Saturday, May 18, 2013

Bonsai WIP

Although I have studied for many years as a painter, even artists have hobbies.  Some cook, some do sculpture, I have a love of Bonsai.  The combination of horticulture and sculpture is very appealing.  Where as a painting may take me several weeks a bonsai takes several years even decades.  Unlike painting there are variables that are uncontrollable to the artist.    A Bonsai tree evolves.  From year to year to it takes on new shapes and new colors, and the artist is required to enhance those features rather than control them.  Above all Bonsai art teaches patience, a trait that I sorely lack.  You must be willing to dedicate years or decades before the work is finished, and then be willing to start all over again. 

Below I have included a few images of a juniper bonsai that I began two years ago from a poor specimen that had been uprooted and discarded to the side of the road.  I brought home to my garden and worked on this found object to give it a second life as a tree of art.  It still has many more years of training and pruning and love before it fulfills its potential, but in that time I hope to learn the art of patience....

 Once lopping off enough limbs to fit the tree into my truck I've potted it up for trimming.

Pruned and protected for winter I hope it survives the trauma....

The following spring the tree has miraculously survived and undergoes additional pruning....

Second Spring the tree is repotted into a training pot and given a slant....

About five more years of pruning, wiring, jinining and repotting should bring this discarded juniper to it full potential.



©2013 William O'Connor

1 comment:

  1. Wow. It is looking great! Adding the slant created a lot more visual interest in it.

    Seeing fully done bonsai that people have tended to for years is always amazing because they look so much like large trees shrunk down to fit in a small pot and they have so much character.