Agnes Martin had a very consistent daily routine, she aimed to reach the studio by 8:30 am every morning and would work until 11:30 am. For lunch, the American artist ate at her favourite restaurant and then spent some of the afternoon reading at home. Martin was typically in bed by 6 pm.
In a 1966 interview, Georgia O’Keefe recalled her morning routine: “I like to get up when the dawn comes… The dogs start talking to me and I like to make a fire and maybe some tea and then sit in bed and watch the sun come up. The morning is the best time, there are no people around. My pleasant disposition likes the world with nobody in it.”
The American artist typically ate breakfast at 7 am and then spent the whole day working in her studio. After work, O’Keefe had her last meal of the day at around 4:30 pm which was usually light supper. As evening approached, O’Keefe took a drive through her much-loved countryside.
Salvador Dali's morning routine consisted of an important dose of self-affirmation. In 1953 he wrote: “Every morning upon awakening, I experience a supreme pleasure: that of being Salvador Dali, and I asked myself, wonderstruck, what prodigious thing will he do today, this Salvador Dali.”
Dali was a social lunchtime diner but developed somewhat of an interesting habit. For lunch, Dali often invited groups of friends to join him at expensive restaurants. After the meal, when it was the time to pay, Dali would take out his check book and cover the full amount for everyone’s course. Regardless of whether the waiter was looking, he’d flip the check and doodle on the back of it - for he well knew, that no sane person would cash in a check that had an original drawing by Salvador Dali. In this way, Dali avoid paying for lunch when eating out.
“The slumber with a key” is the phrase given to a daily power nap ritual practised by Salvador Dali. The Spanish artist regularly dozed off in his armchair, however, on the floor beside him was an upside plate. In his hand he’d hold a heavy metal key that would fall onto the plate below as he fell asleep - producing a loud noise that would instantly wake him. The moments between falling asleep and reawakening would stimulate creative ideas that served an inspiration to his surrealism masterpieces.
Henri Matisse had a rigorously disciplined routine that started at dawn every day. Matisse would leave his apartment and head to Club Nautique, where he’d spending a couple of hours oaring in the harbour. After some time on the water, the French artist would return home to practice the violin until 9 am. He would then paint from 9 am -12 pm.
Noon was followed by lunch, a nap and then another period of work from 2 pm to the evening. As the natural sun light faded for the day, Matisse would continue drawing using artificially light. Typically, Matisse would work 7 days a week.
Pablo Picasso was a late riser. Typically, he’d wake up between mid-morning and midday. Breakfast was light, consisting of only coffee with milk and toast. After finishing breakfast, Picasso would deal with his correspondence. The painter would then head to his studio early afternoon around 2 pm and work until dusk. With only a short break at 11 pm for leisure and food, Picasso spent the rest of the night working and finished in the early hours of the following morning.