As I sip my morning coffee on this fine Sunday morning while the sunlight filters through the Douglas fir trees and hits my computer screen at just the right angle as to cause a slight but calming glare, I can't help but think about how we are all gathered here because of YOU.
You've supported me since day one. Heck, some of you have seen me through the rock bottoms of my life. There was the gritty cabin on Stevens Pass, where I attempted to start my art career, but actually just skied five days per week. There was the mural of a lifetime in Haines, AK. Then there was the tent in my parents' backyard and the van I emptied my bank account to buy so I could be a nomad and paint outta the van (I made it about six weeks as you may recall). There was the cabin on the island without running water. The new puppy Arrow.
And along the way there were the hundreds of paintings and products I created. Which somehow, to my surprise, you loved enough to purchase, allowing me to continue on this crazy adventure of living life on my own terms by my own means. You allowed me to follow my curiosity.
Though I've followed my own path in life, I am not one of those artists/entrepreneurs that will stand before you today claiming to be “self-made." In fact, there is no such thing as “self-made” in my book. We can't go it alone, no matter how alone we may feel at times, and no matter how original we think we are. It takes a community to support our dreams and make them a reality.
If you hadn't been there at my art shows, if you hadn't bought my paintings, if you hadn't told me I was doing a good job, I would have gotten nowhere. You showed up for me.