American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

Page 3 of 8 Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8  Next

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Re: American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

Post  fiona on Mon Feb 29, 2016 9:34 pm

Vance Wood wrote: which brings up the point of Scunnared.  I try to stick to English, so; as far as I know you are calling me low down and foul smelling.
It IS English. It's spelled "scunnered" and your definition is wrong.

_________________
"Espouse elucidation"
_____________________________________

my website

fiona
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

Post  Vance Wood on Mon Feb 29, 2016 9:51 pm

fiona wrote:
Vance Wood wrote: which brings up the point of Scunnared.  I try to stick to English, so; as far as I know you are calling me low down and foul smelling.  
It IS English. It's spelled "scunnered" and your definition is wrong.  

Maybe you would like to tell me What this archaic word means. While I am at it I would like to apologize to Cho. It seem when I posted this I posted it on Cho's post instead of Fiona's.

Vance Wood
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

Post  kevin stoeveken on Mon Feb 29, 2016 9:52 pm

coh wrote:
Arthur chose to take this thread down this path. It could have remained a thread about the trees at the arboretum, but he chose to make it about bonsai styles, naturalistic versus classical, the established bonsai scene versus the outsiders.

thats a bit skewed... i see it as a discussion being started but i dont recall any "versus" or gauntlets being tossed down...

coh wrote:If you don't like it, don't participate.

huh... where have i heard that ?

beer city snake wrote:of course, my choice can be to just not follow along... Neutral

fiona - might scunnered be the same as flummoxed ?

or in pictographical terms - confused and scratch

_________________

AAC Original Milwaukee Wi. Chapter - North America

aka beer city snake
link to ARBOR ARTS COLLECTIVE BLOG

kevin stoeveken
Member


Back to top Go down

Reply with quote Re: American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

Post  geo on Mon Feb 29, 2016 9:54 pm

Excellent choice of word.Fiona. I could not agree more.As for V.W.--snore.

geo
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

Post  Richard S on Mon Feb 29, 2016 10:32 pm

Oh dear, the snow ball starts to roll again and I feel as tempted to jump on board as anyone but I'll try to resist.

Regards

Richard

PS I didn't know what scunnered meant either and I live on the same island as Fiona (although admittedly at the other end). I know now though. Google is a wonderful thing isn't it (although not necessarily a wonderful company if you believe that multi billion pound corporations should pay a fair rate of tax - but that really is another subject).

Richard S
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

Post  Vance Wood on Mon Feb 29, 2016 10:35 pm

geo wrote:Excellent choice of word.Fiona. I could not agree more.As for V.W.--snore.

Spoken by someone who lurks in the background  having no opinion about bonsai or even proof he has a bonsai.  I should feel flattered because the only time we see him is when has  an oportunity to take a shot at me.  Good for you, that shows great patience and an eye for an opening. It also shows the foul spirit of the man.

Vance Wood
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

Post  fiona on Mon Feb 29, 2016 10:41 pm

You really don't know when you're being wound up do you, Vance.

As they don't say at my end of the UK, Lighten the UP!!!

Lots of emoticons of the smiley face sort, including one of a pot being stirred.

_________________
"Espouse elucidation"
_____________________________________

my website

fiona
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

Post  Vance Wood on Mon Feb 29, 2016 10:57 pm

fiona wrote:You really don't know when you're being wound up do you, Vance.

As they don't say at my end of the UK, Lighten the            UP!!!  

Lots of emoticons of the smiley face sort, including one of a pot being stirred.

Sometimes emoticons do not give one a free path to say anything they want.

Vance Wood
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

Post  fiona on Mon Feb 29, 2016 11:00 pm

Okay. I'll post one of a pot and a kettle.

_________________
"Espouse elucidation"
_____________________________________

my website

fiona
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

Post  coh on Mon Feb 29, 2016 11:20 pm

fiona wrote:Okay. I'll post one of a pot and a kettle.

