Clean Sweep - Show Us Your Brooms

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Re: Clean Sweep - Show Us Your Brooms

Post  dorothy7774 on Sun Feb 14, 2010 5:46 pm

Walter Pall wrote:Is this a broom form?

Anyway, it is a field elm, Ulmus campestre.


It is an artform..no matter the style.. Wink


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Re: Clean Sweep - Show Us Your Brooms

Post  Walter Pall on Sun Feb 14, 2010 6:01 pm

Thanks Dorothy,

this is a good example why all these discussions are necesary. I have shown this elm at two exhibits. One was the renowned Noelanders Trophy. I was amazed how many peopel just could not decide what to think. Many found it outright not good enough for that show. Why this? Because it does not fit into any peg hole. it is not informal upright, it is not a broom, it is not naturalistic style. An elm would to grow like this and it looks like styled and not done by nature. And it does obviously not try to be an impresssive old tree, it seems to want to look younga and female. It was not considered to get into the Noelanders book.

So what do I think it is? Well, I think it does not matter what peg hole it fits and it is a plus that it does not fit. In 'normal' art this would be a sign of being art. In bonsai, folks are not used to someone thinking outside the general pattern.
I think it is about time to give up the notion that a bonsai MUST try to look old. Is this written in stone?
If anything it is a literati broom form with the tendency to look young. Well, this is probably not helpful either. But it may explain why I have posted it in this thread.

And, yes, I think it is one of my best trees, MUCH better than some that got awards.

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Re: Clean Sweep - Show Us Your Brooms

Post  pine queen on Sun Feb 14, 2010 8:05 pm

Give up the notion bonsai must look old? I am not following this understanding. I say the older looking the better.

Q

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Re: Clean Sweep - Show Us Your Brooms

Post  anttal63 on Sun Feb 14, 2010 9:07 pm

Different forms of broom are one thing but age is another, in my mind. Written in stone or not, Age is the illusion master's have been trying to create for centuries. Is it wrong to portray a younger tree-no. Will it reach wabi sabi in this state- i'm not so sure. Again all this from a guy who still has so much to learn and only sharing his present thoughts. cheers

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Re: Clean Sweep - Show Us Your Brooms

Post  Guest on Sun Feb 14, 2010 9:17 pm

pine queen wrote:Give up the notion bonsai must look old? I am not following this understanding. I say the older looking the better.

Q
Pine Queen. You seem to want to argue, just for the sake of it. Why not style a tree to look like its young, or middle aged? Not only is Walters Elm sublime but it also gives a huge ammount of scope to those without the budget for expensive yamadori.I too love really gnarled old trees but I also see beauty in Walters tree. Very Happy

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Re: Clean Sweep - Show Us Your Brooms

Post  fiona on Sun Feb 14, 2010 9:40 pm

Plus yet again, IMHO, Walter's remarks seem to have been taken as meaning something I personally think they do not. I take his words '...that a bonsai MUST try to look old.' as meaning that while on some/many occasions they can and should, it should not always be assumed that it is an essential that all bonsai must look old all of the time. I can see that for some trees (the elm in his latest posts for example) looking old is not an artistic option - indeed I'm not convinced Literati as a form (not style ) benefit in the main from looking old.

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Re: Clean Sweep - Show Us Your Brooms

Post  Smithy on Sun Feb 14, 2010 10:16 pm

Old is only relative any way. When look at a tree in the wild or in a garden which i find beautiful in form, it is not the age of the tree that is doing it but the beauty of the shape. Younger trees have a gracefulness that older trees do not always have. The beauty is the main thing.
The last tree shown by Walter if in the wild may not be ancient but compared to me would be old.

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Re: Clean Sweep - Show Us Your Brooms

Post  anttal63 on Sun Feb 14, 2010 10:34 pm

Smithy wrote:Old is only relative any way. When look at a tree in the wild or in a garden which i find beautiful in form, it is not the age of the tree that is doing it but the beauty of the shape. Younger trees have a gracefulness that older trees do not always have. The beauty is the main thing.
The last tree shown by Walter if in the wild may not be ancient but compared to me would be old.

