sophisticated. I’m stealing his vision because I have no vision. I’m an idiot in over my head. The rainbow is too much, I can’t handle it. This is taking me too long.
I love this Painting
I love the story. I love my son. I love the way this painting has pushed me. I love the crazy colors. I love that Daire made the lower jaw bigger because when the dragon closes his mouth you can’t see how big his teeth are. I love that he breathes fire and water and stars. The dragon has no arms. Poor little arm-less dragon, I love you.