Which brought me to this realization about styling bonsai trees:
There's always the "Eureka" moment. I was really not looking forward to styling this tree. It seemed almost like a chore. Sometimes, when the material is tough but the timing is right, I feel almost pressured to make the most of the season and work a tree. But styling is hard!
Usually when I'm designing, and this one was no different, I'll look at the tree from every angle for hours and hours, days upon days, until inspiration finds me. I have found that sketching helps the process but then there's that pesky task of identifying what branches are required to form that image. Then it hits you like the first breath of fresh air after being under a strong wave in the ocean. It's refreshing. It feels like a triumph. There's a clarity and a "bonsai high". I love that moment. Don't you?
These are some quick snaps from this morning. I plan to set up the lights and take a proper photo for the competition. I'll update then:
It's a shame that I have no confidence that this tree will survive due to the out of season work and the harshness with which I treated it. But for $10, I think the experience was well worth the investment.
Updated on 9/23/14: We took home first place in the 3-5 year category!