“Artists must be sacrificed to their art. Like bees, they must put their lives into the sting they give.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
As an artist I need to work alone in the privacy of my studio in order to concentrate fully on my work.
As I have often commented, when I am working, painting, I need to spend as many hours as I can separate from the rest of the world.
I may have contact with other artists, carefully selected among those who are not talkative by nature, who paint every day, who paint for their living, who have the same needs as mine of tranquility, silence and isolation.
I need to disappear for weeks at a time into my work, into my studio, happy to communicate only with a restricted number of people, people I eat with, sleep with; those few are more than sufficient. Social indulgences are all very pleasant, but they must be channeled and limited in order for me not to drown in them.
My work could not be done with people talking or moving around; even the sound of a page being turned can be enough to distract me.
My worst nightmare is meeting people, going out for dinners, parties, where people stand with a glass of wine while I am obliged to listen to whatever they have to say. It simply destroys days of careful, fragile sacred preparation. My quiet, settled environment, my whole sense of direction can be ruined, lost.
Nor can I visit any exhibitions when I am painting: they would influence my work, perhaps to the point where my flow of ideas is interrupted. Certainly I would risk being swayed towards moving in other directions and distracted from finishing my preparation. Such small details can trigger a suggestion or an inspiration, and should I move to another idea it is too late: once distracted, I cannot go back to my initial work.