I agree with all Smithy. As fiona has stated, most of us dont really have a choice, regardless of how far down we pull a branch. So it is wonderful to enjoy and celebrate our bonsai for where they are in the scheme of life. To do them justice for where they are in the now. Yet there is still a bigger picture and a future objective, that we should not lose sight of. IMO. cheers

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Re: Clean Sweep - Show Us Your Brooms

Post  John Quinn on Mon Feb 15, 2010 12:50 am

I think it is about time to give up the notion that a bonsai MUST try to look old. Is this written in stone?

This is a theme I have heard Walter endorse a number of years ago, and one which I personally agree with. I think there is a certain delicacy to younger appearing trees which is attractive. This Coral Bark maple was air layered from the top of another tree probably five years ago.


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Re: Clean Sweep - Show Us Your Brooms

Post  Russell Coker on Mon Feb 15, 2010 1:29 am

Wow, I thought I had stirred up some poop on the "announcements" forum, but that's nothing compared to this thread! Very insightful. Most of what I see here are deciduous trees styled as informal uprights (that should never look like an informal upright pine) and not brooms, but then I'm kinda traditional.

John, that's a beautiful maple. I older I get the better appreciation I have for younger looking anything!

Russell


Last edited by Russell Coker on Mon Feb 15, 2010 3:14 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Clean Sweep - Show Us Your Brooms

Post  Rob Kempinski on Mon Feb 15, 2010 2:58 am

John Quinn wrote:I think it is about time to give up the notion that a bonsai MUST try to look old. Is this written in stone?

This is a theme I have heard Walter endorse a number of years ago, and one which I personally agree with. I think there is a certain delicacy to younger appearing trees which is attractive. This Coral Bark maple was air layered from the top of another tree probably five years ago.


I agree old is only one of many possible goals in bonsai design. I have a whole book written on the subject but never published . What a Face Sitting on my hard drive only needs lots more photos.

The interesting thing about the broom style, at least the traditional or formal broom style is that it usually creates the image of a mature but not ancient tree.

The other interesting thing about the broom style is that it is the only style I can think of that is named after a human-made object. Hence should a broom style bonsai reflect the hand of humans?

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Re: Clean Sweep - Show Us Your Brooms

Post  anttal63 on Mon Feb 15, 2010 5:41 am

A very interesting point you have made there Rob. Idea cheers

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Re: Clean Sweep - Show Us Your Brooms

Post  Tom on Mon Feb 15, 2010 8:34 am

Rob Kempinski wrote:
The other interesting thing about the broom style is that it is the only style I can think of that is named after a human-made object. Hence should a broom style bonsai reflect the hand of humans?

But it's not styled to *look* like a human-made object. The name 'broom' is just an apt label for that particular pattern of growth, in the same way as 'formal upright'' is an apt (human, translated) label for another pattern. The growth pattern exists in nature, without any human intervention.

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Re: Clean Sweep - Show Us Your Brooms

Post  Walter Pall on Mon Feb 15, 2010 8:56 am

These are some natural broom forms that I have in my files. All of these cold be used as model for styling a bonsai broom in my opinion.













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Re: Clean Sweep - Show Us Your Brooms

Post  Walter Pall on Mon Feb 15, 2010 9:03 am

In this direction possibly.





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Re: Clean Sweep - Show Us Your Brooms

Post  anttal63 on Mon Feb 15, 2010 10:34 am

Absolutely inspiring Walter! Thanyou for taking the time to post all that. cheers

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Re: Clean Sweep - Show Us Your Brooms

Post  Rob Kempinski on Mon Feb 15, 2010 8:15 pm

Yes, I did say there was lots of variation in this form/style of tree at the very beginning. This thread has pointed out quite a bit. Very nice - thanks to all participating including Walter - great photos.

I personally feel that the broom form should have more or less a vertical trunk. Other forms are really a variety for the IFU (Informal Upright) but I don't really care about the name - it's the tree that counts. Many trees have features of multiple forms and styles. And seeing everyone's opinion has been interesting.
If I were going to make a definition of the style, I'd say broom style has vertical trunk, fan shaped foliage. It can be a narrow fan or a wide fan.

