Bonsai balance and movement

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Re: Bonsai balance and movement

Post  Ian Young on Fri Mar 25, 2011 4:14 pm

OK Fiona I'll bite Very Happy

I'm loving this thread and am finding it very educational. In that vein here is a little potentilla. It's mine but not my work. I just picked it up last month and all I've done is a repot. I'm going to wait and study the tree before I make any changes. I would be interested to see what everyone thinks.



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Re: Bonsai balance and movement

Post  Guest on Fri Mar 25, 2011 4:26 pm

fiona wrote:.... Are we in danger of being so intent on finding fault that we fail to see the good?

Fiona
Sometimes, in the eager of learning, we may fail just to enjoy and feel the exhibited items. Worth a good thought I believe. Thanks for the reminder of this.
Regards
Morten

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Re: Bonsai balance and movement

Post  Guest on Fri Mar 25, 2011 4:56 pm

will baddeley wrote:Hello AJ.
Thankyou very much, Morton for your detailed explanation on this brain bursting subject. Should all the trees within the stand, always face inwards?

Will
You are very welcome. The standard display shown below explains it. It is simply a matter of how the harmony, peace and balance works best when setting up the display. No rules, just an effective guideline. Trees pointing out of the display makes the display look unbalanced and lacks peace.
Best regards
Morten Albek


The top tree and secondary tree always points towards each other (1 and 2).
At the top level of the rack tree (3 and 4) always points towards each other.
The lower level. left the tree (5) always point inwards and the tree at right (6) most often point towards the left tree, but it is also possible to let it point towards the binary tree still keeping a peaceful and harmonic display.

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Re: Bonsai balance and movement

Post  Loke Emil on Fri Mar 25, 2011 8:37 pm

Hi Everyone

I would like to ask Morten or anyone else who might know an answer to what follows below:

...in the classical display...is there any 'macro' guidelines concerning how to relate which trees for positions 3-4 and 5-6? I'm thinking in terms of say: 3 (stronger nebari/trunk than 4) - 4(same quality as 3, but slightly less matured) etc...(like a sensei vs. student relation?). Classical displays might not enherit such guidelines...This way however, I thought maybe the relation between 3 and 4 would enhance the appreciation of both the overall balance and movement of the display - and the aesthethic (and formal) 'play' between two or more sparring trees...(like martial artists appreciate the balance and movement of a kata per se and the play kata partners control of techniques per se)?

There may be nothing of the sort in classical display...But sincerely I hope that my attempt at explaining what I'm asking makes sense!? scratch

best regards from Loke Emil

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Re: Bonsai balance and movement

Post  Guest on Fri Mar 25, 2011 10:15 pm

There is - I will get back tomorrow - too late today - sleepy .... zzzzzz

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Re: Bonsai balance and movement

Post  Guest on Sat Mar 26, 2011 1:15 am

I always thought the bottom tree(6), led out of the display stand to tree 2 and invisaged it completing a cycle of display. Wrong again.

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Re: Bonsai balance and movement

Post  fiona on Sat Mar 26, 2011 10:21 am

As promised the start of a few pics of my own trees for discussion (display direction, I'm not asking for a tree critique. )Comments on the direction of this one would be welcome please.


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Re: Bonsai balance and movement

Post  Guest on Sat Mar 26, 2011 12:34 pm

Loke Emil wrote:Hi Everyone

I would like to ask Morten or anyone else who might know an answer to what follows below:

...in the classical display...is there any 'macro' guidelines concerning how to relate which trees for positions 3-4 and 5-6? I'm thinking in terms of say: 3 (stronger nebari/trunk than 4) - 4(same quality as 3, but slightly less matured) etc...(like a sensei vs. student relation?). Classical displays might not enherit such guidelines...This way however, I thought maybe the relation between 3 and 4 would enhance the appreciation of both the overall balance and movement of the display - and the aesthethic (and formal) 'play' between two or more sparring trees...(like martial artists appreciate the balance and movement of a kata per se and the play kata partners control of techniques per se)?