Priceless! Very Happy Would have so many uses...

coh
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

Post  fredman1 on Tue Mar 01, 2016 3:36 am

I took a while and read this thread right from the start, and have been following it for a while now. Its a fascinating read, much to take in and learn. I'm striving to do naturalistic bonsai but that sound easier than it is, I'm finding out. The theory and how to achieve it is two different realities really. The discussions around that here has given me a huge insight into it. A big thank you to all you people that contribute towards it. I'm sure there is a load of readers out there that finds this fascinating as well...Very Happy
I really don't think the discussions are over heated or off topic at all.... Given the fact that such important topics are being discussed.....!!!
Its actually heart warming (as a outsider from American bonsai) to see how passionate you people are debating your search to identify and quantify what American bonsai is, and how it differs from others. To me it is a very necessary topic to debate, and to keep on debating, before Mr Murata's words can be fulfilled. Neutral

"Please create your own Americanized bonsai and fill the world with this peaceful art"

fredman1
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

Post  MichaelS on Tue Mar 01, 2016 4:55 am

Walter, you talk of ''realistic naturalism'' and ''idealistic naturalism''

Below I have included 2 groups of trees. The first is of what I would call trees in decline. ''Over the hill''. As trees approach the last years of life they tend to lose fine ramification on their branches first. Sometimes on the whole tree or worse, sometimes from parts of the tree here and there. These kinds of tree convey to me a feeling of age (which is good) but also one of decline and decay. One of entropy or a ''gradual decline toward disorder''

The second group I would class as being in the prime of their life conveying an image of life, freshness, balance and renewal. Although I can see the attraction in both forms, should we not agree that they are both realistic due to the fact that they are both real?





Below group 1. This is what I assume you would class as realistic going by your previous examples. In these trees, I personally find all kinds of features I would avoid in bonsai. Of course others may feel differently.




















Below group 2. These are what you might call idealistic. I would agree with that. In this case ideal would mean to me - the preferred model to follow.













(click)










And finally, here is a tree which I find has all the best qualities of ancientness, elegance and individuality. (click the image for full size)






MichaelS
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

Post  Walter Pall on Tue Mar 01, 2016 7:44 am

MichaelS wrote:Walter, you talk of ''realistic naturalism'' and ''idealistic naturalism'


Below group 1. This is what I assume you would class as realistic going by your previous examples. In these trees, I personally find all kinds of features I would avoid in bonsai. Of course others may feel differently.


Below group 2. These are what you might call idealistic. I would agree with that. In this case ideal would mean to me - the preferred model to follow.

Michael,

if you are trying to avoid many natural features you are probably doing either idealistic naturalistic style or traditional style. In the realistic naturalistic style you are ENHANCING most of these features which are not in the classical bonsai book.
The trees in group 1 can well be used as models for bonsai styling. If you want a realistic look you enhance the features. Especially the features which are not in bonsai book should be enhanced.
The trees in group 2 look more like bonsai. It is OK to use them as models, but if overdone you are not at all doing naturalistic styling.
If one looking for natural trees which look as close as possible like a 'beautiful' bonsai he has missed the whole point of naturalism.
Nobody has to style in the naturalistic manner. But those who try to do so should at least understand what they are doing. My experience is that those who have done bonsai for a long time in the classical way will find it very difficult to grasp. I wonder whether they should even try.

Walter Pall
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Tue Mar 01, 2016 10:50 am

Guys and Gals,

I find myself making a mess of your topic. Additionally, I have some work to do in reality, so I will be gone until June or July.
Play nicely.

2 points I wanted to make -

[1] I have had to re-design efforts 2 or 3 times as they peak in their designs. I no longer bother to
push a design to that level, as there is no point. I don't really exhibit, as you may already know we had a run on orchids
being stolen from yards some years ago. I don't know how I would handle trees being stolen.
So I let everyone forget me.

