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American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum

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Post  JimLewis Thu Aug 20, 2015 3:18 pm

I imagine Google image search got quite the workout since we asked for an image of a real tree looking remotely like Dan Robinson's maple. Saying it's possible or saying we've seen them just has no weight. Pics or it didn't happen ... as they say.

and . . .

we need a vivid imagination to appreciate a naturalistic masterpiece.

Mike . . . It is perfectly acceptable to not like a tree or a person's style of making trees, but what in heaven's name has gotten you SO upset over this tree?   Maybe since you're from generally the same region of the country you have a "thing" with Mr. Robinson?

You're beating this to DEATH.  It's just a tree.  Worse, it's just a PICTURE of a tree.  I and others seem to like it.  You don't.  Well and good, but why the apparent vendetta?

Any chance we can drop it? Everyone?

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Post  Kevin S - Wisco Bonsai Thu Aug 20, 2015 8:16 pm

aww... gee whiz dad... onacountahowcome you gotta send us to our room, huh ?
we were only havin' fun !

American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum - Page 20 Enhanc10

geek

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Post  augustine Fri Aug 21, 2015 6:13 am

Arthur,

Thanks, I enjoyed the posts and photos about your visit to Dan Robinson's place. Once again you have raised questions, and encouraged us to do the same, about how we perceive trees and how those perceptions mold the bonsai we create.

Do some creations go to the "essence" and strip away the superficial? Can we use art to do the same?

Keep making us think.

Augustine


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Post  augustine Fri Aug 21, 2015 6:16 am

Forgot one, can art teach us to be open minded?

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Post  Guest Fri Aug 21, 2015 7:34 am

Jim,
I’m not upset. I’m upset when a pet dies. Upset when the health care insurance weasels jerk me around on coverage. Upset when I see cruelty or abuse. Upset over what some stranger believes about bonsai? Not bloody likely. I spent 5 hours yesterday on a delicate wiring job. Only a complete idiot would attempt that while upset.

Be assured I have nothing against Dan Robinson. On the contrary. I do not know him personally but my impression is of a pioneer, an artist, and more importantly, a rugged individualist. The type of individual that is rapidly vanishing from the landscape in this post-modern dung heap we all find ourselves living. Neither do I have anything against his work. I made that clear at one point in this thread so no need to reiterate. I don’t hate his JM (“this tree”) but more on that momentarily. While on the subject of “vendettas” and such, I’d also like to make it clear I hold Walter Pall’s work in high regard. Based on what’s been seen he is truly gifted and in my opinion, one of  best  non-Asian bonsai artists past or present. Also, while I did take exception to the original poster’s characterizations of the Japanese model I harbor no ill-will towards Mr. Joura. I wish him the best in all his future endeavors. These guys are alright by me. I just happen to think this ‘new way of perceiving bonsai’, this ‘western naturalist movement’, this Caucasian Wabi-Sabi, is a steaming shovel-full of that well known substance. It’s clearly the Asian model in new packaging. That’s fine. Who cares? I don’t really. But when the proponents feel it necessary to run down the old ways in order to legitimize their own position? When it’s stated the adherents to the old model need to expand their view? Must get beyond the stale old ways? I consider that offensive and very nearly cowardly. It simply can’t stand unchallenged. I don’t spend much time pondering over how others view bonsai and certainly don’t hold myself out as any shining example, but when someone starts talking crap about something I reverently adore be prepared for an earful. I don’t care who it is. If you have a problem with that you may as well ban me right now. Quoting me out of context and ascribing ludicrous motivations says more about you than me. That’s fine .. but the day I need your permission to speak my mind will be my last here.

Having said that; I wish the leaders and disciples of this new wave great good luck and hope all their trees are everything they want them to be. I mean it. If it helps you make better trees it can’t be a bad thing. Looking forward with interest to witness the progress.

