Towards a Bonsai -STANDARD - in the New World

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Towards a Bonsai -STANDARD - in the New World

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:35 am

Lets see,

in the early days, there were all these folk who wrote about Bonsai, and gave their interpretation. Then they grew old and dropped out of the race, and those they taught or influenced took up baton, and we came further down the road. Some added in their individuality, some maintained, some just reproduced.
[ many were forgotten because most folk don't like to read - it's torture from schooldays]

The cycle continues on and on. The standard is being created over and over. There will be peaks and valleys as with all things that humans do.

Lets look at my influences-
My islands jungles - but apart from a few very small areas of 20 or so feet, the elements can't really create a driftwood situation, plus the termites are efficient. Additionally, you weaken in a jungle and the parasites will destroy you.
The great ones that survive here and there are gently formed giants, you can learn much.
It is a great adventure.

Books -
Peter Adams - Successful Bonsai Growing
Kamuti
William Valavanis - International Bonsai [ and all the books he has sold us down here since 1980]
Chase Rosade [ included here because of the impact his display at I believe Wanamakers - had on me ]
D.Barton
Halford and Master Yoshimura
Muratas
Wu Yee Sun
Hu Yunhua
Unreadable Chinese books [ about 10 ] good reproductions
Unreadable Japanese books
Deborah Koreshoff
Chye Tan
Bonsai Today [ 1 tp 35 ]
Liesneweiz [ even though there may have been a ghost writer]
Jerry Meislik [ and I don't really like Ficus, too fast growing ]
and so on.

Philosophy
Practically only from the Chinese in the form of their Ink work, Literature [ prose and poetry] and just living with them [ very practical]
Plus, all that Greek and European stuff, also the Ancient world.

Horticulture
Mrs. Baker - showed me how to actually start off a plant and keep it healthy.
All the un-named Indian folk who taught about soil.
Rodale - organic practices without getting spooky.

Then there is everything else that makes me- me.
_________________________--

So I have a given standard as a hobbyist, I am not a professional, I don't sell my efforts, though I do give away, if you can look after it.
[ clip and grow is even more difficult to pass on than wiring, as I hav experienced it.]

Eventually, in about 100 years or so, hopefully enough folk will have observed [ maybe even drawn ] the local trees and those abroad, to create a very balanced natural look that is pleasing to the eye.

They will probably always start with triangles, and then move on.

BUT - this standard will go up and down for as long as humans practice Bonsai [ I also include Penjing here ], BUT once again, you have to ask yourself, just what determines a standard --- Pleasure from looking, how much or how little, Intellectual content and once again pleasure ?

What if we just went back to creating mostly animalistic or horai [ octopus ] or other?

The fact is - the Standard will be probably in 50 to 80 year cycles - the voices that are most influential [ the physical age of humans.]
As usual the problem is, unless some record is taken, the trees will grow and change, but for some that may not matter,others will be bothered.

My question to those most new to the craft is simply --------------- Do you love trees, or do you wish to show off?
Later.
Khaimraj




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Re: Towards a Bonsai -STANDARD - in the New World

Post  Guest on Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:07 pm

My question to your question LLB is where do you draw the line between sharing images of your trees for others to appreciate (and maybe to teach) against showing off?

To be honest I learned (a little) and still learning (a little) personally on my own with the help of images shared generously by other people...I learned from them in two ways. The "what to do" and "what not to do", based on images I see.

regards,
jun Smile

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Re: Towards a Bonsai -STANDARD - in the New World

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Sun Dec 09, 2012 12:56 pm

Hiya Jun,

if you want to be the best, you have to sleep with the best.

For me, I have the Classic Bonsai of Japan, and some exceptional books out of China, additionally you can purchase Kokufu books from Mr. Valavanis and when you go to China, find out who carries the best of China penjing images.
If you want to go deeper just visit the names and talk to them, repeatedly.
[ I was also put in touch with a recognized Japanese teacher - who gave me my first Japanese Black Pine seeds, and my very first Black Pine. I have a standing offer to learn in either Japan or China, free of cost save for eating, the bond between orientals is very strong and they have also asked me to teach European Fine Art if I have the time.]

So with Mr.Steven's guidance and your own stamina, just go to the guys on your side, visiting the masters of Penjing Landscapes.

Drop a bone for folk once in a while on Facebook or here and please start taking notes for your book, even though it maybe 5 to 10 years from now.
[ I will pay postage, cost and like an autograph, thank you.]

A little on how I handle Fine Art as a business, - commission - client orders, we discuss and if we can work together a design is drawn up, 1/3 payment, and next stage actual painting, 1/3 and final payment when image is finished. I don't frame.

2nd - you see my work at someone's house or other and you buy an image outright.

I am immune to lip service, you like something of mine, say how much by just buying.

Works.

So you would be factoring what I do, with your work, and perhaps never post your best efforts [ the drop the dog a bone bit]
For you Bro. it's a business and there are a good many copycats out there, so you have to protect yourself.
Painting requires a hell of a lot of drawn and painted research, so it is somewhat self protecting, and still I never put my best foot forward on the Internet.

Teaching Bonsai requires study [ as in study with you for a period of time ] time has to be paid for, too many freebees on the Internet, and clubs are for socializing.
All this tommyrot about spreading the joy of Bonsai - ha - who pays for the ticket, the time and the talk - or is it done for free ?

