Welcome to the Saruyama Blog, intermittent and generally off topic. Occasionally you might see some trees...and weird ones at that.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Another Day, Another Step...

step forward. After the self inflicted trials and tribulations of yesterday, today was a little more sedate and lower level, although equally as challenging in a sense. Trying to make teaching points and work in a logical way to make a cohesive story is something I still need to work on, but two of the trees today worked out well on that part I hope.

 This Jasmine was presented to me as one of the step by step trees.

Now at first glance, most people would be like "WTF?", but I got kind of giddy at the possibilities it presented from a tree and also from a teaching perspective.
When approaching any tree, the same process occurs regardless of the cost or aesthetic value of the tree...or at least it should. Application of fundamental, basic design principles and almost no artistry got me to a fairly reasonable tree. I said this to Farrand, that there was no artistry involved and to a large extent it was true, he looked at me kind of quizzically, but I stand by it.  Following basic principles based on species, line, space and form, we got to the finished article (or at least initially finished), i won't tell you how I got there or any of the tips and techniques, because you should get the magazine to find that out. But after a long, drawn out two hours of stopping for the camera and retakes n the video, we had this as a very passable result.

A very "naturalistic" looking deciduous image which follows fundamental principles and required no difficult techniques or massive amounts of wire, just a simple step by step progression of finding the tree hidden in amongst the chaos. To me this is a superbly easy example of the essence of bonsai.

One of the great examples the Chief used to wheel out, and now I in turn use is the difference between bonsai and gardening (specifically English). With gardening, you start with an empty plot of land and add stuff to it to give it interest. Different flowers, different textures, smells, colours, heights, positions...you put in lots of stuff and look at the whole rather than each individual parts. It becomes a chaotic medley of sorts With bonsai it is the opposite. We start with chaos and seek to remove all that stands in the way of capturing the essence of what makes a natural tree beautiful to our eyes and to our emotions.  The lines are simplified until we can replicate on a small scale what we perceive on a larger scale in nature. We take away the unnecessary things and what remains is pure.  Or at least that is what we try to do. If we can achieve it then we have something of beauty and truth which we can learn from and be moved by. Trying to apply those same principles in life is an idea that some Indian bloke who was born and then sat under a tree tried to push. Look where that got him. A state of supreme liberation.

It will never be a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination, but for €50 of someone else's money, it was fun. Yes there are issues and problems, many of the insecure haters will be quick to point out, undoubtedly privately in little venom filled cliques, and I could write a list of faults as long as my arm...but the point is not to seek the faults and the negatives in trees all the time, but to accept it for what it is and see how it can be improved, rather than what is wrong.

Its 3.30 and I can't sleep...hence the rambling

1 comment:

  1. as always you make some interesting points , I shall steal some of those for my own use :-)