California Juniper

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California Juniper

Post  mike page on Mon Aug 15, 2011 8:25 pm


Here it is again!
One of my favorite bonsai. I won it as collected stock in a convention raffle many years ago. It was donated by the great Harry Hirao. Height including pot is about 40 inches.
I've been doing some minor trimming and general cleanup today.

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California Juniper

Post  will baddeley on Mon Aug 15, 2011 11:22 pm

Hello Mike. How many years have tou had this? For old collected and trained trees they seem to lack secondary and tertiary branching. Old material deseves an old look don't you think?

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Californian road trip

Post  Jeremy on Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:18 pm



My apologies Mike.


Last edited by Jeremy on Sat Aug 20, 2011 12:09 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : hacked Mike's thread)

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Re: California Juniper

Post  dick benbow on Wed Aug 17, 2011 12:00 am

what many of us would give to own one of harry's tree's. thanks for sharing and take good care of it......no problems on your "watch". Smile

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Re: California Juniper

Post  Jeremy on Thu Aug 18, 2011 4:48 pm

ditto


Last edited by Jeremy on Sat Aug 20, 2011 12:10 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: California Juniper

Post  Hawaiian77 on Thu Aug 18, 2011 6:17 pm

Howzit Mike,

Really cool bonsai!! ThumbsUp Mahalo for sharing.

A Hui Hou,
-Tim Cool

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Re: California Juniper

Post  will baddeley on Fri Aug 19, 2011 4:42 pm

Wonderful pictures Jerry. They must be some age.
Mike.I think you mentioned on another Juniper thread that you style yours to look like desert trees. Most of the pics that Jerry posted have a proper canopy with secondaryand tertiary branching. IMHO, you should let them go a bit to build better structure.

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Re: California Juniper

Post  Jeremy on Fri Aug 19, 2011 5:44 pm

ditto


Last edited by Jeremy on Sat Aug 20, 2011 12:11 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: California Juniper

Post  jgeanangel on Fri Aug 19, 2011 6:20 pm

will baddeley wrote:Wonderful pictures Jerry. They must be some age.
Mike.I think you mentioned on another Juniper thread that you style yours to look like desert trees. Most of the pics that Jerry posted have a proper canopy with secondaryand tertiary branching. IMHO, you should let them go a bit to build better structure.

Hey Will...just in case you haven't figured it out, Mike has his own personal style and is most likely not concerned at all(I would hate to speak for him but after reading his posts for years it becomes very apparent) with what you think his trees should look like or how to improve them:) If you notice, he posts to share and rarely if ever asks for opinions.

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Re: California Juniper

Post  jersanct on Fri Aug 19, 2011 7:46 pm

I'm sure you are right, jgeangel. Surely you understand, however, that if Mike posts his trees on a public discussion forum, the public is going to discuss them. If he had a problem with that, I'm sure he could set up his own blog and disable comments.

Some people are clearly not enamored with Mike's style, and many others are genuinely curious to understand why he is styling trees as he is. In the past, he has told us that he is imitating certain types of trees, and Will is pointing out what many others are probably thinking: those trees seem to have actual branching instead of tight little balls of unramified foliage. Mike probably could help a lot of other people out if he were to show us examples of the trees he is imitating.

Or, he could happily keep doing what he likes without bothering. But people on a public discussion board are still going to publicly discuss the trees he posts there.

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Re: California Juniper

Post  mike page on Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:24 pm

[quote="jersanct"]I'm sure you are right, jgeangel. Surely you understand, however, that if Mike posts his trees on a public discussion forum, the public is going to discuss them. If he had a problem with that, I'm sure he could set up his own blog and disable comments.

Some people are clearly not enamored with Mike's style, and many others are genuinely curious to understand why he is styling trees as he is. In the past, he has told us that he is imitating certain types of trees, and Will is pointing out what many others are probably thinking: quote]
------------------------------------------------------------------------
There may be aome misunderstanding here. I don't think I said, or at least meant "imitating". What I either said, or should have said is that I'm inspired by images of trees in nature or in books. Bonsai is an art, and art is the product of inspiration. I'm not saying I have achieved art, but I'm trying.


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Re: California Juniper

Post  jgeanangel on Fri Aug 19, 2011 10:03 pm

jersanct wrote:I'm sure you are right, jgeangel. Surely you understand, however, that if Mike posts his trees on a public discussion forum, the public is going to discuss them. If he had a problem with that, I'm sure he could set up his own blog and disable comments.

Some people are clearly not enamored with Mike's style, and many others are genuinely curious to understand why he is styling trees as he is. In the past, he has told us that he is imitating certain types of trees, and Will is pointing out what many others are probably thinking: those trees seem to have actual branching instead of tight little balls of unramified foliage. Mike probably could help a lot of other people out if he were to show us examples of the trees he is imitating.

