Art & Soul: All good art starts with a love story.

Okay so as promised sometime last week, I am going to start posting some of my artwork on a weekly basis, so why not on Thursdays?

I won't make art posts so word heavy every week, but since we are creeping up on Valentines Day, I thought I would share my art with my real life love story. A story that started with heart break, but ends with a happily ever after.

I hope you all enjoy.

If you have meet your soul mate, then you know being away from them is like missing a lung (if you don't believe in soul mates, then you.are.missing.out my friend). Once you realize that person exists, even if you have known them your entire life, everything changes. Your world turns into this magical place, where all of a sudden everything leading up to that moment feels serendipitous.

It was January 08' and I had been living in Chicago for about 3.5 years. I had just been dumped by my live-in boyfriend, a guy I had been dating for the past 2 years. I saw it coming. But for some reason, I still wanted it to work, even though we were both really unhappy. I just wanted to fix him and us.

The worst part about the break up was, we had to continue living with each other until we were financially independent. Neither one of us were in the financial position to break a lease and most of our friends had recently signed leases with other people-- so we were stuck and just had to make something work. We got another bed, split up the bedroom, kept the common areas, and sucked it up.

It goes without saying that those 5 months before I moved were a real test-- To say Mike and I were over each other is a gross understatement and being nice was near impossible for BOTH of us (however, I will say, he was a bit nastier than I was-- we're "cool" now though, if anyone cares.)

We BOTH experienced a lot of stress post break up, but I was determined to find a way to stay in Chicago-- after all, I was there for me, not Mike.

Flash back a bit to, Christmas Eve '07: I got a call from Rob while I was on the train headed to Mike's hometown, a Northern suburb of Chicago-- I was bawling my eyes out on a crowded train, so he really couldn't have called at a more perfect time.

In those moments before he called, I had never felt so alone in my life. Mike and I had so many problems (we ended up breaking up 3 weeks later), his mother wasn't a huge fan of me, which was something I never experienced before (parents have always loved me).. and I freaking missed my family, whom I had not seen in over a year. Christmas was especially sad for me that year. R somehow, in less than 30 minutes changed my entire approach to the weekend I would spend with Mike and his family, and as always he found a way to make me feel incredibly loved and special and he didn't even know it.

Those first few months of 2008, held some of my darkest hours-- but you know who was there, even from 1500 miles away? Rob. Sure we had been best friends for over four years already, but I was in a relationship for 2 of those years-- so I probably wasn't always such a good friend in return.

After that Christmas, I heard from Rob on a weekly basis. (I think he was worried.) He was selflessly choosing to hold my hand through the chaos and he showed me the unconditional love I so desperately needed at that time.

..after Mike and I broke up, the emails from R were more frequent, the calls lengthier and I found myself staying up into the wee morning hours giggling over AIM conversations with this person I had so many wonderful feelings for. He was a true beacon of light, and he really helped me stay afloat.

I was finding happiness again.

Then in March (08), I was gifted a flight home to attend my aunts baby shower. When R found out that I would be in Orlando, without one second of hesitation he asked me out on our second first date. (Our first occurring June 04, the summer we met).

I was apprehensive because if it went well, then.. how would we do long distance? I had absolutely no interest in moving home. Above all, I was petrified of being rejected. When I lived in Orlando I was a slender 135lbs, and that spring I weighed an embarrassing 185lbs. If you can't do math, that's a 50 pound surplus.  

There was no way he would still find me attractive. 

But as the story goes, that night, on our second first date, R and I fell madly in love, and I knew I only had one choice if I wanted to be happy for the rest of my life. (No pressure or anything) I think I got a total of 3 hours of sleep that entire weekend. R and I would stay up all night: talking, kissing, hugging...

(it was all  innocent you freak pervs!!!)

...and I would have him drop me back off at my parents house just in time for coffee with my dad. Luckily my father chose to ignore that I was out all night, and just kept the coffee coming.

The first time I saw Rob, back in High School, I knew he was going to be an important person in my life, so when we became good friends I thought that was it. But that night, for the first time ever I started to believe in soul mates and there was no way I could deny it because, there he was, and he had been there all along.

So... that weekend, I shocked my family with the news that I would be moving home as soon as I could get my affairs in order back in Chicago.

When I got back to Chi, I started walking home from work. I worked in the West Loop and lived in Rogers park, for those of you who do not know Chicago, that is about a 10 mile walk-- I did this so I would have less negative interaction with Mike, and so I would lose some weight before moving back to sunny, half-naked all the time, Florida.. (I lost 20 lbs in 2 months just from walking for the record).

Something wonderful and unexpected happened during those walks... I found myself again. I was incredibly inspired by the changing of the season: Mother nature was waking up from her deep, cold slumber.. and so was I.

I was so thankful for every single one of those eye opening miles. I found so much peace in myself and every single step I took literally got me closer to being ready for the love of a life time.

(By the time I left Chicago in May 08' I had walked over 200 miles along the lake shore.)

On those walks I had a lot of time to think. I kept finding myself smiling at the thought of spending my life with Rob but, I missed him tremendously, so sometimes I was sad too.

So every week that we were apart I sent him a package.

Sometimes I sent him sea glass, sometimes I sent him pictures of us from back in the day, but most of the time I sent him paintings.

Specifically, I sent him a lot of trees. 

Seasons, April 2008

Vein & Golden, April 2008

...And occasionally I would send him some photography from my walks.
West Side City, March 2008

That same April, R attended a seminar in Iowa on Transcendental Meditation (mainly because he is a huge David Lynch fan, and wanted to see the guy in the flesh) After seeing the man himself, Rob rented a car, drove to Chicago and surprised me with a visit and a rather fancy hotel room. (It wasn't a complete surprise, since I knew he was coming about 4 days prior)

Here are some pics from that visit. 

In his element, April 2008

Don't laugh. I know. I was chunky.

...and we are living happily ever after.

{All of the paintings were done with Acrylic paint, and the texture was done with a mixture of salt and pumice rock gel medium. They are each done on 4x4x2 canvas, *originals not for sale* prints available if interested, email me for pricing: ryanadairs(at)gmail(dot)com}



PS. Don't think I forgot about your daily cat picture!
Yeay, National Cat Month!
Charlie and Bartlebe.
Interested in having your blog plugged here on TMBTP on Feb. 29th?


  1. This is *such* a sweet story, I love it. And I love all your paintings. I totally know what you mean about feeling like you're missing a lung without your soulmate. I always feel a very physical pull when Rob is away from me, isn't that interesting?

    1. Thank you lady.

      That is interesting.. Sometimes when I look at my Rob I just think.. "Without him I am so incomplete!" Even though I consider myself a well rounded individual on my own, and I know I must seek happiness in myself and not through him-- This feeling is beyond happiness.. it is a cosmic, gravitational pull that we have towards each other-- even when we have an entire country between us.

  2. This is so romantic!! I'm so happy for you!!

  3. You are such a talented and beautiful person, Ryan! I love your love story. I am so glad you have found so much happiness, and a wonderful guy to share your life with.

    1. Oh my! What a super sweet thing of you to say! Thank you!


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