Walter Pall at the Carolina Bonsai Expo

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Re: Walter Pall at the Carolina Bonsai Expo

Post  AJ on Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:45 am

Jesse McMahon wrote:thanks, arthur, for a great read and pictures. already looking forward to the expo next year..

Jesse, thanks for being there. I don't have to start thinking about next year's Expo for another couple of weeks!

chench53 wrote:Thanks for the wonderful pictures, and the story. The Expo was wonderful! It is so exciting to watch all the different clubs pull their displays together, and how wonderful the trees all were. Our group had a terrific time.

Gerry
Virginia Bonsa Society

I appreciate it, Gerry. It's great having VBS on board!
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Walter Pall's demonstration tree - Scots Pine, BEFORE

Post  AJ on Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:21 am

















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Re: Walter Pall at the Carolina Bonsai Expo

Post  Guest on Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:53 am

Thanks Aj. I read it all. No comments on styles/approaches but on Marmite. I was served it once by a friend, and I wonder that he is still my friend Very Happy

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Re: Walter Pall at the Carolina Bonsai Expo

Post  Walter Pall on Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:23 pm

The result as of Monday. Then a quick and dirty virtual to show what the crown might look like in a couple of years and then with pot (John Pitt). This is suppsoed to look like a tree, not like a bonsai.



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Re: Walter Pall at the Carolina Bonsai Expo

Post  JimLewis on Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:01 pm

This is supposed to look like a tree, not like a bonsai.

Ahhh . . . if only more people would . . . .

I was studying this tree out in the patio during the auction. It has come a long way. Lovely!

(It's about 50 times bigger than anything I'd tackle these days -- or probably, any days.)

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Re: Walter Pall at the Carolina Bonsai Expo

Post  drgonzo on Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:13 pm

Now that pine looks great to me, That would probably catch my eye more than a more styled, abstract, tree.

To Me, Trees look more like Bonsai when they look more like trees. I hope that makes sense. But thats just my aesthetics.
-Jay
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Walter Pall's demonstration tree - Scots Pine AFTER

Post  AJ on Thu Oct 13, 2011 5:47 pm















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Re: Walter Pall at the Carolina Bonsai Expo

Post  Rob Kempinski on Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:39 pm

That's an interesting pine.

What's the most southernly area that Scots Pine can live in the SE USA?
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Re: Walter Pall at the Carolina Bonsai Expo

Post  Randy_Davis on Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:42 pm

Rob Kempinski wrote:That's an interesting pine.

What's the most southernly area that Scots Pine can live in the SE USA?

Rob,

The USDA shows it above the mason-dixon line. It has naturalized in the northern great lake states and appears as far south as Southern IL, OH, IN KY etc..... Not a good pine for the warm winter areas. Commonly grown as a commerical Christmas tree on large farms
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Re: Walter Pall at the Carolina Bonsai Expo

Post  will baddeley on Fri Oct 14, 2011 6:18 am

drgonzo wrote: and I always think that criticisms of Mr. Pall seem from people not understanding that art
-Jay
This has been said before and I take exception to this "emperor's new clothes" statement. David has a point but it could have been said with a little less venom. I do not doubt Walters passion, enthusiasm and ability to hold a crowd but I fail to see a great deal of change in the above Scots demo, other than a thin out and bending down or spreading of branches. I do not recognise this transformation as a Scots Pine either. It looks more like an old deciduous tree to me.
Discuss?........I hope.
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Re: Walter Pall at the Carolina Bonsai Expo

Post  fiona on Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:54 am

will baddeley wrote: I fail to see a great deal of change in the above Scots demo, other than a thin out and bending down or spreading of branches.
I don't see how we can criticise him (or anyone else) for that, given that a recurring comment on the forum is how demos are contrived and damaging to tree health because they do too much at one sitting. Perhaps we have gone too far in the direction of "entertainment" in demos and less down the road of how to take a tree and start it on a long journey towards what the artist sees as its end result.


Last edited by fiona on Fri Oct 14, 2011 2:03 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Walter Pall at the Carolina Bonsai Expo

Post  Walter Pall on Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:07 am

One part of my lecture was that naturalistic bonsai can be made of material that otherwise does not seem very fit for 'bonsai'. This particular tree material was not good for a regular bonsai at all. Regardless of what many think from looking at the before images, a standard bonsai could only have been mad by stripping almost all branches and start the crown anew. It would have looked atrocious after the demonstration and would have taken five to ten years to look somewhat acceptable.
Anyway, it is perfectly honorable to not like the result. But this does not necessarily mean the whole idea is bad.
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Re: Walter Pall at the Carolina Bonsai Expo

Post  Walter Pall on Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:10 am

The pine tree is a Pallsai. This term was invented to insult me. I think it is a good term for trees that absolutely have no idea that they are a bonsai.