[2] I have noted,a depression with the elders and the growing of Bonsai, I want to look into that a bit more.
[ self preservation research ]

I want to see if that push of the optimum of Design, then have it fail or change is part of the cause.
----------------------------------------------------------
Richard, Arthur knows I respect him.
------------------------------------------------------------
Also how many times will you re-design in the Naturalistic style, as the tree peaks and continues on ?
Look at Walter's examples and imagine them 10 years down the road. Even if you slow the growth you cannot
stop it.
What will Walter do next ?

I tried to raise this point with Walter back in 2010 I believe, over his students exhibited work.
Laters.
Khaimraj

Khaimraj Seepersad
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

Post  Richard S on Tue Mar 01, 2016 11:30 am

Khaimraj

I'm sure you do respect Arthur and I'm equally sure he knows that.

Please do not stay away too long because as I said I genuinely look forward to you refreshingly different perspective. This discussion needs as widely diverse a range of views as possible.

Regards

Richard

Richard S
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

Post  geo on Tue Mar 01, 2016 2:43 pm

Khaimraj. Very much looking forward to your return.

Sincerely,
George.

geo
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

Post  M. Frary on Tue Mar 01, 2016 3:42 pm

geo wrote:Excellent choice of word.Fiona. I could not agree more.As for V.W.--snore.
That's telling him Jorge!

M. Frary
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

Post  MichaelS on Wed Mar 02, 2016 1:27 am

The trees in group 1 can well be used as models for bonsai styling. If you want a realistic look you enhance the features. Especially the features which are not in bonsai book
should be enhanced.



Yes they can be used as models but you have to come up with a new word for that kind of tree. You cannot use the word realistic to distinguish these from group 2. All natural trees are realistic. Correct?





If one looking for natural trees which look as close as possible like a 'beautiful' bonsai he has missed the whole point of naturalism.

Up until now the whole point of the argument towards naturalism was to reject the ''cookie cutter'' modern styling and the traditional or highly stylized ''classical'' way which was usually not very realistic. (the 1-2-3 branch arrangement etc.) and shape the tree in a more natural form.
Now, according to you, the whole point of naturalism is to reject the group 2 type trees as well and include more of the features of group one and that by doing this the tree will appear more realistic? I'm not sure that is a particularly valid argument. All the natural styles are realistic and they all look like real trees.
It is perfectly valid to choose to style a tree in a more disordered, distressed, declining, image. With missing and broken branches and hollows. Almost like an ancient ruin. I can totally see the fascination in this kind of thing just as I was struck by the presence of an very old burned out Eucalyptus in an ancient forest a few years ago.
(BTW I would not consider your hornbeam in this style at all)
However, let's not confuse with the word realistic and natural only used for trees which are not 'beautiful' or ''conventional''.
Let's maybe call some of these trees ''graveyard style'' Smile









Nobody has to style in the naturalistic manner. But those who try to do so should at least understand what they are doing. My experience is that those who have done bonsai for a long time in the classical way will find it very difficult to grasp. I wonder whether they should even try.


I don't think it is difficult to understand or grasp, but for some people it might be hard to accept. I can certainly grasp the concept and the reasons behind it but I feel I need to keep a very close eye on the final product. Many of the ''naturalistic'' styled trees which have been displayed show just as many signs of being manipulated by human hands than traditional styles. Sometimes even more.
If you really want a natural appearance you might have to throw away the scissors and the wire and brake the branches off by hand or with a hammer.

MichaelS
Member


Back to top Go down

Re:American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

Post  geo on Wed Mar 02, 2016 5:10 am

"Many of the ''naturalistic'' styled trees which have been displayed show just as many signs of being manipulated by human hands than traditional styles. Sometimes even more."

You finally got it! It is a STYLE!That is what ALL of us do.We manipulate.Then you stand around and look for all the manipulations. Give me patience with these walls of text:because,for my sins,I suppose,I am compelled to actually read them!


