American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

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Re: American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

Post  AlainK on Tue Mar 22, 2016 4:57 pm

What I find irritating is the fact that some people seem to stick to one style, one approach. I can appreciate this or that, but diversity is more inspiring to me.

One can style a lonicera or a berberis that looks like a mature Zelkova ("broom style"), which is totally un-natural, or carve up almost any deciduous trees that they have to look like a prop in a Tim burton cartoon while in the wild it only happens once in a while or style junipers that look like an italian flag : broccoli green, live veins polished and oiled to enhance a red colouring, and outrageously white dead wood.

In each category, a tree can stand out and be a real masterpiece, but:

"L'ennui naquit un jour de l'uniformité" (Antoine Houdar de La Motte, 1672-1731)

(Literally : "Boredom was born one day of uniformity")

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Re: American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

Post  Dave Leppo on Tue Mar 22, 2016 7:07 pm

If you have never read this, It may interest you.

Herr Pall Feb, 2010

I see a the bottom Brother Pall borrowed from one Thomas Tremmel...

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Re: American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

Post  AlainK on Tue Mar 22, 2016 7:31 pm

Dave Leppo wrote:If you have never read this, It may interest you.

Herr Pall Feb, 2010

(...).

"Beatiful Bonsai"

Yeah...

Beati pauperes spiritu, quoniam ipsorum est regnum caelorum

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Re: American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

Post  Dave Leppo on Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:16 pm

AlainK wrote:

Beati pauperes spiritu, quoniam ipsorum est regnum caelorum

Amen

Happy Easter All!  BTW

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Re: American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

Post  Richard S on Tue Mar 22, 2016 8:58 pm

Mike, I don't care whether 90% of art is crap or whether it's 80%, 50% or some other percentage (it must be some percentage, right?) but I am interested in how you define "crap".

In general too many people mistake issues of style and taste for issues of quality. You frequently hear people say that this thing or that thing is "crap" (this is especially true of art, architecture, fashion, music etc) but what people usually mean is that "whatever" is not to their taste or they just don't understand it. Describing something as crap is usually just laziness on the part of the (self appointed) critic.

Well that's human nature I suppose and I'm not disputing that some things really are crap but in my view issues of objective quality have nothing to with style or taste.

For example I don't much care for classical music but would never denounce it as "crap" because my personal taste has nothing to do with it's technical quality.

To bring it back to bonsai, what exactly is "the new crap" you refer to?

Your previous comments make it clear that you are sceptical about the merits of naturalistic bonsai (which is fair enough) but I'm still not really sure whether your objection is to naturalism in bonsai per se or whether you are just saying that most of those who profess to practice naturalistic bonsai produce crap!

Or maybe you were talking about modern bonsai style or something else.

Perhaps you could elaborate?

Regards

Richard

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Re: American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

Post  Tzung Tzan on Wed Mar 23, 2016 12:55 am

M. Frary wrote:
fredman1 wrote:
M. Frary wrote:  Look at me. Commenting on comments about comments on a thread where the 2 main posters don't comment much about the comments made by most of the commentators!

Classic !!!
What can I say but..... No comment  Very Happy
 Threads like this one make me feel small and so unimportant. Like a little ant scurrying around underfoot.
 I was thinking of posting something controversial like.
WHAT DOES ALL OF THIS TALK ABOUT JAPANESE BONSAI VERSUS NATURALISTIC BONSAI MATTER? IT'S ALL BONSAI BY GOD!  CHINESE,EUPOPEAN,AMERICAN,MEXICAN,JAPANESE. THEY ARE ALL SMALL TREES IN POTS. MOST ARE GROWING IN BACK YARDS.
I'LL GO ONE FURTHER AND CALL MINE MICHIGAN STYLE. WHO HAS THOSE HUH? OR MIO STYLE.
IN THE END ALL OF THESE TREES IN THIS THREAD ARE BONSAI. SOME GOOD SOME BAD SOME EXCELLENT. BUT ALL OF THEM ARE BONSAI! PLAIN AND SIMPLE.
Ahhhhh. That felt wonderful!