As for Dan Robinson’s maple? I never said it was a horrible tree. As a tree to critique what I actually don’t like is the scar tissue. Visually it’s a lumpy distraction. Unattractive distraction. Intellectually the scar tissue is out of scale to what we know real rotten trunks look like. That’s the deal killer for me. No evidence of  the past large branches necessary to justify its girth is another major fault. The pot looks like a bed pan from the 1800s. I’m guessing when the leaves mature the issues with scale accentuate.  It certainly has character but to my eye just not very convincing. A tree I wouldn’t have commented on at all just as I rarely comment on any trees. It’s just my opinion and why should anyone care? This particular tree had the misfortune of being used by the OP as an example of the  American Naturalistic ideal. That right there made it fair game. Declaring it a masterpiece opened it up to criticism of the severest nature. In my opinion it’s alright but a naturalistic ideal? Masterpiece? They may want to consider setting their standards a bit higher.

Thank you for asking me to clear the air Jim.

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Post  DougB Fri Aug 21, 2015 3:13 pm

mikeyeye perhaps we should establish a system where you screen all posting prior to their being made public. You have run your mouth without a real understanding of either the bonsai artist, the history of bonsai in the Western World, or the various movements today. Your disservice to these fine bonsai artist is juvenile, bullying, and unwanted. Shame on you. Go back to your flowers.
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Post  LanceMac10 Fri Aug 21, 2015 3:28 pm

Doug, shame on you for impeding the discussion. All Mike has done is provide a counterpoint. His opinion counts as much as all others. And presented somewhat thoughtfully, in my opinion. Discourse is a necessary evil, as it more often than not leads to a better understanding of opposing viewpoints. And try to avoid mirrors for awhile. The face you see might just be your own.......read what you wrote, and no disrespect, but your guilty of doing what you have written. No ill will from me, just an observation. Very Happy pirat


Last edited by LanceMac10 on Sat Aug 22, 2015 1:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post  Kevin S - Wisco Bonsai Fri Aug 21, 2015 3:52 pm

sigh... Rolling Eyes

i, myself just don't care for the passive aggressive phrasing being used in propping up one's stance...

(something i hope i have not unwittingly done)



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Post  JimLewis Fri Aug 21, 2015 7:59 pm

howcome you gotta send us to our room, huh ?

Now you know . . .


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Post  MichaelS Sat Aug 22, 2015 2:52 am

A bit off topic but kind of pertinent. I'm a member of three forums (more than enough!) Two American and one Australian. The other US one is Slippertalk as I also grow orchids. I don't know if it's the free speech thing or cultural or whatever but I find the US forums to be much more giving in their allowance of free discourse than the local one. It's really the reason I joined up here. So I can put forward my views and read other views without someone jumping in and locking the thread if you mearly happen to voice an opinion which differs from the norm. You are quickly gagged before the thread has had a chance to evolve to it's ultimate end. It's extremely frustrating.
As long as everyone remains level headed (which is almost always the case) I have found that these types of discussions quickly become self regulating without the need for intervention.
I also believe that much more information exchange can occur in this kind of forum when compared to reading books, talking casually to other growers etc.
Thanks IBC and keep up with the freedom!
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American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum - Page 20 Empty An Open Letter To Walter Pall 8/28/15

Post  Arthur Joura Fri Aug 28, 2015 5:57 pm

Hello Walter,

It was good to see you stop by here the other day during the discussion that took place following my article about Dan Robinson. The tone of the conversation must have seemed familiar to you: false accusations, aspersions, impassioned defense of things not actually under attack, over-the-top responses to ideas apparently not actually understood. I can remember very well some years back when it seemed you were constantly embroiled in such discussions on various Internet bonsai forums. You were writing about topics such as Naturalism in bonsai, the difference between bonsai as art and bonsai as craft, the meaning of tradition in Western bonsai thinking, and the like, and the responses you received were very often negative, even viscerally so. Often it turned ugly and you were being personally insulted by the people who disagreed with you, but you were always quite game about it. You gave back as good as you got. For me, the ideas you were putting forth made a great deal of sense and I was initially taken aback by the anger and vitriol with which they were often met. I reasoned that some of it had to do with people's opinion of you on a personal level, that they were reacting more to the assertive and self-assured way you said things and less to what was being said. I think you are one of those individuals who takes some degree of satisfaction being the fly in other people's ointment, the sand in other people's shorts, but naturally other people do not appreciate that sort of thing. These days, however, I tend to think the implications of what you were saying also truly disturbed people, and the fact that they perceived you as personally irritating just made it easier to reject both you and your wrongheaded ideas as one disagreeable package.

