Thursday, March 24, 2005



Great bonsai, it seems, are not made by skill, talent or technique alone - or even all together. As with arts such as painting, sculpture or music, the bonsai art is beholden to our inspiration.
Here are a few cliches: the wind beneath my wings, the wind in your sails, the winds of change, a breath of fresh air,the breath of inspiration. All of these reference an interesting relationship that is characterized by the definition of the word, inspiration.

From The Dictionary:
Inspiration: 1. a. Stimulation of the mind or emotions to a high level.
b. The condition of being so stimulated.
2. One that inspires.
3. Something that is inspired.
4. Inhalation.

This ideal is not unique to the English language. It is an almost universal concept that we must somehow breathe in the essential spark for meaningful creation, especially artistic creation.
If you commonly encounter bonsai design conundrums that prove too difficult for you, if you have trouble looking at raw material and seeing the finished bonsai, or if you simply cannot push beyond a certain level of bonsai styling ability, perhaps you need the breath of artistic inspiration.

This inspiration might not be found in bonsai books. Nor in yet another addition to your bonsai library, or even in a workshop with a skilled and talented artist. Perhaps what you need is a walk in the park, a hike in the hills or a trip to a distant geographic location. In any case, inspiration is most likely to be found not in a well lit library or even at your local bonsai club meeting hall, but out in nature, in the wilds - out in the fresh air.


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