Last edited by geo on Wed Mar 02, 2016 5:17 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : felt like it)

geo
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

Post  kevin stoeveken on Wed Mar 02, 2016 12:56 pm

there must be more than 50 shades of grey
along with just as many shades of gray


_________________

AAC Original Milwaukee Wi. Chapter - North America

aka beer city snake
link to ARBOR ARTS COLLECTIVE BLOG

kevin stoeveken
Member


Back to top Go down

An Open Letter To Walter Pall 3/2/16

Post  Arthur Joura on Wed Mar 02, 2016 10:23 pm

Hello Walter,

I apologize for the length of time it has taken me to respond to your last letter. All of a sudden I find myself completely swamped at work, with so much to be done with the trees and outside in the garden, too. I expect you are experiencing this as well, although I do not know how closely the seasons correlate between my part of the world and yours. Added to this horticultural demand I also have a concentration of off-site educational programs at this time of year and the time commitment to these activities is substantial. Which reminds me - soon you will be sitting in judgement of the next bonsai generation! Good luck with that, and I hope your nerves do not get the better of you.

A little while back you shared here a comment from a reader of your blog regarding our open discussion:

Walter Pall wrote:Some may know that I copy this Arthur/Walter conversation on my blog. Here a comment by Christopher Schmuck:


...We all alter our natural environments in one way or another and in doing so separate ourselves from our natural roots. With the rise of civilization comes buildings, pavement, technology, man-made structures and devices created to make our lives easier. Perhaps somewhere along the way we have removed ourselves from our original environment. We plant trees, shrubs, and flowers in parks, yards, and gardens in an effort to redevelop a place where tranquility and a peace-of-mind can be found. When we do so we strive to bridge the gap between humanity and nature...


This is a good statement regarding what I think is a critical element of our impulse to cultivate miniature trees and landscapes. The one alteration I would advise is to make it more declarative: We HAVE removed ourselves from our original environment. There is no question about this, and we (as a species) did it with the greatest intent! Apparently our forebears found it discomforting to be hunted down and killed by hungry carnivores, or endlessly harassed by parasites, while spending the greater part of their waking hours scrounging around for something to eat or searching for a warm, dry, protected place to sleep at night. Throughout our collective history we humans have sought to insulate ourselves from the brutal realities of life in nature. We have succeeded to a substantial degree, too, so much so that a great many of us find ourselves longing to reconnect with certain elements of nature we miss, since beating the whole unruly mess of it into some crude form of submission. Wilderness areas, wildlife refuges, national forests, state and community parks all do this on a larger scale, and home gardens, pets and plants in pots do this on a personal scale. I think the inclination to reconnect to nature (excluding the uncomfortable parts where we get eaten by other creatures or die from exposure to the elements) is certainly being expressed by people doing bonsai, but in varying degrees of consciousness from person to person.

It is worth noting that there is a distinct difference between Classical, Neoclassical and Modern bonsai styles on the one hand, and Naturalistic bonsai on the other, as regards the relationship between the human being and the subject plant. In all cases the human assumes the superior position in the relationship. In the classical, neoclassical and modern styles, however, the human domination of nature is front and center in the concept, with abstraction firmly winning out over any inclination toward messy realism. Naturalistic style is predicated on the observation of nature and there is conscious effort to convey as much as possible of what has been observed. Naturalistic bonsai still involves manipulation of the plant by a human, it is still ultimately an abstraction of nature, but within that style of work the human consciously tries to be on a more balanced plane with the natural world. The bonsai naturalist seeks to learn more about the ways of trees in nature and have that knowledge inform the design of his/her trees in pots. In the other styles, there is a relatively small pool of pre-determined, acceptable forms - templates, if you will - and the grower's objective is to mold the material of the plant into one of them. Naturalistic bonsai is more free-form, intuitive and emotional. Classical, Neoclassical and Modern bonsai are more clearly defined, lend themselves well to standardization and bonsai when done in these styles is more of an intellectual pursuit. True, the deadwood component of modern bonsai tends toward the more free-form, intuitive mode, but the desired look is one of fantasy and not of nature (plus it apparently needs to be clean and neat and really, really white.)