There may be nothing of the sort in classical display...But sincerely I hope that my attempt at explaining what I'm asking makes sense!? scratch

best regards from Loke Emil

There are a few guidelines regarding what works/what's tradition/what´s taste.

The top tree is always a strong and formal tree (when talking about the traditional rack). This is to make a stable, strong and peaceful impression, also cooling down the more informal trees in the display. Therefore conifers or evergreens are used in a formal style at this position.

The secondary tree is always indicating the seasonal approach. In winter it can be a semi cascade Pine e.g., or a tree with fruits. In summer a flowering tree is natural to use.
All depending on what mood the artist wants to express. It can be the cool summer nights or a hot summer day. Depending of trees chosen, and pot colours, and how it is put together.

The rest of the trees are free to play with. Its all about aesthetic preferences, expression and taste. The guidelines is there to help, not to rule.
The only thing is to avoid to use the same species, pot colours and shapes in the same display.

You may find a great deal of variations in this. What´s important is the overall expression. A formal rack, demands formal trees. A rack with curved parts i.e. demands trees less formal, and overall expression less formal.

In the displays using two shohin and a scroll often a more free interpretation and informal expression is possible.

So it is really much the artists that decides how the display should be. As long as the guidelines of movement between the trees are in place, the rest is a choice of expression and aesthetic preferences how the seasonal expression is shown.
What you mention above Loke is a matter of how you see it, and what you think works. In the end it is the overall expression of the display that matters. A Shohin display can be very personal and made in many ways.

There are different schools telling how to this and that. some says always use a Black pine at the top. Or always a conifer. This is the Japanese way. But I use a evergreen Lonicera nitida e.g. as top tree, because it has the same strength and expression as the pine. As long as the top tree expresses strength and is styled in the formal style. If it works it works so to speak.

A small graphic beneath to illustrate which trees are used on different position in the classical display.

Regards
Morten




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bonsai movement

Post  Bob Bailey on Sat Mar 26, 2011 5:38 pm

Hi Morten
Thank you once again for the trouble you have taken to educate and inform us on this most difficult subject of Shohin Display.Let,s hope this will encourage other people to try their hand with Shohin and Mame display.I think this is the key ENCOURAGEMENT, not criticism whether direct or indirect.
Have to go out now so I can get home for the final two episodes of the brilliant Danish crime thriller "THE KILLING" best programe on British TV for years.
Is all Danish TV this good?
Bob

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Re: Bonsai balance and movement

Post  Guest on Sat Mar 26, 2011 7:07 pm

fiona wrote:As promised the start of a few pics of my own trees for discussion (display direction, I'm not asking for a tree critique. )Comments on the direction of this one would be welcome please.


What have you removed from the left Fi? Although the bulk of the foliage is to the right and the trunk in majority moves to the left, you have chosen to plant, or balance the tree on the right side of the pot. Therefore the trees bias is to the left?

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bonsai movement

Post  Bob Bailey on Sat Mar 26, 2011 7:51 pm



Hi Will
I agree with you in it,s presnt position in the pot it has a right /left bias,but if Fiona was to reposition it just left of centre in the pot I think it would have a definate left /right bias. the reasons for thinking this,first branch,movement of trunk at the top and general flow of the tree.
Confused Fi ?

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Re: Bonsai balance and movement

Post  fiona on Sat Mar 26, 2011 8:48 pm

Bob Bailey wrote: Confused Fi ?
Bob, that's my start point in this as in most things these days. Confused


I think I see what you mean. It is sitting pretty much right in the middle of the pot, so next repot if I put it slightly left-of-centre the bias shifts to Right/left.

Now, presumably if I want it to remain with a left/right I either keep it central or put it slightly to the right of centre?

Or something.

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Re: Bonsai balance and movement

Post  Brett Summers on Sun Mar 27, 2011 11:48 am

I have been meaning to read this thread fully as it was sure to be good. Today I re potted an Olive and was considering the movement of the tree.I was sure it was left to right but could not explain to myself why.
I was hoping something Morten said would send of a light bulb but I am sorry to say it did not go off. Neutral
I agree with everything said but I feel if I can not explain it so someone else then I don't really understand it?
We can draw a line from base to apex yes but when designing a tree we put the apex where we want. I guess we look at branch/trunk orientation and finally balance with the apex. Now I think I am balancing my trees but I still can't explain how?

