Day 25

February 8, 2015
Day 25: Islands

I predict that in a couple of months when this project launches that this piece is going to immediately strike a few nerves. Don’t feel bad if you fall into this category because I assure you I’m right there with you, just a whole lot earlier…

It’s almost comical that I started this write-up with the word “couple.” Life has a funny way of speaking to you if you’re willing to tune in. But before I delve knee deep into that pond, I believe I should share something with all of you.

As an artist, I regularly fall victim to perfectionism and self-criticism. Although I know better, these depilating traits have a funny way of showing up at the wrong time. Case in point, over the past two days, I have created three different versions of this subject. When each painting was finished, it was clear that the result didn’t match what I had envisioned concerning this subject matter, so I’d rip the piece up and start again. After the third time, I stopped and tried to collect myself. I asked myself a very simple question, “What am I missing?”

When I first set out last month, putting this project together, I mapped out the whole process, selecting each subject while meticulously planning how I was going to narrate each piece. When I came to this piece, a little voice told me which direction I should go, but I failed to listen. The bottom line is that the “right way” simply wouldn’t match the quality of each piece prior. And for me, the perfectionist, everything had to fall inline.  As Ann would say, “Let me know how that works out for ya!”

So what happened prior to this piece? Well, I selected an island with a single palm tree. I painted the scene and the final result was hideous. Next, I panicked and moved to a single palm tree in hopes to still maintain quality, but try and “keep it simple.” Yeah that didn’t work out so well and the final result made me a tad nauseous. Lastly, I tried to recreate the first scene, thinking this time things might flow a little smoother since I had calmed down a bit… not a chance!

Now, why an island? Ann has drawn two very specific things over the years. First, she’ll draw an elephant’s backside, kind of like an upside down “U” with a squiggly tail in the middle along with a half oval on either side of the upside down “U” to represent its ears. Next, she’ll draw a palm tree on an island with a little crab in the sand. Sometimes she’ll even add lines for waves and add sun. Every time she draws them she gets all giggly. It’s extremely cute to watch.

Remember how I said it’s almost comical that I used the word “couple” in the beginning of this story? For me, right here and right now, it is. I knew last month, to the very core of my being that I should have Ann draw her typical “island” paradise and I should have her with me when it was time, instructing me where to put color. But, as I stated before, the “artist” in me got in the way and the funny thing about all this is not that I should have known better or even that I allowed such nonsense to prevail… I somehow overlooked the whole point of my own project.

So here I am, proudly supporting the little things and proclaiming my gratitude for her, a gift that I never thought existed outside pre-sixteenth century parchments. But in the same breath and behind each heartbeat, I can, with conviction, tell you that nothing matters to me without her, even if the “artist” in me stands his ground.

So in honor of all those who are truly committed, I present this island. Every time I see an island now, I can see her reeling up with pride. I am reminded that it really is the little things that truly matter and most importantly, I see her, just as unconditionally as I did when I first laid eyes on her… almost eighteen years ago.


Medium: Watercolors
Size: 6 x 4 (inches)
Materials: 90lb Cold Press Paper
Frame: Mini Wooden Shadow Box with Glass (4 5/8"W x 6 5/8"T x 1.25"D)
Completed: Thursday, October 23, 2014

Artist: Adam Kiger
Represented By: Park View Gallery
Artist's Website:


Who is Ann and what is 31 flavors of love?!