Or, he could happily keep doing what he likes without bothering. But people on a public discussion board are still going to publicly discuss the trees he posts there.

You are correct about public forums being about discussion but my point is more specific. Mr. Page is a long time poster on this and other forums...as you mentioned his style is recognizable to many of us. If you pay attention though you will easily notice that he never responds to critics of his style but always responds to honest questions or comments. Whether you appreciate his art or not I think he has been doing this long enough to deserve a little respect. I personally don't usually care for his trees but I greatly respect the fact that he has maintained the health and vigor of his trees for decades and has developed an easily recognizable personal style all to his own...perhaps even more recognizable than any other artist out there...perhaps on equal footing with Mr. Lenz's style. Whether you like his work or not that is undeniably the mark of an artist. There is also a difference between a discussion and being told how to improve your work by the same person that lives half a world away every time you post a tree...this seems kind of like Einstien's definition of insanity.

I know others disagree, but for me it is rude to offer your opinion when it has not been specifically requested...even on a public forum. Many talented people would be much more willing to share on public forums if we honored and recognized the difference between sharing and specifically asking for input(look at the crap Walter Pall has to put up with whenever he makes an appearance on forums). There is also a huge difference between discussing a tree with other posters in a thread and a single individual offering up their unsolicited advice on how to improve a work of art.

Just because this is a public forum does not mean that rules of decorum should be thrown out.

John



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Re: California Juniper

Post  JimLewis on Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:20 pm

I'm not at all certain why Jeremy felt he had to hijack Mike's thread with his travelogue, either. They were all nice trees, and all that, but could (and should) better have been placed somewhere else -- like General Discussion and Banter.

Mike Page is one of the LONG-time members of the IBC. He's been doing bonsai longer than many folks here have been doing life. He has his own style. You can like them or not, but Mike has his share of awards from California bonsai organizations.

As in all else, it's probably better to not say something about a tree you don't like, than it is to diss it when the owner didn't ask for critical or other comments. Maybe, in posting a tree there is an implied opening of one's self for comment, but the polite way is to comment when they ask and to leave it be if they don't and you don't care for the tree -- unless you are certain that all of us are waiting with bated breath for your opinions on this tree.


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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Style

Post  David Carvalho on Fri Aug 19, 2011 11:44 pm

Hello all,

I don't want in anyway to offend anyone or show lack of respect and not only I havent got the know how to discuss "style" has it's not my objective, anyone is free to do whatever they like, still I believe has Bonsai Lovers we should also show big respect for 1700 years of Bonsai history, since we must be humble enough to understand that we are only following a path that many have followed before us and if we totally lose our roots I'm sure we are never gonna grow.

Just to say that I see no point in having a massive discussion, if you like it ok, if you don't like it it's also ok.

Best regards,

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Re: California Juniper

Post  PaulH on Sat Aug 20, 2011 2:43 am

John is right. Mike is a unique artist and in my opinion one of the few American bonsai artists who understand the bunjin style. I can't express how much respect I have for his art. That said, when I post one of my trees to a forum, I expect to get opinions. That, after all, is what a forum is about. I suspect Mike is fine with the comments and will continue to follow his muse.
Paul

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Re: California Juniper

Post  Russell Coker on Sat Aug 20, 2011 3:58 am

PaulH wrote:John is right. Mike is a unique artist and in my opinion one of the few American bonsai artists who understand the bunjin style. I can't express how much respect I have for his art. That said, when I post one of my trees to a forum, I expect to get opinions. That, after all, is what a forum is about. I suspect Mike is fine with the comments and will continue to follow his muse.
Paul

Well, it's a free country and you're entitled to your opinion...

Jeremy, I'm sorry you pulled your pictures because of the words of one person. I didn't see them as hijacking at all. Your beautiful pictures were the best part of this thread, and actually gave a lot of credence to the styling of Mike's tree. They really told the rest of the story....

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Re: California Juniper

Post  Ryan on Sat Aug 20, 2011 4:17 am

Russell Coker wrote:

Jeremy, I'm sorry you pulled your pictures because of the words of one person. I didn't see them as hijacking at all. Your beautiful pictures were the best part of this thread, and actually gave a lot of credence to the styling of Mike's tree. They really told the rest of the story....

I agree with Russell. I thought they were very nice pictures and I didn't see how they were hijacking at all.

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Re: California Juniper

Post  mike page on Sat Aug 20, 2011 4:59 am

PaulH wrote:John is right. Mike is a unique artist and in my opinion one of the few American bonsai artists who understand the bunjin style. I can't express how much respect I have for his art. That said, when I post one of my trees to a forum, I expect to get opinions. That, after all, is what a forum is about. I suspect Mike is fine with the comments and will continue to follow his muse.
Paul

Paul, I very much appreciae your comments. I do love the bunjin style. It's the ultimate in elegance and simplicity. It illustrates the old saying, "less is more".