This olive is still immature in it's styling so you have to use your imagination some but wonder on opinion of balance of branches apex and pot orientation?


Edit: Hmm with the talk on picture croping which I agree with in principle when displaying a tree in a picture the site has cropped my pic very bad for this topic. Not how the original pic looks. Will se if I can fix!

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Re: Bonsai balance and movement

Post  ogie on Sun Mar 27, 2011 12:18 pm

fiona wrote:As promised the start of a few pics of my own trees for discussion (display direction, I'm not asking for a tree critique. )Comments on the direction of this one would be welcome please.


To the Left Fiona...Thanks for sharing
Regards...Alex

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Re: Bonsai balance and movement

Post  Guest on Sun Mar 27, 2011 12:22 pm

ogie wrote:
fiona wrote:As promised the start of a few pics of my own trees for discussion (display direction, I'm not asking for a tree critique. )Comments on the direction of this one would be welcome please.


To the Left Fiona...Thanks for sharing
Regards...Alex

Agree - Morten Very Happy

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Re: Bonsai balance and movement

Post  Guest on Sun Mar 27, 2011 12:38 pm

Brett Summers wrote:I have been meaning to read this thread fully as it was sure to be good. Today I re potted an Olive and was considering the movement of the tree.I was sure it was left to right but could not explain to myself why.
I was hoping something Morten said would send of a light bulb but I am sorry to say it did not go off. Neutral
I agree with everything said but I feel if I can not explain it so someone else then I don't really understand it?
We can draw a line from base to apex yes but when designing a tree we put the apex where we want. I guess we look at branch/trunk orientation and finally balance with the apex. Now I think I am balancing my trees but I still can't explain how?

This olive is still immature in it's styling so you have to use your imagination some but wonder on opinion of balance of branches apex and pot orientation?


Edit: Hmm with the talk on picture croping which I agree with in principle when displaying a tree in a picture the site has cropped my pic very bad for this topic. Not how the original pic looks. Will se if I can fix!

Hi Brett

There are no distinct direction as it is now. It will be were you place the canopy (left, right, middle) and the leading branch (left or middle that decides.
If it was a juniper e.g. with a trunk clearly leaning to one side, the decision would be easier were to let the main branch go i.e.
Some times there are trees styled against their own will. I will not bring any examples in order not to intimate anybody. But try to bring balance in a leaning trunk by pulling the whole canopy to the other side will not be natural, pleasing nor harmonic to watch. In many such cases I believe it is better to indicate balance rather than trying to actually make balance. A root and a balancing branch or jin may show the tree is still securely anchored in the ground.
Back to your tree. You can decide which way to go yourself with this wonderful material.

Best regards
Morten

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Re: Bonsai balance and movement

Post  newzealandteatree on Sun Mar 27, 2011 2:21 pm

I see Fiona's tree as neither left nor right. It is straight. So it can be used with either a left or right leaning tree. The trunk up to and including the primary branch are right. The right branches are heavier than those on the left. This is offset by the rest of the tree. A change in the angle of the apex to the right will make it sit directly above the base .
I see Brett's tree as straight as well.

Cheers.

CJ
http://newzealandteatreebonsai.blogspot.com/

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Re: Bonsai balance and movement

Post  Brett Summers on Sun Mar 27, 2011 2:31 pm

Thanks Morten,
Myself I think this olive has only one way to go from here but maybe that is my armature perception of the plan I have?
This is what I see for his tree.

