Seeing diversity in beauty poses no problem. But all beauty is not equal. Not for me. The eastern aesthetic is my eye’s strange, complex, and sublime standout. Exotic. Design focused. All about line. An early encounter with calligraphy began a love affair with line responsible for what, I believe, is one of the defining characteristics of my own artwork. I see the bonsai as a study in line. Often odd, twisted, curious. Intricate studies in detail. The manifestation of carefully selected decisions about how the gardener will nudge, suggest, and authoritatively direct the nurture of branches, trunks, roots, and leaf clusters. Molded away from any natural orneriness. Groomed into intensely considered statements of grace and disciplined line.
In gardens like the photo above or inside houses, they are intended to be objects of contemplation and an exercise in effort and ingenuity for the gardener. I’ve had one. The object of contemplation part came easy. Alas, I was not mature enough to understand or appreciate the satisfaction in dedicating myself to the little tree’s stewardship. I think I’m ready now. And, so, contemplation begins.