I think the quotes in capitals make a good point. Say, if a Eucalyptus tree bonsai was grown naturalistic, would you call it "Australian style" or would you call it "naturalistic" because that's how it grows naturally. You have to remember that Australia has a huge variety of trees where, Eucalyptus grows differently from Fig trees which grows differently from baobabs and bottle trees which grows differently from bunya pines etc. But then what the hell is an Australian style since all these trees grow different to each other and are all native to Australia. That's why prefer to call it Naturalistic rather than have a geographical continent attached to it. Besides some of our natives in Australia are also natives to outside of Australia. For example, fig trees and baobabs. If you have an Australian Baobab which is genetically similar and grows similar to the African baobab and you try and simulate nature from your own observations, what geographical style is that? Even Eucalyptus trees are naturalised in some parts of the world so what geographical styling would we give a name for a Eucalyptus in California to naturalised ones growing in India?

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Re: American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

Post  M. Frary on Wed Mar 23, 2016 1:45 am

Tzung Tzan gets it!

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Re: American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

Post  MichaelS on Wed Mar 23, 2016 3:17 am

Ha Ha. It's so easy to get folks excited..



by Richard S on Wed Mar 23, 2016 7:58 am

Mike, I don't care whether 90% of art is crap or whether it's 80%, 50% or some other percentage (it must be some percentage, right?) but I am interested in how you define "crap".

In general too many people mistake issues of style and taste for issues of quality. You frequently hear people say that this thing or that thing is "crap" (this is especially true of art, architecture, fashion, music etc) but what people usually mean is that "whatever" is not to their taste or they just don't understand it. Describing something as crap is usually just laziness on the part of the (self appointed) critic.

Richard, Taste comes from experience. It is acquired. You are not born with it hence the huge variety of tastes out there. Some people never make the effort to educate themselves with regard to quality. Most people never even get to the point where they realize there is a difference between ''the pinnacle of an art form'' and everything beneath it. As an example have a look at this thread on Bonsai nut. http://www.bonsainut.com/threads/five-favorite-trees-of-all-time.17376/page-5

People were asked to post their 5 favourite trees of all time..... OF ALL TIME mind you!!  It's overwhelmingly obvious that many (most) posters have either never opened up a bonsai album or they don't know what they're looking at. How can I say such a thing? Well when I was young I played in a rock band. The kind of music I listened to then was Hendrix, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath etc. Back then, this was as good as it gets. Everything else was crap. Later I discovered Jazz rock through people like John McLaughlin. This opened my eyes to the real possibilities of music and it told me that what I thought before was ignorant nonsense. From there I was able to appreciate the intricate structure and improvisation in true modern jazz and so Keith Jarret was my listening choice and from there I was able to sit and listen to Stravinsky and Rackmaninov. I still love Hendrix but now I can see it for what it actually is not what I thought it was. The problem is, most people are quite happy to live in blissful ignorance and listen to Beyonce for the rest of their lives and more than that, believe it is the best.

My partner is an art major with extensive experience working in galleries in the US. When I talk to her about this issues of quality verses taste, she tells me it is exactly the same in the art world. Most people don't have a clue what they are looking at because they have never been taught or learned HOW to look and WHAT to look for. The very fact that many of the bonsainut posters picked trees from Europe or the US over Japanese ones proves they don't know what they are seeing. In almost every example posted I have seen far superior Japanese examples of the same tree, in the same style and usually of the same species. So why pick the inferior ones. It's nothing to do with taste. It's pure ignorance of the facts.

Over thirty years ago I started with bonsai. Working in a nursery and trying to produce material for pleasure and profit. This was seven days a week and still is. Doing this I soon learned to recognize how much effort and skill was involved to produce the kind of quality I saw in the Japanese picture books. (and mind, I start from the beginning not dig up a tree and put some wire on it. You can only learn so much doing that. I think I've paid my dues) So yes, I have now become extremely intolerant of anything substandard especially when it comes to branch formation. That's why I still have relatively few trees - I keep disposing of the ones that are not up to scratch.

