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Post  Kevin S - Wisco Bonsai on Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:33 am

Just wanted to see others thoughts on something that I have been thinking about...

As I look at posts, here there and elsewhere, I feel conflicted in offering opinions on design.
(and only on design - everything else being based in horticulture, science and near-absolutes)

I for one, would never even dream of looking over the shoulder of a sculptor and suggesting he alter the orientation of an appendage. Nor would I suggest to a painter that I might like one brush stroke over another...

And I ask this in regards to the recipient of the unsolicited opinions or suggestions being a generally accepted "bonsai master" or "sensei" or equivalent

Why do those things seem OK when it comes to Bonsai ?
Or perhaps the question is, IS that OK when it comes to bonsai... ?

scratch

I am purposely leaving this open ended for discussion without offering what may be my "personal conclusion"  Wink


Last edited by Kevin S - Wisco Bonsai on Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:39 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:18 pm

Kevin,

as Fine Art And Sculpture goes, you would be asked to critique the
studies / drawings / composition.

If the work is finished, most folk want praise.

I have drawings of my Bonsai, that control the shapes and I can
work from the drawings.
Normally I just keep the shapes simple.

It is supposed to take 3 to 5 years to prepare for an exhibition.

Keeping bonsai at exhibition quality, is supposed to weaken them.

What you should really ask is how many can actually design,
or are they just copying already done bonsai efforts.
Laters.
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Post  Vlad on Fri Mar 15, 2019 11:25 am

Kevin S - Wisco Bonsai wrote:

I for one, would never even dream of looking over the shoulder of a sculptor and suggesting he alter the orientation of an appendage.


I normally will not have a problem with the orientation but when it comes to the dimensions then I am at doubts... Cool  Mikey Buonarotti had to alter some of the dimensions on David based on comments and I guess this would apply for Leo da Vinci as well.  

Seriously now, Forums are public places to meet and discuss. The same applies for bonsai forums on web.   Crossing  swords of ideas and sharing emotions. Thats what it is here for.    If I dare to go public I should be ready and more than happy to get emotions of possible viewers.  Because bonsai is about emotions.  If there are no emotions then I did a bad job...

Or I am on a wrong place perhaps???
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Post  Kevin S - Wisco Bonsai on Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:03 pm

Khaimraj Seepersad wrote:
What you should really ask is how many can actually design,
or are they just copying already done bonsai efforts.
Laters.
Khaimraj

Well, that is a good question, but one that answers itself when looking at what folks can or cannot do...
That becomes self-evident for each individual and is quite different from what I am curious about in this post Wink

Still, nice to hear from you Khai and i hope all is well down there in Trinny !!!


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Post  Kevin S - Wisco Bonsai on Fri Mar 15, 2019 1:05 pm

Vlad wrote:
Kevin S - Wisco Bonsai wrote:

I for one, would never even dream of looking over the shoulder of a sculptor and suggesting he alter the orientation of an appendage.


I normally will not have a problem with the orientation but when it comes to the dimensions then I am at doubts... Cool  Mikey Buonarotti had to alter some of the dimensions on David based on comments and I guess this would apply for Leo da Vinci as well.  

Seriously now, Forums are public places to meet and discuss. The same applies for bonsai forums on web.   Crossing  swords of ideas and sharing emotions. Thats what it is here for.    If I dare to go public I should be ready and more than happy to get emotions of possible viewers.  Because bonsai is about emotions.  If there are no emotions then I did a bad job...

Or I am on a wrong place perhaps???

ALL art involves emotion !!! Cool
But would you feel comfortable offering your opinions directly to Leo or Mikey ? Wink

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Post  Vlad on Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:10 pm

Kevin, I dunno whether bonsai is an art. No chance to discuss this with me, though.

Regarding Mikey or Leo or anybody else: Presenting your opinions should not be about comfort. Why it should be different to say my opinion to you or to Leo or WP or...? I prefer to be consistent rather respectful. I wish I use a bit more of empathy sometimes.

Looking forward to see where you go with this... Question
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Post  coh on Fri Mar 15, 2019 4:59 pm

I used to belong to a painting forum (wetcanvas if anyone is interested). The sub-forum I participated most in had a policy that critiques/criticisms were only
allowed if the poster specified that by writing something like "c&c requested". It worked pretty well for the most part, so that kind of set up is always an option.
Otherwise, I just assume that if I post something on a public forum, it is fair game for whatever people want to say (same thing for what others post). If a tree moves
someone enough to post a critique or suggestion for redesign or virt, that seems better than if it is so mundane that no one can be bothered to respond at all.

