Good Morning

By DECADE

Some random photos I took over the past week: 

Trying to practice being an early riser, the light through our window at 6 AM

Was cold enough in Montauk to wear my Isabel Marant Muddy Sweater 

Peonies as big as my hand, the cool surf

Breakfast in bed at Ruschmeyers, Breakfast outside at home

Patterns on the sand after it rained,

All of the days spent at the beach were raining. We tried to make the most of it by riding our bikes anyway but got caught by huge raindrops. Soaked, but happy. We'll make up for it next time we're out on Saturday, commencing our long break - something I haven't had in a very long time and it kind of celebrates a break of five months being busy with freelance work.

Til then, it's a week of routine and projects, which is fine by me -  I feel so incredibly lucky to be on my own time. It was strange at first but now I've finally got my morning routine set, it's so different than having a regular job. It took awhile to get used to, resisting the temptation to work in pajamas and you’re still having to wake up as early as you can to get everything done.

I love this blog Daily Routines; which documents the morning routines of archetypal artists, designers and writers. Simple words, but I’ve found a lot of insight on how to organize a day and that even the best of them procrastinate at times (it is tagged by habits, most of these free birds are early risers too).

Here are three of my favorites:

1

GERHARD RICHTER

He sticks to a strict routine, waking at 6:15 every morning. He makes breakfast for his family, takes Ella to school at 7:20 and is in the studio by 8. At 1 o'clock, he crosses the garden from the studio back to the house. The grass in the garden is uncut. Richter proudly points this out, to show that even it is a matter of his choosing, not by chance. At 1 o'clock, he eats lunch in the dining room, alone. A housekeeper lays out the same meal for him each day: yogurt, tomatoes, bread, olive oil and chamomile tea.

After lunch, Richter returns to his studio to work into the evening. ''I have always been structured,'' he explains. ''What has changed is the proportions. Now it is eight hours of paperwork and one of painting.'' He claims to waste time -- on the house, the garden -- although this is hard to believe. ''I go to the studio every day, but I don't paint every day. I love playing with my architectural models. I love making plans. I could spend my life arranging things. Weeks go by, and I don't paint until finally I can't stand it any longer. I get fed up. I almost don't want to talk about it, because I don't want to become self-conscious about it, but perhaps I create these little crises as a kind of a secret strategy to push myself. It is a danger to wait around for an idea to occur to you. You have to find the idea.'' As he talks, I notice a single drop of paint on the floor beneath one of his abstract pictures, the only thing out of place in the studio.

-The New York Times Magazine, January 27, 2002

2

LE CORBUSIER

Le Corbusier’s working hours were implacably regular. During my four years at the atelier, he worked at the rue de Sévres from two in the afternoon to around seven. The hour of 2:00 P.M., I soon learned, was holy. If you were a minute late you risked a reprimand. At first Corbu arrived either by subway (a convenient, direct metro line connected his Michel-Ange- Molitor station with the atelier’s Sévres-Babylone) or by taxi. Later on he started driving his old pistachio-green Simca Fiat convertible. In his last years it would be the taxi again. The process of returning home revealed quite a lot about Le Corbusier’s character. If the work went well, if he enjoyed his own sketching and was sure of what he intended to do, then he forgot about the hour and might be home late for dinner. But if things did not go too well, if he felt uncertain of his ideas and unhappy with his drawings, then Corbu became jittery. He would fumble with his wristwatch – a small, oddly feminine contraption, far too small for his big paw – and finally say, grudgingly, “C’est difficile, l’architecture,” toss the pencil or charcoal stub on the drawing, and slink out, as if ashamed to abandon the project and me -- and us -- in a predicament.

During these early August days, I learned quite a bit about Le Corbusier’s daily routine. His schedule was rigidly organized. I remember how touched I was by his Boy Scout earnestness: at 6 A.M., gymnastics and . . . painting, a kind of fine-arts calisthenics; at 8 A.M., breakfast. Then Le Corbusier entered into probably the most creative part of his day. He worked on the architectural and urbanistic sketches to be transmitted to us in the afternoon. Outlines of his written work would also be formulated then, along with some larger parts of the writings. Spiritually nourished by the preceding hours of physical and visual gymnastics, the hours of painting, he would use the main morning time for his most inspired conceptualization. A marvelous phenomenon indeed, this creative routine, implemented with his native Swiss regularity, harnessing and channeling what is most elusive. Corbu himself acknowledged the importance of this regimen. “If the generations come”, he wrote, “attach any importance to my work as an architect, it is to these unknown labors that one as to attribute its deeper meaning.” It is wrong to assume, I believe, as [others] have suggested, that Le Corbusier was devoting this time to the conceptualization of shapes to be applied directly in his architecture; rather, it was for him a period of concentration during which his imagination, catalyzed by the activity of painting, could probe most deeply into his subconscious.

- ArchSociety: "Working with Corbusier"

3

SIMONE DE BEAUVOIR

INTERVIEWERPeople say that you have great self-discipline and that you never let a day go by without working. At what time do you start?

DE BEAUVOIRI'm always in a hurry to get going, though in general I dislike starting the day. I first have tea and then, at about ten o'clock, I get under way and work until one. Then I see my friends and after that, at five o'clock, I go back to work and continue until nine. I have no difficulty in picking up the thread in the afternoon. When you leave, I'll read the paper or perhaps go shopping. Most often it's a pleasure to work.

INTERVIEWERWhen do you see Sartre?

DE BEAUVOIREvery evening and often at lunchtime. I generally work at his place in the afternoon.

INTERVIEWERDoesn't it bother you to go from one apartment to another?

DE BEAUVOIRNo. Since I don't write scholarly books, I take all my papers with me and it works out very well.

INTERVIEWERDo you plunge in immediately?

DE BEAUVOIRIt depends to some extent on what I'm writing. If the work is going well, I spend a quarter or half an hour reading what I wrote the day before, and I make a few corrections. Then I continue from there. In order to pick up the thread I have to read what I've done.

INTERVIEWERDo your writer friends have the same habits as you?

DE BEAUVOIRNo, it's quite a personal matter. Genet, for example, works quite differently. He puts in about twelve hours a day for six months when he's working on something and when he has finished he can let six months go by without doing anything. As I said, I work every day except for two or three months of vacation when I travel and generally don't work at all. I read very little during the year, and when I go away I take a big valise full of books, books that I don't have time to read. But if the trip lasts a month or six weeks, I do feel uncomfortable, particularly if I'm between two books. I get bored if I don't work.

- The Paris Review, Spring-Summer 1965

{1. All top photos and handwriting above by me  2. Excerpts re-posted from Daily Routines}

Bernadette Marie