Azaleas are almost always styled to look like an ideal pine trees with flowers. I call that kitsch. Junipers are always styled to look like a pine tree. Broadleaved trees are designed very often to look like a juniper which desperately tries to look like a pine tree which was styled by a Kimuraist.
If all this is the case, why can a Scots pin not look like a Scots pine which grows on a healthy spot in a meadow and looks a bit like a broadleaved tree. They sometimes look like this actually.

One line in my lectures is like this:
John Naka said something along the lines 'don't try to make your tree look like a bonsai, try to make your bonsai look like a tree'. OK, so when one wants to achieve this one must know what a bonsai looks like. And avoid every single aspect of the bonsai look. And the result is a little tree in a pot that looks like a real tree if you have some artistic skill.
You may it well call Pallsai. I will be honored.
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Re: Walter Pall at the Carolina Bonsai Expo

Post  newzealandteatree on Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:00 pm

Walter: Quote Azaleas are almost always styled to look like an ideal pine trees with flowers. Unquote.

Does this azalea bonsai of mine looks like pine ?
There is a saying " Those who speak do not know and those who know do not speak. "
Cheers, CJ.

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Re: Walter Pall at the Carolina Bonsai Expo

Post  Guest on Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:07 pm

Just a comment with a general aim in mind, that I want to put in to this discussion. It is the fact that we all too often uses material that really isn´t suitable for bonsai. If the tree doesn’t have the qualities of being good for a future bonsai, why do we then (all too often) use it as if it is? We see thick trunks, but with poor root base not ever possible to correct. Fantastic deadwood, but branches or trunks newer supposed to be a bonsai! I believe that we should look much more after overall quality in the material we use, and be more critical about what we use for what. Not possible for an artist who are given a piece to work on, but those who delivers the material needs to be more critical, instead of expecting wonders with material that doesn’t have the talent. Sometimes we look too hard for spectacular trees instead of seeing the beauty in simple but good material too.

Regards, Morten

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Re: Walter Pall at the Carolina Bonsai Expo

Post  JimLewis on Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:32 pm

newzealandteatree wrote:Walter: Quote Azaleas are almost always styled to look like an ideal pine trees with flowers. Unquote.

Does this azalea bonsai of mine looks like pine ?
There is a saying " Those who speak do not know and those who know do not speak. "
Cheers, CJ.


Oh my . . . here we go. Of course it doesn't look like a pine. But that doesn't make Walter's generalized statement false. If you look at azalea bonsai shows, many DO look pine-ish, and many deciduous bonsai also are designed with pointy tops that Ma Nature would never countenance. And pine trees often have a rounded silhouette in nature. Here's one from Arizona:



I don't think his comments merit that unkind and snide "saying" of yours. Walter is often the target of cheap shots like this. He quite capable of defending himself, but when you can come close to his record of stellar bonsai (TREE) creation, perhaps -- just perhaps -- your criticism would be worth listening to.

And I KNOW the crowd here who will react to this comment.

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Re: Walter Pall at the Carolina Bonsai Expo

Post  Russell Coker on Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:52 pm

newzealandteatree wrote:Walter: Quote Azaleas are almost always styled to look like an ideal pine trees with flowers. Unquote.

Does this azalea bonsai of mine looks like pine ?
There is a saying " Those who speak do not know and those who know do not speak. "
Cheers, CJ.



CJ,

Walter was referring to satsuki bonsai produced in Japan. They look "pine-ish" for a good reason - because they are styled to look like traditional pine bonsai. I guess you either like them, or you don't.
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Re: Walter Pall at the Carolina Bonsai Expo

Post  handy mick on Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:56 pm

I think those who don't like Walter Paul, want to be Walter Paul, but can't.
Jealous people make fools of them selves.

Mick

P.s. Jim can you dig that pine out so I can have Walter style it for me?

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Re: Walter Pall at the Carolina Bonsai Expo

Post  JimLewis on Fri Oct 14, 2011 1:20 pm

P.s. Jim can you dig that pine out so I can have Walter style it for me?

Hard to ship it to OZ, I'm afraid.

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Re: Walter Pall at the Carolina Bonsai Expo

Post  handy mick on Fri Oct 14, 2011 1:37 pm

Ok, leave Walter there and send me the tree.

