Left or Right?

I read a post on the Bonsai Tonight Blog a week ago that intrigued me. It looked at a particular tree and posed the question, What direction was the tree facing? This is important when displaying the tree and in some cases, having balance within the image.

Then a few days back Michael from the club posted this tree on his blog.

This tree poses that same question, is it moving to the left or right? It a Common Juniper that Michael is bringing over to my place next week for some work. I asked him if it was ok for me to share my views on it here as a learning exercise, for me, not Michael 🙂

To start with I just want to say that I rather like this tree and what it could become in the next few years. The two deadwood spikes pointing to the right, marked in red, give it real character and the larger one is nicely carved. It seems to have enough branching to create a nice image as well.

The bit I don’t like is the curve marked in white. This looks rather man made. Also the other branch marked in white is rather an odd angle but this should be fixable.

Now, if you look at the green triangle outlining the foliage mass, it currently points to the left. If you add the bend in the trunk and the lean of the apex, both marked in yellow, the the left looks quite strong.  However the deadwood all points to the right and does so very strongly.

I decided to do a few tilts to see how that changed things.

Here you can see the original angle in the middle and a tilt left and right either side. The one to the left just looks wrong. The one to the right however has possibilities. Below I removed the two jins just to prove a point that without them the tree is rather ordinary and lacks the original interest.

I opted to do two quick virtuals adding a little foliage and a pot. The first at it’s current potting angle and the second tilted to the right.

When I was done I wasn’t happy with the quality of the virtuals to be honest, but time has been against me. I would like to see a shorter tree with more definition within the foliage. This will be achieved when we actually get wire onto the tree. If I had to pick a favourite, it would be the tilted right one but I would want to try and disguise the bend a bit better. This could be done with foliage or even a continuation of the shari.

To be honest, I think that a change of front with a different viewing angle will make for a better tree. The bottom two branches can be moved into a better positions and more importantly, a new angle will alter the shape of that man made bend.

I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this tree in the flesh before. I’ve been to Michaels place a few times. For the life of me I can’t remember it!! I will however be looking forward to seeing it next week. I’ll keep you posted.

Thanks for letting me dissect your tree Michael. 🙂