Those days of raucous on-line debate are mostly all gone now. There seems to be little life left in the Internet forum format, with much of the conversation shifting to Facebook or individual blogs where it becomes more controlled and exclusive, and I think this is unfortunate. The freewheeling dialogue of the public forum, sloppy and low as it oftentimes gets, is such a democratic thing. Anyone with an Internet connection can weigh in and although there is a mountain of stuff best ignored there is also the nugget of potential for a good exchange of ideas from a world full of minds, and it is all out there where it can be accessed and engaged with by anyone. Beyond the demise of the forum format, though, I think you personally must have gotten a little weary of trying to reason with the on-line bonsai community, or maybe you became bored with answering the same old arguments over and over. For whatever reason you are no longer the vibrant presence on the Internet you once were. You have your excellent web site, of course (http://walter-pall-bonsai.blogspot.com/), and there readers will find many of your techniques, thoughts and ideas carefully written out and lavishly illustrated. But the living breathing on-line now Walter Pall, the one who saunters out into the great electronic forum of public discourse and in a way both challenging and nonchalant cheerfully offers the world a bite of his sacred cow sandwich, that guy is rarely heard from any more.

Who can blame you, really. You have been there and done that and now you are older and have become venerable and spend your days traveling the world being entertained as a celebrity, all the while keeping your blog as a way of sharing your ongoing bonsai adventure with those who care to know about it, and who needs to go through the trouble of explaining it all one more time? I am partly kidding of course. I know that in the professional bonsai world there is none who exceeds you in willingness to engage with those who are interested, and no one who articulates his ideas more clearly or willingly (or forcefully.) I know this because I have had ample opportunity over the years to talk with you at length, one on one and face to face. I also know that any time I want I can write to you and engage you in a bonsai conversation, and you will take the time to write a thoughtful response. So I am doing that now, but instead of sending you an e-mail I am writing in the public forum. This is not so much an attempt to conduct an on-line interview as it is to have a personal conversation, a private exchange of thoughts, but to do it out in the open. Maybe no one else will care to follow such a conversation, but if they do they can find it here. That is, if you choose to reply.

Having invited you to this collaboration I should put something on the table to be a starting point of the discussion. Given the flurry of excitement generated by the account of my visit with Dan Robinson and the opinions it contained regarding the subject of Naturalism in bonsai, a natural starting point would be to discuss Naturalism in bonsai. You have written extensively about this in the past, and those who are interested enough can and should read all about it here: http://walterpallbonsaiarticles.blogspot.com/2010/09/naturalistic-bonsai-style-english.html There is no point in having you reiterate what you have already written, but I have a couple of questions I would ask you expanding on your existing statements. First, I wonder if you have distilled your thoughts to the point yet where you can give a more concise definition of naturalistic bonsai? Your published article about it is a definitive answer but it takes a few thousand words to make its case. What is the most simple and refined answer you can give to a bonsai person who asks you to define naturalistic bonsai?

Also, I am interested to know how you came to the point where you decided the naturalistic style was appealing to your tastes. There are 3 professionals I most admire for their ability to do outstanding bonsai work in a naturalistic vein: Dan Robinson, Qingquan Zhao from China, and you. My impression is that Dan could not do bonsai any other way than the way he does - he is following an individualistic impulse and no other way would make sense or be of interest to him. Mr. Zhao's most famous work is grounded in a traditional school of Penjing design - Water and Land - that is realistic in its conception. His work is naturalistic, but he was trained in that style to begin with. You, I know from reading your biographical information, began in bonsai the same way as most Westerners, which is to say you were copying the design concepts promoted by the Japanese artists and teachers. Somewhere along the way you consciously decided to break with that and pursue other ideas. How did you come to that decision and why were you attracted to Naturalism?

