switched teachers

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switched teachers

Post  dick benbow on Sun Oct 14, 2012 12:47 am

Today was my last class with David de Groot. kinda feel bad leaving an excellent teacher, same as i did with Michael Hagedorn.
But I find for me I need a different look at things to be challenged to find my own identity. the only way I can seem to find that, is to
be exposed to as many great teachers as I can. Next year I am looking forward to learning with Ryan Neil.
I still get to work with david at the collection (Pacific Rim) and Michael has been so gracious as to keep in touch and help me develop my skill with our mutual favorite, chojubai quince.
Anyone else out there that needs lots of new challenges or do you feel more like your advancing by spending time with the same teacher. when you read Bio's on these guys like ryan neil, he spent 7 years with kimura-san. thought it might be interesting to kick the subject around.

dick benbow
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Re: switched teachers

Post  Rubarb on Sun Oct 14, 2012 1:03 am

I don't get the mistic thing with teachers etc

bend trees wrong, snip the wrong braches infact do the opersite to what your ment to,.. just to learn

chances are this is how your masters/masters learned

as an artist in real life (yes i know i work in a garen centre but that pays the bills) I would hate to copy someone else, infact its even an insult to be classed with an artist you admire in some cases

Rubarb
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Re: switched teachers

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Sun Oct 14, 2012 4:31 am

The idea behind apprenticeships, is technical and the discussion of ideas behind a philosophy.

So I guess if one keeps changing to very different families of trees or shrubs, a new specialist would be needed.
In oil painting it normally takes 3 to 5 years away from the Atelier, for the individual to come forward. Generally the work during that period isn't very good, and should just be given away or trashed.

Wonder how that works with an ever changing lifeform ?
Later.
Khaimraj

* Should not this topic be in the Lounge?

Khaimraj Seepersad
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Re: switched teachers

Post  Dan W. on Sun Oct 14, 2012 4:35 am

Rubarb wrote:I don't get the mistic thing with teachers etc

Ya, who would want to apprentice with someone who has far more experience and knowledge...and happnes to be a great artist to boot?

lol...just kidding.

Dick, I start my first seasonal with Michael in Feb., can't wait!!!

Dan W.
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Re: switched teachers

Post  reddog on Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:38 am

You seem to be in search of a quick fix to your own collection by working with various teachers for "relatively" short periods. Who are you going to study with after Ryan? Dan Robinson? You're running out of teachers in the PNW. Rolling Eyes

reddog
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Re: switched teachers

Post  marcus watts on Sun Oct 14, 2012 7:50 am

Rubarb wrote:I don't get the mistic thing with teachers etc

bend trees wrong, snip the wrong braches infact do the opersite to what your ment to,.. just to learn

chances are this is how your masters/masters learned

as an artist in real life (yes i know i work in a garen centre but that pays the bills) I would hate to copy someone else, infact its even an insult to be classed with an artist you admire in some cases

Your final style and tastes develop in a personal way and has nothing to do with copying. You will limit the quality, development and over all standard of your own trees by going through the hobby thinking 'i know best, I can look on the internet / books / magazines (and all these are forms of teacher anyway!) and to dismiss the thought that a good teacher could actually help you is puzzling. How do you know about your own poor techiques and bad habits otherwise?

without teachers you would not be reading, writing, working, driving ........so why dismiss bonsai teachers?

you need the right teacher at the right stage in you and your trees - starters and beginners can be certainly be self taught as you need to make mistakes, intermeadiate bonsai artists want better techniques and look to many teachers with more experience than they have, while a mature bonsai grower aiming for the highest standards can only get this level of expertise from a very small number of individuals.

cheers Marcus

marcus watts
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Re: switched teachers

Post  leatherback on Sun Oct 14, 2012 9:19 am

Being a bonsai novice, I have no experience with teachers. The last 3-4 years I have been tinkering away in my garden, hopiing for a spark of inspiration. Something that hasn't come just falling out of the blue or typically grey, sky. Which is why in spring of this year I decided to sign up for BURRs. (Unfortunately, work has come in between and I cannot sign up). If I would have access to a great bonsai artist within say 50km from where I live, I would probably become a nuisance, trying to get as much time as possible. And yes. For longer periods.

