I have only recently heard of Robert, through the mention of his book. I do have a deep penchant towards "Penjing", it is a route I would like to follow. The reason for the latter is I find the traditional Japanese style too stiff. Now, to the purist, I may be way out of line here, but for artistic impression I believe one can achieve far greater works keeping to the naturalistic side of the art, not only does it seem to "flow" better, I believe one can achieve greater character and depth with their displays.
they have something deeply personal about them, reflecting Robert's curiosity and sense of wonderment
I believe not too sound cliche, he pours his "soul" into his work, not unlike his book title. I have found many who practice "Penjing" do possess that quality, which is then elequently transmitted to their work, in short it demonstrates a true passion for the art. One need only look to Zhao or Van Lit and can see the same passion displayed in their respective works.