As for who should be qualified to comment...all I'll say is this. When I was painting and participating in art shows (real, not virtual) sometimes the most insightful
comments came from people who were not artists. Many times their comments can be disregarded but every so often there is a nugget worth saving. In my opinion,
same for bonsai. Just because someone has not produced good or great trees, doesn't mean they are not capable of making useful suggestions for your great tree Wink
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Post  John Quinn on Sat Mar 16, 2019 10:42 am

This question has come up periodically over the years. One attempt to sort it out came about years ago when the forum sections were modified... please see the home page which describes the forum for more info.

Members' Trees
This section is for threads about your own trees, such as bonsai tasks you’ve undertaken on your trees (e.g. defoliating, crown reduction, first styling, restyling, completed work), trees you’ve recently acquired/collected, your trees in autumn colours, etc. Please put requests for styling advice in the Bonsai Questions section; requests for tree identification go in the Bonsai Pests, Diseases and Tree/Plant Identification section and general discussions on artistic considerations in the Bonsai Observations Forum. Please note that trees posted in this forum are open to discussion/critique by other members.

Personal Space : Galleries
Please post one thread showcasing your trees with your Username as the title. Images posted here are not meant for discussion by others. For advice on a tree, post it to Bonsai Questions
Moderator: Moderators

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Post  fiona on Sat Mar 16, 2019 8:10 pm

coh wrote: As for who should be qualified to comment...all I'll say is this. When I was painting and participating in art shows (real, not virtual) sometimes the most insightful
comments came from people who were not artists. Many times their comments can be disregarded but every so often there is a nugget worth saving. In my opinion,
same for bonsai. Just because someone has not produced good or great trees, doesn't mean they are not capable of making useful suggestions for your great tree Wink


I agree with this. Often someone who is a step back from the process is in a better place to see to see what familiarity with the subject might be hiding from the artist.  I am reminded of Nellie who was on here some years ago. In her quest for knowledge and understanding of Bonsai, she asked a lot of really pertinent questions and queried regularly why a particular artist was adopting a particular approach. She was in no way criticising people's work - merely trying to understand and/or get clarification when different folk offered up different advice.  

She seriously pissed off a couple of world-renowned artists who took her questions as criticism.

Dunno about anyone else but I found it great. Only by questioning what we do and the way we are doing it, will any art form ever develop.

All IMVHO of course. Along with the notion that if you think it to be the case, then be prepared to defend why you think the sun shines out of your **se (or **s if you are in America).


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Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Sun Mar 17, 2019 3:17 pm

Kevin,

I have always been here, just not logged in.

I have also always treated Bonsai as a hobby. I find it
relaxing and aids in generating ideas for oil paintings.
By the way this my 39th year in Bonsai.

As a painter, I instinctively would not critique a tree.
As stated before.

To the general public -
The Psychology.
Achievements - is this what Bonsai is to you?

Do you have other achievements ?

If you know you are weak in Design.
Would you go to an Art Teacher ?
Fix your grown effort ?

We have a whole generation of Bonsai growers, down here who did not
know there was a back branch or a guideline trunk to height ratio.
I saw, and would not speak.
Ask someone. already proud of their effort to - fix it.

Is Bonsai craft or Art ?
And why ?

As was taught to me on ClayArt --------

what is the difference between art and craft - answer - $$$$$$$

So after the tools. pots and trees of course it is Art and no crritiques
will be entertained.

I don't sell, if I think you will love and look after a tree, I will
give it to you.

So unless you ask for a critique, in private, and I may not do it,
no, I offer no critiques,
But I will say, healthy tree.
Laters
Khaimraj

* Guest house almost done - wanna visit ? Smile






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Post  my nellie on Sun Mar 17, 2019 10:08 pm

Reviving good old times! Very Happy
Hello everybody!

These are my thoughts regarding Kevin's question.
Given that Kevin referred to "sculptor" and "painter" in combination with Bonsai, can we assume that he considers Bonsai is art.
If so, then the bonsai tree as a piece of art is provoking emotions and sentiments to the viewer. And when the viewer expresses these emotions/sentiments I believe this is legitimate.



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Post  Kevin S - Wisco Bonsai on Tue Mar 19, 2019 11:31 pm

some interesting replies so far...
sorry i have been absent from my own query but "life" has suddenly become busy Wink

I will reply more soon, but in the mean time, I would like to say that in my opinion (and this seemed to be questioned):

YES, BONSAI IS INDEED ART !!!

