ikebana and life in japan

a blog about ikebana and life in japan

4/8/13

Spring Landscape Arrangement

Spring has finally started to show herself here where I live in Japan. It has been a long, cold winter, and I am ready for the beautiful spring colors that abound everywhere here -- plum and cherry trees, tulips and daffodils, the greening grass, mother nature bringing forth all of her glory!

To help usher in spring, a couple of weeks ago, I created a spring landscape using Japanese cornel. It was arranged in the Traditional Method in the Landscape Arrangement form -- meaning a prescribed way to arrange the materials to express the beauty of a natural scene.

To create the natural scene, I have, in a way, created a sketch of the scene in the limited space of the suiban.

Japanese cornel grows to be a towering tree, so the rules prescribed say I have to do the arrangement in the Far-View Depiction. For this method, I arrange the Japanese cornel in the one-tree method, making it look as if all of the branches are a large tree seen off in the distance.

To help balance the scale depiction, small budding azalea branches are used low in the front of the container, and a few taller branches next to the base of the Japanese cornel. They should appear small in contrast to the towering tree.

Finally, a material is used to establish the undergrowth of the scene. In a far-view depiction, club moss is used. The moss is arranged in small clumps and covers about 3/4 of the surface of the suiban. It is still the beginning of spring, so only a small amount of water is showcased in the container.

When all of the above elements are combined, a little piece of nature is captured in the confined space of the suiban. The budding tree and budding azalea help to usher in spring and all of her beauty.



Japanese cornel, azalea, club moss
Far View, Upright Style

The club moss covers about 3/4 of the surface of the container, and the azalea are used low and small
to help create the look of a grand tree. I also took off some of the buds of azalea because there were
too many for this early in the spring.

When viewed from the side, you can see the "tree trunk" in the center of the Japanese cornel branches.

A natural scene captured in the confined space of the suiban.


As always, please feel free to leave comments or questions in the comment section.

4 comments:

Audrey said...

You've created a lovely, alluring scene for us to imaginatively enter. The materials are arranged so naturally, with such a sense of freshness and incipient movement...just like nature herself!

Stephen Coler said...

Audrey,
Thank you for such a lovely comment! I'm glad you enjoyed the arrangement and can feel the natural environment created within the suiban.

The FitzWilliams said...

This is what I think of when I think of Ikebana! I know I'm not at all educated, but I love this type of arrangement. Perfection!

Stephen Coler said...

misty leigh,

thanks! these landscape arrangements are some of me favorite to do. bringing a little scene from the outdoors in is part of the ikebana magic.