Going back to the subject of possible motivation for doing bonsai, I want to reference something posted a good while back by IBC member Richard S. The whole entry is worth rereading (here is a link: http://ibonsaiclub.forumotion.com/t12772p540-american-bonsai-at-the-nc-arboretum#172587 ), but let me here quote a couple of particularly pertinent parts:

Richard S wrote:
Anyway, it seems to me that the ultimate objective of all art is to express something of the emotional relationship between the artist and their subject. But what, in bonsai terms, is the subject?

The obvious and intuitive answer of course is trees, which to some extent I suppose must be true but I think that for most of us it goes a little deeper than that.

I would argue that the tree is in fact the medium not the subject! The subject is in fact nature or perhaps even man's relationship with nature...

Then again, perhaps for some the subject isn't Nature or Trees? Perhaps it's Orientalism or Japanese art & culture?...

I think Richard was feeling his way around this topic at the time, because what he wrote and the way he wrote it indicate a good deal of doubt in his mind. But I have few doubts about this any more. I have been thinking about it for more than 20 years now, and I think at this point the picture has come mostly into focus for me.

In bonsai, plants (typically trees, but also shrubs, vines and herbaceous species) are the medium. The subject is not nature by itself but the human relationship to it. Those many bonsai practitioners who favor imitation of the Classical style, a Japanese construct, may very well be expressing what is for them a more broad appreciation of Japanese art and culture. I shy away from the term "Orientalism" because it has shadings of cultural insult in its lumping together of a broad swath of diverse peoples from a vast area, but the term has some legitimacy in this application. Westerners who do Neoclassical bonsai are indeed engaging in a form of Orientalism, although I think there are quite a few who do it unknowingly. At the very least, neoclassicists are parroting the view of the human relationship with nature that held sway in Japan in the middle of the 20th century. It is often said that Japanese culture shows a close affinity for nature and I would not argue against it, but it seems to me that their traditional concept of nature is largely one of keeping it under tight control. Classical, and by extension neoclassical, bonsai presents a view of nature that has been cleaned up and made more comforting and understandable through the agency of coherent organization.

Bonsai modernists, on the other hand, are still expressing themselves through a style that had its origin in Japan, although I think Orientalism plays a much less significant role in this case. I like the term "Modern" for this style! Modernism in its original construction, which had nothing to do with bonsai, is a philosophy that arose in the late 19th and early 20th century. It is a product of industrialism and technology, the explosion of human population and the growth of cities. In my conception of it, modernism is a completely human-centric ideal. Modern bonsai takes the neatly organized and smoothed out view of nature embodied by classical and neoclassical bonsai and heightens it to an extreme. It is no longer a matter of concern that a bonsai should even faintly resemble a tree in nature. Instead, we have a vision of trees as reinvented by the human mind, new and improved! Modern style bonsai takes the medium of plants and uses it to express the human fascination with our own ability to subjugate nature an remake the world in our own image.

It should come as no surprise to anyone who follows my IBC thread that I am now completely given over to naturalistic bonsai. My own personal motivation for doing bonsai is to heighten my awareness of nature, particularly wild trees, and to creatively share my appreciation of these things with other like-minded people, and naturalistic style feeds directly into both of those objectives. It is also a stimulating challenge to work in that more free-form, intuitive way, calling upon knowledge built up over years of studying first hand the forms of trees growing in nature. I have another reason for doing bonsai, and it too, as it happens, works best with a naturalistic approach. That reason is perhaps the most important of all for me, and is, in fact, the very point I have been working up to with these open letters to you, with this whole "American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum" thread. It will have to wait, however, until the next time I write you.

