Yet another darn juniper!

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Re: Yet another darn juniper!

Post  Guest on Tue Jul 27, 2010 6:49 am

Lots and lots to think about Fiona. I think the tilt to the left is a good idea but I would leave the tree as it is. Just needs refinement.

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Re: Yet another darn juniper!

Post  fiona on Wed Jul 28, 2010 1:16 pm

Hi Guys.

Many thanks for all the responses and suggestions. As always, people have risen to the challenge and again as always it is interesting to see the range of suggestions. The third "as always" is of course that when we make our reponse, we are doing so on the basis of seeing a two-dimensional image from a photograph. There were "issues" with this tree which included first, the foliage which, becuase of previous bad pruning methods, had become located predminantly at the end of longish branches, and second, a number of the main thicker branches being long and fairly straight. The solution to no. 1 above was to let it develop new growth which is what I'd been doing for the past year and half and more. There remains still quite a bit of juvenile foliage on the bottom two branches which makes styling diffiult there at the moment. The solution to no.2 - well that is where, in the voyage the tree has undertaken in the past week, I have gone down the road of 1. remove where the branch is not integral to the design or 2. mask the "defect" by foliage placement.

To some of the suggestions raised: I agree with Jim's point about too many of these trees being "coiffured" (IMHO this is the major stylistic difference between European and USA trees) but Marlon's idea of drastically reducing the crown, while I understand and appreciate the thinking behind it, did not correspond with my idea of what the overall aesthetic of the tree should be. I wanted something that did show the "struggle" of the tree but which had a degree more elegance to it. The story I see behind the tree is along the lines of "out of the struggle to survive comes great beauty". Just my opinion of course.

Rob's idea of lifting the bottom branch a bit seemed to me sound and I have done this. I have also brought the foliage round more to the front - mostly to mask long straight branches. His (and others) idea of exposing the rock also made sense to me so that I have done.

The last suggestion of titlting the rock had me thinking. I was not opposed to it but I worried in case the new angle made the tree look like a slightly drunken fairy atop a Christmas tree. However, I am still keeping an open mind on this.

Here are the pics of how it looks currently. I will not be doing anything else in the near future as it needs to recover. Once again, many thanks for the suggestions - including those people I have not directly mentioned above. Your comments were very valued too.

As it currently is:



with a minor tilt:



with a more pronounced tilt:




Other future developments - I will probably bring the crown in a lot more when the foliage develops



But I'm still sooooo tempted:




And if I may end on a slushy note: many thanks to all IBCers for input over the past year to the numerous threads on this wonderful forum of ours. Without this knowledge sharing and the accompanying shed load of inspiration, I would not have had the confidence to do this work and post this tree. Pass me a hankie please - I'm feeling all emotional. Very Happy

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Re: Yet another darn juniper!

Post  Guest on Wed Jul 28, 2010 7:33 pm

Sterling Job Fiona. Much improved. If you decide to tilt the stone, I wouldn't remove the bottom branch as the branches would be more or less level. Keeping the stone at it's present angle, I would jin it. Very Happy

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Re: Yet another darn juniper!

Post  Hans van Meer. on Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:42 pm

Hi Fiona/everybody,
if I may make a suggestion. Maybe you could approach the problem of imbalance and heaviness from a other point of view. Namely by creating open spaces to separate the mass of the heavy stone from the mass of the trees foliage!



Above: just by removing foliage, branches and some jins, a c trough appears between the tree and the rock. Especially the open spaces between the top of the rock and the left major branch that hangs over it is very importand! This open space gives us a lot of information, it gives you a sense of being able to walk under it, and that notion gives you a clue about the size of this imaginary tree!



Above: By changing the dimensions of the pot, even more open space is created under the cascading branch to counterweight the mass of the rock on the left!
I think that even with this small changes, this rather straight rock gives a nice contrast to the movement and open spaces of the right part of the composition!
The importance of empty spaces in Bonsai cant be told enough! Maybe some food for thoughts? Smile
Cheers,
Hans van Meer.

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Re: Yet another darn juniper!

Post  fiona on Wed Jul 28, 2010 11:12 pm

Hi Hans. Thanks for the comments. In essence, this is kind of how I envisage the tree but with the foliage a bit more open.

To achieve the effect as per your virtual, I would need to eliminate an entire back portion of the tree. I haven't shown any pics of the back up to this point, but maybe I should do so to let people see what I mean. I don't necessarily think it would be a bad thing to remove a back section. I'll photograph it tomorrow and you can have a look.

btw totally agree about the pot being far too long and your virt shows clearly the impact a shorter pot would have.

BIG thanks Big Hunk Hans.


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Re: Yet another darn juniper!