So my definition of crap bonsai? Well straight off the bat, more than 50% of the efforts of most practitioners in most clubs in most parts of the world. That leaves another 50%. Some of these efforts I would categorize as works with a fair to very high degree of potential but going from the current direction will probably sadly remain inferior unless the problem is rectified. Most of my own trees I would put in this category but with the recognition of what needs to be corrected or developed. The rest are good to excellent. It will always be this way. It cannot be any other way. I understand that.

I make no apologies for the way I see things. I am very happy to point any shortcomings I see in my own work and listen to any criticism of others. I just wish others were. That way, maybe something would actually be achieved.

Your previous comments make it clear that you are sceptical about the merits of naturalistic bonsai (which is fair enough) but I'm still not really sure whether your objection is to naturalism in bonsai per se or whether you are just saying that most of those who profess to practice naturalistic bonsai produce crap!

You've got this wrong Richard! I'm all for naturalistic bonsai. I always have been. But yes the people who practice naturalistic bonsai design are no different to the others. Most attempts will be rubbish. Many look more contrived than ''normal'' everyday bonsai. You need to understand how trees ''think'' first. It's not just painting a picture. Most of the life of a bonsai we work on we will never even see. You have to prepare the tree for it's future. A naturalistic bonsai is not a real tree!


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Re: American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

Post  MichaelS on Wed Mar 23, 2016 3:39 am

M. Frary wrote:

 Just sounds like the fat trunked trees you sell are crap. Why don't you sell good ones?

I don't sell fat trunked trees. I leave that to the dig and chop brigade.

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Re: American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

Post  Richard S on Wed Mar 23, 2016 10:12 am

Mike

Thanks for your comprehensive response to my post.

That makes a lot of sense to me. I agree that taste is the product of experience but also of expectation. That is why I feel that this discussion is so valuable.

I am here precisely in the hope that I will "educate myself with regard to quality" and in doing so advance my knowledge of "how to look and what to look for".

Regards

Richard

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Re: American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

Post  kevin stoeveken on Wed Mar 23, 2016 11:58 am

MichaelS wrote:The very fact that many of the bonsainut posters picked trees from Europe or the US over Japanese ones proves they don't know what they are seeing. In almost every example posted I have seen far superior Japanese examples of the same tree, in the same style and usually of the same species. So why pick the inferior ones. It's nothing to do with taste. It's pure ignorance of the facts.

or perhaps they have just never seen the same trees you have ?
(not having 30 years worth of viewing under their belts)

MichaelS wrote:So yes, I have now become extremely intolerant of anything substandard

i know you are not trying to be the school yard bully, but "intolerant" ?  pale

i guess that really narrows down your field of enjoyment
thats gotta be kind of a drag for you...






but at any rate...

it sure would be nice if this thread was more about the trees at the north carolina arboretum...
has any other thread experienced this much digression ???

some would say that the discussion is not digression, but i would disagree...
when someone starts a thread it is kind of "theirs"...
and without current posts about the trees at the north carolina arboretum, what is being discussed ?
and if not discussing a particular tree that was posted from the north carolina arboretum, what is being discussed ?

granted, the OP did pose questions, but for the most part they were based on trees from the north carolina arboretum.

the subject of the thread is bonsai at the north carolina arboretum,
not naturalistic bonsai, despite the OP being a proponent of that style...


and while many of us find the ongoing digression to be enlightening and informative none-the-less,
it seems like we need a thread for "a debate about of the finer points of the ART of bonsai"  scratch
(which i believe has been suggested before)

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Re: American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

Post  MichaelS on Thu Mar 24, 2016 12:52 am

[quote]
beer city snake wrote:
or perhaps they have just never seen the same trees you have ?
(not having 30 years worth of viewing under their belts)
No, anyone with a computer and a few good books can see. That's just about everyone. I certainly knew what I wanted after a couple of years.



i know you are not trying to be the school yard bully, but "intolerant" ?  pale

i guess that really narrows down your field of enjoyment
thats gotta be kind of a drag for you...