Now I think maybe a slight move to the right would look better when it fills out?
I analyse it more re-reading your post and I see a trunk (from the base) that con caves out on the left and in on The right which I guess gives it the left to right movement. With he first branch being on the left.
Now if I consider another tree I posted tonight being less stocky

It has first branch on the right but still I have taken it as movement left to right placing it slightly to the left of the pot. I took much time with the angle of this second tree making sure it did not leave the soil in an upright position (something Robert Steven considers important with informal upright)
I think his is what is confusing me so much. I gather from your post and much thought that to gather the movement of a tree it is a matter of adding up a number of unquantified measurements to finally come up with the movement left or right.
In other words you must just consider the weight of each movement of the tree and this will give the ultimate direction of the tree. I know my brain can do that but is hat something hat can be easily explained as you try?
If I put this to he second tree I gather the base of the trunk moving from left to right for 1/3 the height of the tree is the dominant factor and the rest of the tree balances/counter balances this?

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Re: Bonsai balance and movement

Post  Brett Summers on Sun Mar 27, 2011 2:43 pm

I agree your pine is definitely to the left Fiona. You have some very impressive trees. This one included but may I be bold to say I think it could be better if the balance of movement was less complicated.
I see the movement as right to left but this fights with the the dominance of the branches on the right.
Being an armature I can't explain the best way to fix this but God I would love the chance to look at the tree until I did Very Happy

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Re: Bonsai balance and movement

Post  Brett Summers on Sun Mar 27, 2011 2:47 pm

newzealandteatree wrote:I see Fiona's tree as neither left nor right. It is straight. So it can be used with either a left or right leaning tree. The trunk up to and including the primary branch are right. The right branches are heavier than those on the left. This is offset by the rest of the tree. A change in the angle of the apex to the right will make it sit directly above the base .
I see Brett's tree as straight as well.

Cheers.

CJ
http://newzealandteatreebonsai.blogspot.com/

Gday CJ
If you consider my olive straight then to me that means it should sit in the middle of the pot. Do you think in a different way?

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Re: Bonsai balance and movement

Post  newzealandteatree on Sun Mar 27, 2011 3:42 pm

Brett, yes if it is my tree I will position it in the centre of a round and thicker pot. The trunk is heavy.

Cheers n regards.

CJ
http://newzealandteatreebonsai.blogspot.com/

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Re: Bonsai balance and movement

Post  Guest on Sun Mar 27, 2011 3:44 pm

Brett Summers wrote:.....
I think his is what is confusing me so much. I gather from your post and much thought that to gather the movement of a tree it is a matter of adding up a number of unquantified measurements to finally come up with the movement left or right. ...

Dear Brett
It is that simple Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Sorry - couldn't resist ...
It is easy to set up a few guidelines, but also the feeling of the tree is what matters. Sometimes the direction is easy to see, other times it is less obvious. There are not a formula for everything, and it is not always as easy to do as it is to tell.
The second tree in your post is obviously moving to the right, having a strong clear branch leading in that direction. The position in the pot is correct too, underlining the movement towards the right. The foliage mass being left being the balancing factor. What you shouldn't miss when you develop the ramification further, is to have the top branches of the canopy having a slight direction towards the right side too, to underline the movement, and not working against it. Small details that convinces.
Regards
Morten

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Re: Bonsai balance and movement

Post  Loke Emil on Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:51 pm

Hi Morten

thanks...

The force is strong with you... Very Happy

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Re: Bonsai balance and movement

Post  Brett Summers on Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:49 am

Intresting CJ ThumbsUp I can't find the pic of the olive I am copying in this. I love the flat pot grove look but I will keep that in mind. Cheers!

Thanks for the persistence Morten it is all clear now thumbs up

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Re: Bonsai balance and movement

Post  fiona on Mon Mar 28, 2011 2:20 pm

Okay tin hat on and ready to get shot down.

Have been playing around with some rack compositions and would welcome your comments. I'm just looking to further the discussion on direction, harmony and balance, and am not wanting a critique of individual trees. I recognise some are still in development so that's not the matter in hand.

Apologies also for the poor picture quality. The room I used to use with the nice magnolia wall has been commandeered as a model aircraft hangar. It just wasn't worth the hassle (and the no doubt resultant huffs) so I went outdoors and put up with the wind blowing the backdrop about.

Here goes - first three:




removing the apple and substituting a Ginkgo



replacing the juniper with a Hillier Elm

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Re: Bonsai balance and movement

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