From Soil to Soul
My Bonsai Journey
I’m Dean Sauls, and I’d like to take you on a journey that began with the onset of the pandemic in 2021. It ushered me into the serene world of bonsai in my backyard on a tranquil morning. The precision and patience required in bonsai cultivation resonated with my artistic ethos, creating a new avenue to express my love for nature and art. This new passion soon became a meditative practice, offering a tranquil respite from the bustling world. Eager to deepen my understanding, I delved into a myriad of YouTube videos, learning from the skills of others.
Channels like Bjorn Bjorholm, Heron’s Bonsai, and Bonsai Empire provided a wealth of knowledge for beginners, guiding me through the basics and beyond. Their teachings helped nurture my growing interest, allowing me to embark on a self-taught journey of discovery, where every video watched unfolded a new layer of appreciation and technique in the art of bonsai.
Paint and Plant
The rhythm of my paintbrush found a parallel in the delicate dance of pruning and wiring bonsai. My approach to bonsai is a blend of traditional aesthetics with a splash of abstract expressionism derived from my painting background. The lines between leaf and canvas began to blur as I explored the art of bonsai with a painter’s eye, discovering a new medium where life grows within and beyond the pot, much like colors leaping off a canvas.
With every snip and bend, my bonsai creations began mirroring the freedom and fluidity of my paintings. Conducting workshops and sharing my dual love for bonsai and painting with others has been a symbiotic experience, enriching my understanding and appreciation of both art forms. The journey from being a fine artist to a bonsai artist has been an organic evolution, each branch of creativity feeding the other, leading to a flourishing artistic endeavor that continues to explore the boundless dialogue between paint and plant.
While I haven’t reached the master bonsai artist status just yet, I’ve 4 years of experience to craft starter bonsai with a nurturing touch. Each snip and gentle bend I make is a step towards capturing the essence of bonsai, providing a solid start for each little tree to flourish under the care of its new keeper. My goal is more than just crafting bonsai; it’s about sparking a love for bonsai in others.