A bonsai is a small-scale representation of a mature tree in nature that suggests a particular scene or mood. The essential difference between bonsai and other potted plants is that while most potted plants are appreciated solely for their own features (flowers, foliage, etc.), bonsai are appreciated for their ability to suggest an image other than themselves. A useful analogy might be to think of a painting, which is appreciated not for the paint per se, but for the image the paint creates. Like a painting, a bonsai is not a literally accurate image, but a suggestion that is somewhat abstracted and idealized according to the intent and taste of the artist. A bonsai artist manipulates the tree by pruning, bending, and tying. The goal is not to create an exact replica of a large tree, but to create a simplified, abstract form that suggests a scene and elicits an emotional response.