I would never say that I am not blessed with a natural ability, but I use the term self-taught with slight apprehension. Although I am proud of the progress I’ve made and continue to make as an artist without the benefit of formal training, I certainly haven’t done it alone. I have spent my entire life developing my skills, but I have done it in a world defined by the work, pain, failures and successes of all those who’ve come before me. I cannot take full credit for my own journey into the unknown without acknowledging the indirect, but profound teachings of those who built the ship. Nor could I deny the influences and inspirations of so many of my contemporaries, those whom I know and those that I don’t, some that I dislike and some that I love, but all of whom have taught me something. So each day that I push myself one step further, I do it with an appreciation of my own gifts, and with gratitude for those who continually teach the self-taught.