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Re: California Juniper

Post  fiona on Sat Aug 20, 2011 9:59 am

It would be good if perhaps Jerry would post his trees on a new thread perhaps in General Discussion. They were extremely good pictures and as Russell says they do give an insight into where Mike might get his inspiration. They would certainly inspire me. And that's really the nub of it, isn't it; when faced with any of those pictures of Jerry's and given the challenge to create a bonsai inspired by it, I doubt we'd get everyone producing the same style of tree - we'd get people's different and occasionally unique interpretations of it. That's the beauty of bonsai, that's the beauty of art.

So although it may have made uncomfortable reading at times, the rest of thread has perhaps served to remind us that art is subjective. If Mike is pleased with his work so be it - they are his trees. It certainly is a unique style - on that there is no debate. I too don't personally care for his style as IMVHO his trees lack the refinement that I prefer in a bonsai - with the emphasis on the words "I prefer". It is also something that I personally think in general (and possible a sweeping generalisation too) reflects the difference in approach to tree styling from our side of the pond to the other (a whole other topic for discussion there).

But then again I don't like most of Picasso's work either, but you certainly wont hear me disputing that he is a great artist.





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August 21, 2008

Post  Jeremy on Sat Aug 20, 2011 10:53 am

Hi All,
Once again apologies for hi-jacking Mike's post.
I had hoped to share and put my perspective on Mike's styling choices with these images. I did get a little carried away though..... Embarassed

I had planned to contrast the August 21, 2008 image of this tree with the present styling.
Would that be useful? Mike can I reproduce that image here?
I do not wish to be misunderstood in my intentions. I would like to be open and express my feelings and hear others views, not inflame.

Personally I prefer the 2008 image. The 2008 image, to my eye, appears to be going in a reserved and refined direction. Pictures can be misleading.

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Re: California Juniper

Post  fiona on Sat Aug 20, 2011 11:30 am

Good, reasoned and perfectly reasonable response, Jerry. I will let him have the final call but I'm sure Mike would not object to that.

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Re: California Juniper

Post  mike page on Sat Aug 20, 2011 4:58 pm

Jeremy wrote:Hi All,
Once again apologies for hi-jacking Mike's post.
I had hoped to share and put my perspective on Mike's styling choices with these images. I did get a little carried away though..... Embarassed

I had planned to contrast the August 21, 2008 image of this tree with the present styling.
Would that be useful? Mike can I reproduce that image here?
I do not wish to be misunderstood in my intentions. I would like to be open and express my feelings and hear others views, not inflame.

Personally I prefer the 2008 image. The 2008 image, to my eye, appears to be going in a reserved and refined direction. Pictures can be misleading.
============================
No problem! I don't consider it "hijacking". Controversy is good. You're welcome to post the 2008 image.

Mike

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August 2008

Post  Jeremy on Sat Aug 20, 2011 5:52 pm

Thank you Mike,


The 2008 image looks much fuller, in fact it appears to be developing well.
How soon after collection was this?
Did it lose some of it's vigour and therefore had to be re-styled ?

Was your influence a tree at all? I read you are influence by many things, buildings, etc.

To my eye this tree is unbalanced, if it is to be considered within the bunjin style.
To me, finding the refined and reserved bunjin proportions are the most important thing, the feeling of isolation and silents the image creates in the viewer mind.

I am interested to hear / see your influences in the development of your bunjin Cali. juniper and where you see it going in the future.

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Re: California Juniper

Post  mike page on Sat Aug 20, 2011 6:45 pm

I went into the "archives". The image is the juniper in 2002.
Over the years the design has been simplified. This may be due to the influence of bunjin on my view of bonsai.
An old mans advice to those that are new to bonsai. Think, and think some more, but don't be afraid to cut. Confused


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Bunjin

Post  David Carvalho on Sat Aug 20, 2011 11:48 pm

Hello Mike,

Since I see this is a sensitive question in the forum I don't want to offend anyone, I just want to express my humble aprentice opinion and learn from it, since I'm fairly new to Bonsai. I have learned over the last years the we should read the tree and listen to it, since many times the tree itself gives us clues and requests certain types of design which in the end will bring a much more natural look to the final design.

When my un-trained eyes looks at the tree in 2002 I see many directions and possible designs but I don't discover that clue that would take me to a Bunjin design, it would be great to have Mike explaining the reason why he went to the option of a Bunjin Design...

Best regards,

David Carvalho
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Re: California Juniper

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