Walter Scott wrote:
Good topic for posting here. I agree that Jim has done something innovative. I also agree with your suggestions that changing the viewing angle would lead to better perspective and scale throughout the composition.
You probably have a copy of Robert Stevens' new book. He shows two creations that consist of a large horizontal tree trunk with many trees growing vertically from it - sort of a root-connected style. However, as Jim has done, Robert uses the horizontal trunk to represent a mountain ridge or a large stone and does not bury it in the soil as in a true root-connected tree. So yes, I think one can use other material to create an effective composition.
Thank you for your input. I managed to pick up a copy of Robert Steven's book while I was in Washington D.C. Your mention of Robert's two plantings which utilized a horizontal trunk not meant to represent a tree had me searching for the pages that showed these plantings. From what I can see, you were referring to the trees on pages 112 and 114 as well as possibly page 150. I would like you to notice on page 112 in his simulation, he has mounded the moss on the right side of the composition creating a hole in the composition. In a two dimensional image the negative space from this hole appears to be representative of a lake. However, I am not sure if it would appear that way in three dimensions. If it would, tge effect would be strikingly similar to the lake created in VanLandingham's cypress. The planting on page 150 might create the same effect, however, I doubt there is enough depth in the holes for this to be possible in three dimensions. In my opinion, the planting on page 150 was designed to display an anthropomorphic figure of a grotesque face. One would have to ask Robert to know for sure, though.