Also I need someone to define to me the difference between the word "style" and "form" as applies to bonsai.
For example to me, an informal upright style has a wiggly trunk with any manner of branches.
A windswept style can have any type of trunk with branches that must be arranged to convey wind. In my mind I could have just as easily said "an informal upright from has a wiggly trunk with any manner of branches. A windswept form can have any type of trunk with branches that must be arranged to convey wind." What's the difference?



This Hackberry might be a broom style/form. Very well ramified. Looks like some of the natural examples Walter posted.





I am also glad to see that the personal attacks have been minimized on the IBC. No need for that here as there plenty of other websites where people like to argue with each other over whose dog is meaner/better/uglier than the other. Let's keep it cordial here.

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Re: Clean Sweep - Show Us Your Brooms

Post  Andrija Zokic on Mon Feb 15, 2010 10:18 pm

Walter Pall wrote:These are some natural broom forms that I have in my files. All of these cold be used as model for styling a bonsai broom in my opinion.

It seems to me that almost every broad-leaf tree if styled in naturalistic manner has elements of broom form.

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Re: Clean Sweep - Show Us Your Brooms

Post  anttal63 on Mon Feb 15, 2010 10:20 pm

For me right off the top of my head; FORM means a shape and STYLE is how that shape has been configered and presented.
That Hackberry is awesome Rob!!! cheers Broom all the way.

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Re: Clean Sweep - Show Us Your Brooms

Post  Rob Kempinski on Mon Feb 15, 2010 10:56 pm

anttal63 wrote:For me right off the top of my head; FORM means a shape and STYLE is how that shape has been configered and presented.

Anttal - this is making my head hurt. Since you say form means shape I could rewrite your sentence to say

Style is how that form has been configured and presented.

Unfortunately, bonsai styles are always presented to mean the shape of the tree, especially the trunk. However, broom goes on to more or less specify the trunk shape and the branch shape. Windswept and weeping styles just conveys branch shape/form. Cascade and semi-cascade and formal and informal upright pretty much apply to the trunk shape/form. Flattop is a special case of branch shape/form. Raft, exposed root and snake root styles apply to the roots with any kind of trunk or branch form possible. Twin and triple trunk and clump mean the trunk shape with any branch arrangement.

So I don't see how the word "form" makes much difference in the discussion, unless you want to apply the word "style" to the trunk shape only and the word "form" to the branch shape only. This could work: then there would be no such thing as a broom style. It would a formal upright style with broom form branches. Or a triple trunk style trunk in a natural broom with a reverse half gainer and triple axle. pale (The winter Olympics are going on now, you know.)

Or should we not even bother with worrying and just make nice trees?


Last edited by Rob Kempinski on Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:43 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Clean Sweep - Show Us Your Brooms

Post  Hans Vleugels on Mon Feb 15, 2010 11:02 pm

Call me stupid, but I am stil having difficulties with understanding this broomstyle discussion-thing. (or -form thing)
So if I understand this correctly, every deciduous tree with a rounded crown or fan-shaped foliage is a broom-form??? (or -style?)

Regards,
Hans

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Re: Clean Sweep - Show Us Your Brooms

Post  Randy_Davis on Mon Feb 15, 2010 11:40 pm

Most of what I've seen thus far are IFU or Natural styles. As shakespear said "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet" the same is true of a good looking tree. In my estimation "Rules" are for Amatures, "Guidelines" are for the experienced and the expert is free to explore anything!

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Re: Clean Sweep - Show Us Your Brooms

Post  littleart-fx on Mon Feb 15, 2010 11:46 pm

As i said before i won't participate in this thread and read good thread.....but thanks who did!


On the post above i would like to make an expression,.....AMEN (then again 1up) to the monkey's!

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Re: Clean Sweep - Show Us Your Brooms

Post  Guest on Tue Feb 16, 2010 12:10 am

Rob. I feel "form" in this context pertains to trees natural growth habit, or environmental influences. "Style", is our interpretation of those trees. I bet you never imagined all this when you kicked off this thread.

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Re: Clean Sweep - Show Us Your Brooms

Post  bontailo on Tue Feb 16, 2010 3:47 am

Myrciaria Cauliflora of mine.


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Re: Clean Sweep - Show Us Your Brooms

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