In the meantime, I wonder - what is your motivation for doing bonsai? I know it is not primarily for the sake of making money, because I see no signs in you of a person under financial duress. You are retired from your original profession after what was apparently a successful career, and you could just as well have whiled away your waning years playing golf. Your enormous need for the spotlight might be seen as a motivating factor, but you are talented enough that you might have projected yourself out into the world in some other line of endeavor. You might have gone into politics and run for Chancellor of Germany, for example. But instead you chose to design little trees. Why, Walter?


Arthur Joura
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

Post  MichaelS on Thu Mar 03, 2016 12:34 am

geo wrote:"Many of the ''naturalistic'' styled trees which have been displayed show just as many signs of being manipulated by human hands than traditional styles. Sometimes even more."

You finally got it! It is a STYLE!That is what ALL of us do.We manipulate.Then you stand around and look for all the manipulations. Give me patience with these walls of text:because,for my sins,I suppose,I am compelled to actually read them!

What a load of unhelpful drivel. You have no idea what you're talking about. Go read a book or something.

MichaelS
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

Post  fredman1 on Thu Mar 03, 2016 3:17 am

beer city snake wrote:there must be more than 50 shades of grey
along with just as many shades of gray

...and that is only for greys... Laughing

fredman1
Member


Back to top Go down

Opinion

Post  Bolero on Thu Mar 03, 2016 11:46 am

MichaelS wrote:
geo wrote:"Many of the ''naturalistic'' styled trees which have been displayed show just as many signs of being manipulated by human hands than traditional styles. Sometimes even more."

You finally got it! It is a STYLE!That is what ALL of us do.We manipulate.Then you stand around and look for all the manipulations. Give me patience with these walls of text:because,for my sins,I suppose,I am compelled to actually read them!

What a load of unhelpful drivel. You have no idea what you're talking about. Go read a book or something.[/quote]

So MichaelS, what is so Drivel about Geo's post, IMO he is close to Nailing it...

We are all entitled to our Opinions and to post them if appropriate, you included, but why so Harsh ???   and lacking a comprehension of his Post...

It makes you sound like a Bonsai Snob...

Bolero
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

Post  kevin stoeveken on Thu Mar 03, 2016 1:05 pm

Arthur Joura wrote:All of a sudden I find myself completely swamped at work, with so much to be done with the trees and outside in the garden, too.... Added to this horticultural demand I also have a concentration of off-site educational programs at this time of year and the time commitment to these activities is substantial.

taking the time to continue to post is appreciated by some of us "hyenas" (walters sometimes apropos term)

Arthur Joura wrote:Naturalistic bonsai still involves manipulation of the plant by a human, it is still ultimately an abstraction of nature, but within that style of work the human consciously tries to be on a more balanced plane with the natural world. The bonsai naturalist seeks to learn more about the ways of trees in nature and have that knowledge inform the design of his/her trees in pots.

a couple things i take away from the above quote:

1) the entire statement

2) specifically the use of the phrase "style of work"... it may be only a matter of semantics (as is MUCH of this discussion), but "naturalistic style of work" seems like something that can be conducted by even novices without concern of it being considered a "naturalistic bonsai"... in other words "working towards the naturalistic style" which can be a life long endeavor perhaps resulting in some trees which may be recognized as such...

very inclusive and encouraging for those working towards that end...

and sorry michael, but i gotta agree with bolero... your reply was fair dinkum dick-ish Rolling Eyes

after all, theres plenty of drivel being posted on this thread (yourself included... and i am not excluded)

for example:

fredman1 wrote:
beer city snake wrote:there must be more than 50 shades of grey
along with just as many shades of gray

...and that is only for greys... Laughing

dont forget the greens manfred ! alien

nor the whites !





_________________

AAC Original Milwaukee Wi. Chapter - North America

aka beer city snake
link to ARBOR ARTS COLLECTIVE BLOG

kevin stoeveken
Member


Back to top Go down

Re: American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

Post  Sponsored content Today at 5:39 pm


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Page 3 of 8 Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8  Next

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum