Friday, 9 November 2012

With a few spare hours.

Well yesterday I had a couple of hours to spare and so I decided to carry on with the Scots Pine that I had started on 19th September. For those of you following my blog, you may remember that I mentioned I had started to style a tree but that I had only managed to bend the one and only primary branch on the tree, and had been too busy to finish it.
Here's the tree in question.

 As I explained in a previous post, all the foliage was on one branch situated behind the preferred front of the tree and rising into the air in the opposite direction to the energy of the tree.
There were quite a few stumps to address on the tree, where jin and shari needed to be created to make sense of the cuts. But the only obstacle was the moving of the branch into a position where I could relate the foliage to the trunk line.

Below you can see that the branch is as thick as my wrist. This photo was taken with the branch in place, job done. Allowing the cells to relax on such a thick branch is the key. It took 3-4 hours to move it.

If I can pass on one piece of advice to any budding stylist/artist, it is to work with the tree not against it. Everything else will be easy.
Working with the tree means two things. First of all, work at a pace that is good for the tree and not you. You don't count, it is all about the tree.
We can create the image of a tree through many mediums. We can draw a tree, paint a tree, sculpt a tree or model a tree from clay. It just happens that we are working with a living tree to create our image and so we must respect it's life. Unfortunately I feel that not so many people do.
Secondly, don't try to force some preconceived ideas on your trees. This, one shape fits all solution. Where can I hang my 'Chinamans hat' shape, or where do I fit the required triangle. Look at the trunk, and be guided by what it suggests to you. If you are lucky, it may suggest several design options. It is important not to stifle the tree with mundane quick fix styling, and I think especially when working with yamadori, it is important to respect what Mother Nature has given us when styling the tree. And to try to arrange the foliage to compliment the trunk and not just stick some formulaic shape on it somewhere. Nature has given us the trunk, and the tree has real age as opposed to implied age. We should respect this and we must try our best to compliment the tree when we arrange it's branches and not render the tree boring or sterile.
The first styling completed below. Remember this is it's first day on the path to being a bonsai.

This is as far as I want to take the tree this time. When the tree gets it's second wiring I will introduce a little bit more curvature to my design, at the moment it is a little too angular for me but I will not push the tree to get it all done first time.
I always look forward to successive wirings, because the trees is getting closer to the image I have for the tree in my head.

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