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Re: Walter Pall at the Carolina Bonsai Expo

Post  newzealandteatree on Fri Oct 14, 2011 2:55 pm

1.My point is very simple. People make all sorts of generalised comments due to their lack of knowledge and information. We don't have to look far to know that the bonsai universe is much larger than Japanese bonsai. Just have a look at some of the fantastic bonsai the Tawanese quietly created.

2.Jim, how much do u know about me and my bonsai collection ?

3.BTW, I neither hate nor am I against Walter. I appreciate what Walter is doing in pushing the boundaries of bonsai. I don't see any reason why I should be envious of Walter. Those who know me will understand. I only take offence at some of his generalised comments which I feel is not warranted had he known more about the bonsai universe out there.
Cheers, CJ.
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Re: Walter Pall at the Carolina Bonsai Expo

Post  Rob Kempinski on Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:08 pm

newzealandteatree wrote:Walter: Quote Azaleas are almost always styled to look like an ideal pine trees with flowers. Unquote.

Does this azalea bonsai of mine looks like pine ?
There is a saying " Those who speak do not know and those who know do not speak. "
Cheers, CJ.

Interesting tree CJ. Seems like it was designed to show the flowers, have you ever had a full canopy of blooms, would look really good then I bet. What type of azalea is it?

I did note that Walter did say "almost always". Rolling Eyes
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Re: Walter Pall at the Carolina Bonsai Expo

Post  newzealandteatree on Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:20 pm

Rob Kempinski wrote:
newzealandteatree wrote:Walter: Quote Azaleas are almost always styled to look like an ideal pine trees with flowers. Unquote.

Does this azalea bonsai of mine looks like pine ?
There is a saying " Those who speak do not know and those who know do not speak. "
Cheers, CJ.

Interesting tree CJ. Seems like it was designed to show the flowers, have you ever had a full canopy of blooms, would look really good then I bet. What type of azalea is it?

I did note that Walter did say "almost always". Rolling Eyes

Hi Rob, I had over 300 flowers this year. The picture was taken towards the tail end of the bloom. I am still trying to find out what type of azalea it is. Sure point noted on "almost always".

Cheers, CJ.
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Re: Walter Pall at the Carolina Bonsai Expo

Post  coh on Fri Oct 14, 2011 4:10 pm

fiona wrote:
will baddeley wrote: I fail to see a great deal of change in the above Scots demo, other than a thin out and bending down or spreading of branches.
I don't see how we can criticise him (or anyone else) for that, given that a recurring comment on the forum is how demos are contrived and damaging to tree health because they do too much at one sitting. Perhaps we have gone too far in the direction of "entertainment" in demos and less down the road of how to take a tree and start it on a long journey towards what the artist sees as its end result.
I think this is a good observation. I've spent some time browsing Walter's website, and from what I can tell, many of his trees don't really look "refined" or finished, whatever term you want to use, for many years. A lot of times, after the early styling, they look very rough. In reality, this is the way most of us work on trees - gradually over a period of years, not all in one 2 hour session. It's kind of like it is with painting - most paintings go through an "ugly" stage, an underpainting that looks very little like the eventual finished piece of artwork. Sometimes not, just as with trees - some trees are much closer to "finished" at the start than others.

As for the end result being naturalistic or whatever term...I don't see any problem with there being a range of interpretations of "bonsai". Some will prefer/gravitate toward the more traditional Japanese style, others will choose to push the envelope in a different direction. That's typical of the art world in general, and something that should be embraced.

Chris
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Re: Walter Pall at the Carolina Bonsai Expo

Post  drgonzo on Fri Oct 14, 2011 4:40 pm

One thing I've noticed with the "demo" tree we often see pictured at an expo; They may commit holy hell on the branches and trunk, but often the roots are left undisturbed and I think thats how you get away with so much work in one siting.

I have not done bonsai for very long (4 seasons now) but what I find catches my eye now are imperfections, cases where a tree was allowed a straight branch or a scar on purpose to better imitate nature. I saw a forest planting the other day that had two trunks crossing just slightly and I thought it looked excellent, because this better approximates what happens in nature and thus the Natural setting of the forest planting in question was much more pronounced.

I would be honored and proud to have Walters demo tree in my garden I think its excellent, I certainly wouldn't turn it down because its "too natural looking" Laughing

'Pallsai' I suppose is a term for what I create as well, and I suppose it does indeed require knowledge of where the line is between heavily styled "Bonsai" and the subtlety required to err on the side of Natural, and make it convincing.

And finally It seems "Bonsai soil" and "Walter Pall" seem to generate a similar zesty controversy on this forum,
If I were Walter I'd be honored.
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Re: Walter Pall at the Carolina Bonsai Expo

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