Plus with your ability, even your trash, would make me drool. [ bows in Jun's direction]
Later.
Khaimraj

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Re: Towards a Bonsai -STANDARD - in the New World

Post  Guest on Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:38 pm

"Sleep with the best???"
------other than my wife you mean? Hehe, we got a shotgun in our house and my wife knows how to use it, I won't take that risk. Twisted Evil I'll stick with learning from images and some books. But seriously ,I just strive to do my best in anything I do, but not to be the best. I still believe sharing images is a good tool to impart something to others though. Some people By the way, don't need to study with other people to learn......regards,jun Smile

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Re: Towards a Bonsai -STANDARD - in the New World

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:50 pm

L.L.B,

joking aside. The reason one studies with someone, is to share experiences and experiments. You don't want to have to re-invent the wheel.
What often seems to happen in Bonsai, is the same problem we have in Fine Art, those young in experience try to teach and those who can learn very fast, then get angry because they feel they got ripped off.

However, there are folk out there who have genuine experiences to share, and it is worth finding them.
I added large amounts of real knowledge just by talking to my Fine Art teacher's old roommate for over a period of 5 years, and the guy still has tons more for me to learn. He is in his early 70's and when he goes, so much will be lost.

The Chinese say, until a man does not cross 50, he has not much of importance to say [ experience = wisdom ]

With Bonsai, the horticultural part is easy to acquire, and the design, takes more time, but the conversations with a Penjing or Bonsai master ---- astounding !!!

Please don't close your mind to meeting and talking with Penjing masters.
Later.
Khaimraj

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Re: Towards a Bonsai -STANDARD - in the New World

Post  Guest on Sun Dec 09, 2012 3:09 pm

Khaimraj Seepersad wrote:My question to those most new to the craft is simply --------------- Do you love trees, or do you wish to show off?

Personally,

I dont care about standards. I philosophate on just about anything sometimes, but i try to do that not guided by standards. The 'rules' from japan, or from china before that for all i care, i tend to feel them more like 'history lessons', those bonsai 'rules' come from a set way of interpreting life, philosophy, abstracted into rules that apply within in a particular culture, bound by regional influences, historic aspect, etc.

I have never felt i was influenced by rules, for me it all starts with love for nature, love for trees, an unexplainable need to want to see nature, be part of it. I dont care how trees are styled. So why do i style or shape my trees like i do then?

Well i dont know, i dont see any need why i should philosophate about that. I get a very intense feeling and emotional satisfaction when i am busy with my trees, whatever it is i am doing (wiring, pruning, repotting...), combine that with wanting to build up knowledge of nature and the way trees grow, combine that with an creative aspect (that need is also in me), and there you go. Experiencing that when you are busy with trees, or when you just look at trees when you're hiking, is enough for me. I dont need extra fullfillment or satisfaction to philosphate about standerds, rules, or the way(s) you should look at bonsai.

so not influenced by standards, ok, but yes i still read lots of books, look at lots of pictures, its just pleasurable.
and yes, i've always liked it more naturalistic, i dont mind making bonsai mistakes if I personally feel i am attracted to the overall appearance of my tree, or from some details that make me happy about my tree or about nursing it. I can love a lesser tree more than my 'best styles tree according to bonsai rules'.

And according to me, that kind of feeling and love for trees and nature is far more important a feeling you would only experience while being busy with your bonsai, according to certain rules.

About the show off aspect: get real, it is deeply rooted withan the human race, this kind of competitive aspect. It is genetical, so its not a shame to just admit that it is fun when someones likes what you have created. Does that feeling take the upperhand for me? not in a thousand years... Humans are also social beings, they need to live in packs and get social contacts, so that is the most important reason for me, except knowledge and sharing, why i would post pictures here or why i keep a blog...

regards, have fun

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Re: Towards a Bonsai -STANDARD - in the New World

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Sun Dec 09, 2012 3:41 pm

Yves,

you do understand to often start and keep one of these internet conversations going, often one has to overstate.

For my part, before I read the Cahill book on Chinese painters [ and that one has a little history behind it, in the days when the IBC was just a list - chuckle ] I was patterning my life on the Literati, bought the land, and was retiring into the hills to live like the ancient Chinese. Dedicating my existence, to painting, deep reading, growing trees and drinking tea. Ha ha, well I evolved the idea a bit -chuckle.
Thanks for taking the time to respond.
Khaimraj

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Re: Towards a Bonsai -STANDARD - in the New World

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Sun Dec 09, 2012 3:55 pm

Oh Jun,

I forgot to mention, that my experience with the older heads has always been, if you are willing to sit and chat, that is all that is needed for the sharing to begin.
It doesn't have to be as if one were at a lecture. This is how I - studied - with my teachers at their respective homes, and I learnt much more in that environment, than in the studio, standing/walking 6 hrs behind an easel.
Later.
Khaimraj

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Re: Towards a Bonsai -STANDARD - in the New World

Post  Guest on Sun Dec 09, 2012 5:03 pm

Khaimraj Seepersad wrote:Yves,

you do understand to often start and keep one of these internet conversations going, often one has to overstate.

For my part, before I read the Cahill book on Chinese painters [ and that one has a little history behind it, in the days when the IBC was just a list - chuckle ] I was patterning my life on the Literati, bought the land, and was retiring into the hills to live like the ancient Chinese. Dedicating my existence, to painting, deep reading, growing trees and drinking tea. Ha ha, well I evolved the idea a bit -chuckle.
Thanks for taking the time to respond.
Khaimraj

the "homo sapiens" is the only human species thats left, but its still evolving indeed, for the better lets hope :-) Wink

take care, have fun

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