Monday, May 14, 2012

maslow's triangle of need as it relates to plein air


It just hit me. I wanted to write about how to prepare to go plein air painting. And then the whack over the head... it's like Maslov's triangle of the hierarchy of need. Very similar. So let me take a few liberties on the layers, but here is Maslow's layout.
1.Physiological needs- breathing, food, water, sleep needs- security of body and belonging- friendship, family
4.esteem-confidence, respect
5.self actualization- creativity, lack of prejudice, problem solving

And now here is my layout.

The Plein Air Hierachy of Needs.
In order to create beautiful work on location, here is the plein air hierarchy of need.
1. Physiological-Prepare. Dress in layers (more is better than less-you can always unlayer,) be hydrated, wear long pants and bug repellent (tick repellent) and bring a little toilet paper for necessary moments. There is rarely a bathroom. Carry only the smallest amout pf supplies with which you can get by. With the physical taken care of, don't forget to prepare yourself with an intention. Why are you out there?
2. Safety. You need to be certain it is bears, no cars to bowl you over, etc. I have painted on the edge of a cliff and I must admit it was hard to fully immerse into the concept of the painting when you are never quite sure if you will plummet to your death.
3. Love your medium, your chosen way to communicate- explore it fully know its nuances and be prepared to take risks
4. Esteem. Have the confidence to go where you haven't gone and simply listen to the painting.
5. Self actualization- hardest one to achieve. This is when you have your very unique vision that looks like not other...not because you tried to do just that, but because it's authentic. All the time you have spent in love and turmoil becomes discovery.


Michael Bailey said...

I would add: painkillers for headache/hay-fever/other general maladies. Lots of water, far more than you think you could possibly ever need. If I take only just enough. my dog usually knocks it over! Lots of wet wipes/paper towels - plein air art can get messy!

You have some beautiful and very inspiring work here and a nice technique. I started a street-scene watercolour yesterday and then decided to add pastel pencil and hard pastel. The watercolour disappeared under the opaque pastel and became more of an undercoat than an underpainting!

Donna T said...

Thank you, Loriann. The part about esteem, confidence and listening to the painting really hit home for me. It takes a lot of confidence to know when to stop painting too!

loriann signori said...

Good suggestions Michael! As for underpainting or undercoat I think you might find that pastel can be applied much more veil like than pastel pencils. Happy painting.

Hi Donna!
You are so right about knowing when to stop....there are so many stopping points. Have fun out there.

Celeste Bergin said...

My painting friends and I talk about this a lot, about how many plein air paintings look alike in exhibits. To paint like everyone else is the very antithesis of what artists are meant to do. Thanks for the article, it is a very good subject.

Katherine van Schoonhoven said...

Maslow never had it so good as to be translated by you into plein air language! I really enjoyed this post!

I wonder if plein air painting with others retards the achievement of self-actualization. It's harder to lose the awareness of "other" when you paint with others. Maybe not.

Maybe it's your many hours of painting by yourself that has taken you through all of the levels.

loriann signori said...

Good thinking points Celeste and Kvan. I don't know if there is one answer. The Hudson River Painters went off together to paint en plein air. For me that would be hard. I guess maybe I am too distract-able.
Thanks for reading!

jane ward said...

Great post, people who don't paint have no idea to the depths that we artists go to.Love your blog Loriann