In previous intensive training situations (In specific: my PhD training) I noticed that after about 1-2 years I started to think: This guy doesn't know much more than me. However, as you stick by it, all of the sudden you realize: It is not him, it is me. I am the one misunderstanding, because I do not know enough to realize that although there is a chance that it may work, but there is a bigger chance that you are wasting time.. And after 4 years with the same master (In academia we call them Professors), you realize: I have now absorbed as much of his ideas as I can; I can predict his answer or ideas. Now it is time to leave, and make mistakes. And when I got back to these professors 3 years after the 4 year training I realized: I actually learned a lot more then I thought. That is the time you can sit together on a bench and as equals in the field discuss techniques, and all of the sudden the wise experienced person there is wise again, but you have equal wisdom, with less experience; You share a common framework. You can then disagree on which technique to use because they may both work. Not because one is young-enthousiastic-silly and the other a prooven technique, but because you can both back the ideas with experience.

So, getting back to the topic: I would be tempted to 'master hopping', but I realize that one year is not enough to master the ideas and techniques that the theaching side may have, and would stick with one master for a longer (e.g. 3+ years) period.

leatherback
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Do we need teachers?

Post  DaveKirkland on Sun Oct 14, 2012 10:01 am

The 'need' for teachers is uniquely individual - do I need one? First I must understand something of myself, then why I do Bonsai and what I want from it. Teaching will certainly hasten our progress toward achieving certain standards of finished bonsai, but is this the main goal for everyone doing Bonsai?

For example, a man may value above all else that which makes him unique. In Bonsai, he may feel that teaching would take away from his enjoyment of his trees in that he would ultimately not consider them his own (and natures) work. He may feel he had taken shortcuts in a necessary artistic development process, perhaps losing or compromising his ability to discover his own way.

Would Dan Robinson be the same artist, or Walter Pall, if they had had apprenticeships? Would their work be 'better' or 'worse' as a result (by what standards)? It would very likely be different.

Ultimately, we must ask ourselves how much self discipline and objectivity we have, essential to progress on our own, and whatever we decide not impose our view on everyone else!

DaveKirkland
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Re: switched teachers

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Sun Oct 14, 2012 12:51 pm

Hmm, interesting topic.

For Fine Artists, the place to be is Florence/Italy or Paris/France, and to study for at least 3 to 5 years, though some do more year time or just never leave -chuckle.

So I guess if I wanted to really do my best in Bonsai / Penjing, China or Japan would be a must and for probably 5 to 7 years, and preferably under someone who came from an accepted [ by other masters ] line, and had at least 50 years of experience.

I am not really sure just what you get from newly former apprentices or other than Chinese/Japanese masters, but that is just me.
As to when to leave, having apprenticed before, you just know when it is time to go.

Sadly, on my side growing little trees/shrubs is not a profession and I don't see that happening in my lifetime. So there would be no $$$$ encouragement to go to the East and pay $$$ for an education.
Bad enough with Fine Art, and you can't roll up a tree and ship Fedex or DHL.
Happy chatting.
Khaimraj

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Re: switched teachers

Post  dick benbow on Sun Oct 14, 2012 3:25 pm

This has been a good thread for me as i have enjoyed some solid reasons both pro and con on the subject. besides dan robinson, we are blessed with peter adams, so we are very fortunate to have a number of fantastic teachers in the area. thanks everyone for your insight and others are welcome as well.

dick benbow
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Re: switched teachers

Post  Robert J. Baran on Sun Oct 14, 2012 3:59 pm

And for a little glance at where these (and some other) teachers learned, please see http://www.phoenixbonsai.com/Days/TeachersSpread.pdf

(Updates and corrections are always welcomed.)

Robert J. Baran
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Re: switched teachers

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Sun Oct 14, 2012 4:33 pm

Interesting Mr.Baran,

we have the same situation in Fine Art ------ just who was your teacher and why are you claiming that was your teacher if you just bumped shoulders?

Of course talent is talent and it is recognized!!! Even if it is mostly self taught [ as from books, just looking, just talking and experimenting ]
Thanks for the chart.
Stay well.
Khaimraj

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Re: switched teachers

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