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Post  john blanchard on Wed Mar 20, 2019 11:00 am

While a bonsai is in development it can be a strongly subjective artwork. Hearing different peoples view points is interesting and can be helpful. People critique and proffer suggestions to help in the development of a tree to become clearer in its expression.
It's easier to give and take criticism with a slowly developing work of art. The weather can always be blamed for slow completion!
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Post  Vance Wood on Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:27 am

Kevin S - Wisco Bonsai wrote:Just wanted to see others thoughts on something that I have been thinking about...

As I look at posts, here there and elsewhere, I feel conflicted in offering opinions on design.
(and only on design - everything else being based in horticulture, science and near-absolutes)

I for one, would never even dream of looking over the shoulder of a sculptor and suggesting he alter the orientation of an appendage. Nor would I suggest to a painter that I might like one brush stroke over another...

Why do those things seem OK when it comes to Bonsai ?
Or perhaps the question is, IS that OK when it comes to bonsai... ?

scratch

I am purposely leaving this open ended for discussion without offering what may be my "personal conclusion"  Wink

Because here in America we are, most of us, hopeless beginners and always in need of criticism, suggestions, and confirmations. Though some of us have accredited ourselves by study in Japan, and other locations exotic, most of us are still home grown talents.

Because of this we are always willing if not anxious to insert ourselves into a discussion about someone else's work invited or not. We somehow feel justified in saying something about their work, even if we hate it when someone says something bad about our work. Is it OK?? Well, I guess it depends on how bold the bragging quality indicated, or how bad the blindness demonstrated becomes. Sometimes criticism comes from some sense of animus, jealousness, or stupidity. Sometimes criticism comes from a pedantic sense of my dog is better than your dog. It may not be OK but it is what it is, the nature of the beast.
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Post  Khaimraj Seepersad on Thu Mar 21, 2019 12:02 pm

History decides what is art.

Without a holographic image, the tree grows on, the design is lost,
it's alive.
Just enjoy your time together.
Until.
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Post  Kevin S - Wisco Bonsai on Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:28 pm

John Quinn wrote:This question has come up periodically over the years. One attempt to sort it out came about years ago when the forum sections were modified... please see the home page which describes the forum for more info.

Members' Trees
This section is for threads about your own trees, such as bonsai tasks you’ve undertaken on your trees (e.g. defoliating, crown reduction, first styling, restyling, completed work), trees you’ve recently acquired/collected, your trees in autumn colours, etc. Please put requests for styling advice in the Bonsai Questions section; requests for tree identification go in the Bonsai Pests, Diseases and Tree/Plant Identification section and general discussions on artistic considerations in the Bonsai Observations Forum. Please note that trees posted in this forum are open to discussion/critique by other members.

Personal Space : Galleries
Please post one thread showcasing your trees with your Username as the title. Images posted here are not meant for discussion by others. For advice on a tree, post it to Bonsai Questions
Moderator: Moderators

thanks John... my question was more general in nature... whether it be here or some other blog or forum or physically looking over the shoulder of a well accepted "master" Wink

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Post  Kevin S - Wisco Bonsai on Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:30 pm

Vance Wood wrote:Because here in America we are, most of us, hopeless beginners and always in need of criticism, suggestions, and confirmations.  Though some of us have accredited ourselves by study in Japan, and other locations exotic, most of us are still home grown talents.  

Because of this we are always willing if not anxious to insert ourselves into a discussion about someone else's work invited or not.  We somehow feel justified in saying something about their work, even if we hate it when someone says something bad about our work.  Is it OK??  Well, I guess it depends on how bold the bragging quality indicated, or how bad the blindness demonstrated becomes.  Sometimes criticism comes from some sense of animus,  jealousness, or stupidity.  Sometimes criticism comes from a pedantic sense of my dog is better than your dog.  It may not be OK but it is what it is, the nature of the beast.

Vance - I love your no B.S. take on things !

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Post  Kevin S - Wisco Bonsai on Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:34 pm

Khaimraj Seepersad wrote:History decides what is art.

I find that to be a depressing statement for those of us who are:

A) Not yet "history"
B) enjoying making what they perceive as "art"

I also disagree as I believe it is the creator and the viewer who decides if something is art...
with the creator obviously intending it to be art and the viewer agreeing or not.

Khaimraj Seepersad wrote:Just enjoy your time together.

Always !

But I feel that the discussion of this being art digresses from the original question. Wink


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Post  Kevin S - Wisco Bonsai on Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:37 pm

I should have been clearer in the original post (and will amend it accordingly)

I should have specified that the recipient of the unsolicited opinions or suggestions being a generally accepted "bonsai master" or "sensei" or equivalent, and I realize that this greatly changes the brunt of my inquiry and I apologize for not being more specific in the original post.
Embarassed

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