No again. I think I probably enjoy the whole bonsai experience more than most. Growing plants is my life and passion. If it wasn't I wouldn't spend so much time hunting rare and beautiful varieties and growing from seed, cuttings and grafting for so little return. I also grow orchid species form around the world as well as just about any other plant you care to name at one time or another. Sometimes I don't actually understand why some people don't have the same enthusiasm that I do or derive as much pleasure. The intolerance of my and others' substandard work I see as a good thing. (for me) Others can help themselves. Not settling for the mediocre leads to greater not narrowed pleasure. I think maybe you misunderstood what I mean by intolerant. (my fault...bad choice of words) It's not like attack trees I don't care for with an axe in a fit of furious rage.. Laughing What I mean is I don't persist with or pursue them.





but at any rate...

it sure would be nice if this thread was more about the trees at the north carolina arboretum...
has any other thread experienced this much digression ???

some would say that the discussion is not digression, but i would disagree...
when someone starts a thread it is kind of "theirs"...
and without current posts about the trees at the north carolina arboretum, what is being discussed ?
and if not discussing a particular tree that was posted from the north carolina arboretum, what is being discussed ?

granted, the OP did pose questions, but for the most part they were based on trees from the north carolina arboretum.

the subject of the thread is bonsai at the north carolina arboretum,
not naturalistic bonsai, despite the OP being a proponent of that style...


and while many of us find the ongoing digression to be enlightening and informative none-the-less,
it seems like we need a thread for "a debate about of the finer points of the ART of bonsai"  scratch
(which i believe has been suggested before)

Well Kevin, you realize that by responding to my post you are contributing to the digression?  I find complaints about threads deviating onto other subjects a bit non issue. If Arthur wants to continue with his original subject that's up to him. If he wants it to remain that way, he just needs to mention it. Going by the last several pages it seems not.

If you think a thread about the finer points of bonsai is due, start one! I will visit it.


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Re: American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

Post  Dave Leppo on Thu Mar 24, 2016 1:33 am

Arthur told me in person that he appreciates the comments and contributions of others, if kept civil and reasonable. I'm paraphrasing here. I told him I believe that many people may read (lurk) only without posting, probably more than he may be aware of.



Thru the discussion I find myself somewhat swayed towards the idea that regional styles are one thing - sort of interesting and not to be ignored. And then there are good and bad examples therein.

I'm now not sure that there is any big name master that doesn't strive for naturalism as they perceive it. I'm trying to think of an example of someone doing impressionistic bonsai...


.. that wouldn't be considered "crap".

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Re: American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

Post  Dave Leppo on Thu Mar 24, 2016 2:03 am

maybe this:

is this at all naturalistic (I think not)?  I think this is impressionistic bonsai.
Is it great art?  Tell me what you honestly think, please.

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Re: American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

Post  MichaelS on Thu Mar 24, 2016 2:24 am

It looks like it was dug up and potted. So if that's the case, it's completely natural. Is it a good naturalistic bonsai? No. Is it great art, No. Is it impressionistic? No. Is it a good bonsai (any artificial category)? No. Is it ''crap''? No. Is it a bonsai? No. Is it a tree in a pot? Yes!

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Re: American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

Post  M. Frary on Thu Mar 24, 2016 2:33 am

MichaelS wrote:Ha Ha. It's so easy to get folks excited..



by Richard S on Wed Mar 23, 2016 7:58 am

Mike, I don't care whether 90% of art is crap or whether it's 80%, 50% or some other percentage (it must be some percentage, right?) but I am interested in how you define "crap".

In general too many people mistake issues of style and taste for issues of quality. You frequently hear people say that this thing or that thing is "crap" (this is especially true of art, architecture, fashion, music etc) but what people usually mean is that "whatever" is not to their taste or they just don't understand it. Describing something as crap is usually just laziness on the part of the (self appointed) critic.

Richard, Taste comes from experience. It is acquired. You are not born with it hence the huge variety of tastes out there. Some people never make the effort to educate themselves with regard to quality. Most people never even get to the point where they realize there is a difference between ''the pinnacle of an art form'' and everything beneath it. As an example have a look at this thread on Bonsai nut. http://www.bonsainut.com/threads/five-favorite-trees-of-all-time.17376/page-5

People were asked to post their 5 favourite trees of all time..... OF ALL TIME mind you!!  It's overwhelmingly obvious that many (most) posters have either never opened up a bonsai album or they don't know what they're looking at. How can I say such a thing? Well when I was young I played in a rock band. The kind of music I listened to then was Hendrix, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath etc. Back then, this was as good as it gets. Everything else was crap. Later I discovered Jazz rock through people like John McLaughlin. This opened my eyes to the real possibilities of music and it told me that what I thought before was ignorant nonsense. From there I was able to appreciate the intricate structure and improvisation in true modern jazz and so Keith Jarret was my listening choice and from there I was able to sit and listen to Stravinsky and Rackmaninov. I still love Hendrix but now I can see it for what it actually is not what I thought it was. The problem is, most people are quite happy to live in blissful ignorance and listen to Beyonce for the rest of their lives and more than that, believe it is the best.

My partner is an art major with extensive experience working in galleries in the US. When I talk to her about this issues of quality verses taste, she tells me it is exactly the same in the art world. Most people don't have a clue what they are looking at because they have never been taught or learned HOW to look and WHAT to look for. The very fact that many of the bonsainut posters picked trees from Europe or the US over Japanese ones proves they don't know what they are seeing. In almost every example posted I have seen far superior Japanese examples of the same tree, in the same style and usually of the same species. So why pick the inferior ones. It's nothing to do with taste. It's pure ignorance of the facts.

Over thirty years ago I started with bonsai. Working in a nursery and trying to produce material for pleasure and profit. This was seven days a week and still is. Doing this I soon learned to recognize how much effort and skill was involved to produce the kind of quality I saw in the Japanese picture books. (and mind, I start from the beginning not dig up a tree and put some wire on it. You can only learn so much doing that. I think I've paid my dues) So yes, I have now become extremely intolerant of anything substandard especially when it comes to branch formation. That's why I still have relatively few trees - I keep disposing of the ones that are not up to scratch.

So my definition of crap bonsai? Well straight off the bat, more than 50% of the efforts of most practitioners in most clubs in most parts of the world. That leaves another 50%. Some of these efforts I would categorize as works with a fair to very high degree of potential but going from the current direction will probably sadly remain inferior unless the problem is rectified. Most of my own trees I would put in this category but with the recognition of what needs to be corrected or developed. The rest are good to excellent. It will always be this way. It cannot be any other way. I understand that.

I make no apologies for the way I see things. I am very happy to point any shortcomings I see in my own work and listen to any criticism of others. I just wish others were. That way, maybe something would actually be achieved.

Your previous comments make it clear that you are sceptical about the merits of naturalistic bonsai (which is fair enough) but I'm still not really sure whether your objection is to naturalism in bonsai per se or whether you are just saying that most of those who profess to practice naturalistic bonsai produce crap!

You've got this wrong Richard! I'm all for naturalistic bonsai. I always have been. But yes the people who practice naturalistic bonsai design are no different to the others. Most attempts will be rubbish. Many look more contrived than ''normal'' everyday bonsai. You need to understand how trees ''think'' first. It's not just painting a picture. Most of the life of a bonsai we work on we will never even see. You have to prepare the tree for it's future. A naturalistic bonsai is not a real tree!

  Look at you! All full of your bad little self.
The thread on BNUT was asking for their 5 favorite trees of all time. My thread.
My thread. None of my picks were from Japan. Because I didn't pick Japanese trees I don't know crap. One was a Walter Pall's Japanese maple #1. Another John Naka's Goshen. Another was Vance Woods quasi raft mugo.
 Apparently there is a better Japanese version of these trees that is better. And I'm ignorant.
How the hell did miss that?
Thank God you're here to help us with your superior wisdom,experience,education and most of all your great eye for quality bonsai.
I for one can't wait for your next enlightening post.

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Re: American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

Post  MichaelS on Thu Mar 24, 2016 4:48 am

[quote="M. Frary"]

So we are personal now, is that it?....OK

The thread on BNUT was asking for their 5 favorite trees of all time.

Yep, said that

My thread.

Congratulations. First original idea?

My thread.

Yep got that..

None of my picks were from Japan. Because I didn't pick Japanese trees I don't know crap. One was a Walter Pall's Japanese maple #1. Another John Naka's Goshen. Another was Vance Woods quasi raft mugo.
 Apparently there is a better Japanese version of these trees that is better. And I'm ignorant.
How the hell did miss that?

Hmmm, I don't know. Coz your blind? Help me out here....Yes a better version that is better.

Thank God you're here to help us with your superior wisdom,experience,education and most of all your great eye for quality bonsai.
I for one can't wait for your next enlightening post.

Don't thank god! thank me!  What the hell's god got to do with it?

I don't know what it is about me that pisses you off M. Frary, but let me know so....................................................I can do more Twisted Evil

Nice post! good work. Now you can have a good lie down.

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Re: American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

Post  Richard S on Thu Mar 24, 2016 10:44 am

Oh boy! What was it that Arthur said in his first post about the perils of posting on a public web forum? Oh yeah,

"I think of it as being akin to swimming in a public pool on a hot day; invigorating, and an excellent opportunity to give one’s immune system a workout"

truly he knew didn't he!

Never mind it's just human nature, so moving swiftly on....................

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Re: American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

Post  Dave Leppo on Thu Mar 24, 2016 10:47 am

Mike, you are obviously a knowledgable guy.

Your problem is that you implied that if it's not Japanese, its crap.  That obvioulsly meens that Arthur, Walter, you or I can never make anything but crap; we might as well quit.  

You must be smart enough to know that your post would be off-puting, so you are trying to be deliberatly inciteful. Fair?

btw, I consider the Harry Hirao tree "impressionistic" because you can't find a real tree like that.  There may be a better term.

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Re: American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

Post  M. Frary on Thu Mar 24, 2016 11:35 am

MichaelS wrote:
M. Frary wrote:

So we are personal now, is that it?....OK

The thread on BNUT was asking for their 5 favorite trees of all time.

Yep, said that

My thread.

Congratulations. First original idea?

My thread.

Yep got that..

None of my picks were from Japan. Because I didn't pick Japanese trees I don't know crap. One was a Walter Pall's Japanese maple #1. Another John Naka's Goshen. Another was Vance Woods quasi raft mugo.
 Apparently there is a better Japanese version of these trees that is better. And I'm ignorant.
How the hell did miss that?

Hmmm, I don't know. Coz your blind? Help me out here....Yes a better version that is better.

Thank God you're here to help us with your superior wisdom,experience,education and most of all your great eye for quality bonsai.
I for one can't wait for your next enlightening post.

Don't thank god! thank me!  What the hell's god got to do with it?

I don't know what it is about me that pisses you off M. Frary, but let me know so....................................................I can do more Twisted Evil

Nice post! good work. Now you can have a good lie down.
 Haha! Now we're cooking.
More snobbishness. I like.
The only thing is if you know so much why are you're asking the very same people that don't know good bonsai for opinions on your trees?
Makes no sense to me at all. What with your eye for great bonsai.
 I'm not pissed at you at all. How could someone so low and unelightened be mad at a pinnacle in the bonsai world such as yourself? I can't compete with your brand of hubris.


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Re: American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

Post  Richard S on Thu Mar 24, 2016 11:35 am

Dave L

Interesting question and an interesting tree to choose.

Is it at all naturalistic? Well actually if you could separate the small tree at the end from the monstrous plank it's attached to the answer might be yes but when viewed as a whole I would say most certainly not.

Is it impressionistic? Well your stretching my artistic knowledge here but that's not how I'd describe it. It is certainly abstract though or maybe nonrepresentational? Google defines this as: "Of, relating to, or being a style of art in which natural objects are not represented realistically".

Is it great art? Well I don't personally think it is "great" but it is most definitely art. I think it unlikely that this happened by accident, whatever the raw material may have consisted of. Even if it was collected in roughly this form it was still a bold choice of material. Whoever created this composition was clearly trying to convey something beyond simply saying "oh look, it's a tree in a pot because lets be honest, it doesn't look much like most peoples concept of a tree.

So what do I honestly think? I think it's bold, dramatic, sculptural, somewhat grotesque (which isn't necessarily a bad thing) and it demands attention. It's impressive but does not particularly appeal to my taste. I more admire it as a bold statement than like it as a bonsai.

Still, at least the foliage doesn't look like broccoli!

Regards

Richard

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Re: American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

Post  kevin stoeveken on Thu Mar 24, 2016 11:41 am

dave - AJ said something similar to me, but i wonder if "all of this" is what he meant confused

MichaelS wrote: Well Kevin, you realize that by responding to my post you are contributing to the digression?

true... so i will leave the debate to the masterdebators and look forward to seeing more on the trees from the nc arboretum

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Re: American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

Post  fiona on Thu Mar 24, 2016 11:42 am

Some twelve years on one of the only two trips I have had across the pond, I had the pleasure of visiting the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum a couple of times and the tree that Dave posted was one of the ones that stuck out most for me.  There were a number of fairly run of the mill bonsai there in terms of design but that one drew me from a distance off.  For that reason alone it has merit, in my very humble opinion although I believe I may be a distant echo of the bonsai great who said a good bonsai was the one you kept returning to in an exhibition.

In UK terms it would be seen as somehow "unfinished" as the trend in the UK is for what Jim would call "coiffured" foliage. And yeah, it has inverse taper. And yeah, it may not be up there with some of Kimura's work. But cookie cutter it aint and an irrestible draw because of its unusualness it is.  So it isn't the bonniest tree in the great world-wide arboretum of bonsai. But it you met Mona Lisa in the street you'd probably think she was dowdy and frumpy. And look how that one panned out.


Last edited by fiona on Thu Mar 24, 2016 5:35 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

Post  Walter Pall on Thu Mar 24, 2016 11:46 am

I call the Hirao tree 'Natural Style'. He insisted to not use wire and just cut a tree. This was state of the art around 1920 or 1930 in Japan. So THIS is traditional styling if you want it.
The word 'naturalistic' means that it is NOT 'natural'. It only appears natural, but it is enhanced.
This kind of tree to me personally is well kept material.
If a nobody does this today it is ignorant and material at best. If a well known artist did it than it is art. But to accept that this is art does not at all mean that one has to like it. I actually don't.
Often the Natural Style is confused with Naturlistic Style. No wonder some frown upon trees which have been hardly worked on and appear untidy.

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Re: American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

Post  coh on Thu Mar 24, 2016 2:29 pm

Walter Pall wrote:If a nobody does this today it is ignorant and material at best. If a well known artist did it than it is art.

This is one of the most accurate statements that has been posted in this thread, and it applies to all art. Just walk into any major art museum or many galleries in NYC and you'll see paintings that look as if they were done by a first grader...yet there they hang, either in the museum or the art gallery with a big price tag, because of the "name" (either the name of the artist or the name of the critic/promoter who is pushing it as great art). And the lemmings with more money than brains will rush in to buy it while many talented "nobodies" languish.

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Re: American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

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