In the midst of show and course preparations, I'm trying to continue with my study of Chuck Close. I prefer books over the internet when it comes to this kind of research but I'm not finding much at my local library. I checked out Daily Rituals: How Artists Work because I remembered that there was a section on Close in there. (It's a great book that I read early last year.)
Close talks about his ideal workday which is "work six hours a day, three hours in the morning and three hours in the afternoon." He has trouble maintaining that now that he has so many other obligations. According to Daily Rituals, "he likes to have the TV or radio playing in the background--particularly if there's a juicy political scandal happening."
"My finest hours were Watergate, Iran-Contra, the impeachment," he says. The constant chatter can be distracting, he admits, but he claims that this is actually be a good thing: "I like a certain amount of distraction. It keeps me from being anxious. It keeps things at little bit more of an arm's length."
I find that really interesting. Sometimes we use art to distract us from something that is going on in our lives. Other times we need to be distracted from the art so that we don't agonize over it.