Post  Peter Thorne on Wed Jul 28, 2010 11:35 pm

Hi Fiona, This thread is fantastic. With so many suggestions it becomes clear that "Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder". I like the idea of a slight tilt and a smaller pot, and look forward to seeing the improved tree in three D.
Cheers
Peter Thorne

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Re: Yet another darn juniper!

Post  bonsaistud on Thu Jul 29, 2010 9:12 am

G'Day Fiona...

Top drawer project you have going here my friend...Your Juniper looks better every time I return it...bettter and mo' betttter.

So many suggestions...the good, the bad, and the ugly. So, my friend, keep doing what you are doing. Use what you can from these suggestions to attain YOUR design goals. Don't let the suggestions take over, lest the project becomes "everyman's" composition. Do what works best for you.

Remember what Rob and Ian said about losing the big root. If you remove that branch, you are then facing...at least the threat of...the potential of losing the big root.

And, in the interests of stirring the "pot", in deference to you and Hans, I like your original shallow oval pot. IMHO, the extra 4-5" adds to the majesty of your composition.

I would surely like to see this Juniper up close and personal. But, I guess, mostly at least, we must get on with what we have.

So Fiona, like I said, continue doing what you are doing...what works best for you...

Great job you are doing...

IMHO.

Pat.
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Last edited by bonsaistud on Fri Jul 30, 2010 12:10 am; edited 3 times in total

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Re: Yet another darn juniper!

Post  ybonsai on Thu Jul 29, 2010 9:59 am

I like the idea from Hans.
Is good design for the tree.

Greetings,
Yannick

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Re: Yet another darn juniper!

Post  Marlon Machado on Thu Jul 29, 2010 3:23 pm

Hans van Meer. wrote:Hi Fiona/everybody,
if I may make a suggestion. Maybe you could approach the problem of imbalance and heaviness from a other point of view. Namely by creating open spaces to separate the mass of the heavy stone from the mass of the trees foliage!
just by removing foliage, branches and some jins, a c trough appears between the tree and the rock. Especially the open spaces between the top of the rock and the left major branch that hangs over it is very importand! This open space gives us a lot of information, it gives you a sense of being able to walk under it, and that notion gives you a clue about the size of this imaginary tree!



Above: By changing the dimensions of the pot, even more open space is created under the cascading branch to counterweight the mass of the rock on the left!
I think that even with this small changes, this rather straight rock gives a nice contrast to the movement and open spaces of the right part of the composition!
The importance of empty spaces in Bonsai cant be told enough! Maybe some food for thoughts? Smile
Cheers,
Hans van Meer.

Thank you Hans,

Your solution is indeed quite effective, I like it a lot! I did not think of separating the visual mass of the tree's canopy from the visual mass of the stone, the resulting image is a lot more balanced - the tree does not look like it is about to fall, it now has a sound foundation, and the resulting image works quite well to tell the story of the tree's struggle and its success. One can see that the tree had a hard time to get a foothold, but it achieved its balance and a sense of serenity emanates from the tree. The small pot also adds a lot of dimension, now the rock seems bigger and the image conjured in my mind is of a tree growing in a cliff.

Thanks again for the learning experience! thumbs up

Cheers,

Marlon Machado
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Re: Yet another darn juniper!

Post  bonsaistud on Fri Jul 30, 2010 8:13 am

G'Day again Fiona...

Would like to add a couple of points I missed in my previous post...

First...From my "tree tells a story" post. This juniper gives the appearance of having survived many, many years of being beat up by the forces of Nature, thus, no NEED to add balance to the design, as several have suggested. IMHO, that would soften the survival impact...too much. Howsomeever...to each his own.

Further...As Jim said..."...A lot of modern Japanese bonsai have all that twisty, snarly deadwood, that simply cries out how hard its life has been. But then you see the top and a haute couture hairdo that has never grown a needle that has seen a breeze, let alone the gales...". There are those who would have us work our keesters off to create our bonsai with an ancient look, then promptly send them to the head shop for "...a haute couture hairdo...". NO! NO! NO!! IMHO... Again, altering the survival impact.

Fiona, my friend, I am sure that your Juniper is NOT going to visit the head shop...?

And now, back to the stable...

Pat

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'breaking free' ?

Post  gordonb on Tue Aug 03, 2010 6:08 am

I like the strong trunk, and in the second page of this posting, your photos gave me the image of a tree struggling to escape from the rock which has hold of its roots
Thanks for sharing. Lovely tree.


Last edited by gordonb on Wed Aug 04, 2010 1:10 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : spelling - and even more spelling)

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Re: Yet another darn juniper!

Post  Ed van der Reek on Tue Aug 03, 2010 4:35 pm

Hi Fiona,I made a virtual for you Very Happy
I hope you like it Smile
Greetings Ed

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Re: Yet another darn juniper!

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