Henri Matisse was a prolific artist – his firm daily discipline during his time at Riviera was:
dawn: Club Nautique: row in canoe for 2 hours
practise violin in apartment
9 a.m. start painting. Work 3 hours.
Lunchbreak. Nap. Then write correspondence – family and friends.
4 pm Restart painting, paint til daylight fades
Draw with pencil by artificial light
(6 days a week)
(from Richard E Grant’s BBC programme: “The Riviera – A History in Pictures) http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p013gpvy/player
This may sound surprising to people who believe the cliche that artists are irresponsible, lazy over-emotional characters. But when you look at someone who made great art, often, during their lifetime, they are actually hardworkers. It was that regular turning up at the easel, putting in the hours, making a great deal of art – and destroying much of it which they felt didn’t work out – gave them space to experiment but rigorously edit out all but the best, to keep enough successes to make a dent in Art History.