I suppose I am far enough out on a limb with this idea as I ought to go. If you have any interest in this particular sport please make your response and we will go from there. If not, please accept my apologies for disturbing your tranquility!

Arthur

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Post  JimLewis Sat Aug 29, 2015 1:02 pm

Those days of raucous on-line debate are mostly all gone now. There seems to be little life left in the Internet forum format, with much of the conversation shifting to Facebook or individual blogs where it becomes more controlled and exclusive, and I think this is unfortunate.

Me too -- sadly.

I look forward -- hopefully -- to Walter's response, and -- even more hopefully -- to the rational discussion that follows.

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Post  Stephen Krall Sat Aug 29, 2015 1:56 pm

Arthur,  

Thanks so much for sharing your latest post about your visit to Dan Robinson's place. While I knew about Dan I was vaguely familiar with some of his actual trees and I appreciate you bringing that close to home for me. Your experience intrigued me enough that I wanted to learn more so I purchased his book. Just yesterday I got an e-mail from Diane stating that I will be receiving a signed copy which I think is a nice touch, but maybe he does that for everyone?

For me, what I got out of your post was your sharing of a bonsai experience you had and wanted to share with the rest of us. It was as much about your journey in the bonsai learning process as it was about Dan's body of work. Did I miss something?

What mystifies me is the debate that ensued after the sharing of your thoughts and feelings on what you experienced. Some may have called it a "discussion", but to me it came across as a debate about what is the correct way to do bonsai, and I personally not sure why people felt to need to debate your thoughts and feelings unless invited to do so. But maybe I am being too naive and simplistic?  I have never understood why people in the bonsai community feel that the Art of bonsai can only be a done, portrayed, or displayed....etc in a certain way. Is the art form so fragile that it needs to be controlled, confined to a set of rules, or policed so that it does not fall into chaos?  For me, "the tree(s) in a container" art form,  most commonly know as Bonsai, is such that it can be explored in any manor the artist wishes to express, whether it be naturalistic style, or Japanese bonsai style or Chinese penjing style or some other "down the road" style since we all know that an art form much like the trees we work with is has ever changing perspective.

As for the possible discussion between you and Walter I am looking forward to that possibility. It is no secret among my bonsai friend's and peers that I admire both of you, your philosophies, your work, and what you have done for the world of Bonsai. I look forward to these post as a substitute to actually getting to work with you in person. But I don't want make Walter Pall Jealous....LOL.....It is just I get to hang with him on a regular basis.

Again, thank you Arthur for sharing. Looking forward to your next post.
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Post  Kevin S - Wisco Bonsai Sat Aug 29, 2015 3:45 pm

Stephen Krall wrote:For me, what I got out of your post was your sharing of a bonsai experience you had and wanted to share with the rest of us. It was as much about your journey in the bonsai learning process as it was about Dan's body of work. Did I miss something?

What mystifies me is the debate that ensued after the sharing of your thoughts and feelings on what you experienced. Some may have called it a "discussion", but to me it came across as a debate about what is the correct way to do bonsai, and I personally not sure why people felt to need to debate your thoughts and feelings unless invited to do so. But maybe I am being too naive and simplistic?  I have never understood why people in the bonsai community feel that the Art of bonsai can only be a done, portrayed, or displayed....etc in a certain way. Is the art form so fragile that it needs to be controlled, confined to a set of rules, or policed so that it does not fall into chaos?  For me, "the tree(s) in a container" art form,  most commonly know as Bonsai, is such that it can be explored in any manor the artist wishes to express, whether it be naturalistic style, or Japanese bonsai style or Chinese penjing style or some other "down the road" style since we all know that an art form much like the trees we work with is has ever changing perspective.

Stephen Krall wrote:Did I miss something?

in my opinion, i dont believe you missed anything. Wink
though i do believe the ensuing fracas was a lively jumping off point for, as jim hopes, a rational discussion.

and as arthur hopes, i too am looking forward to walter coming out to play with the unwashed masses pig



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Post  Kevin S - Wisco Bonsai Sun Aug 30, 2015 5:55 pm

coincidence ???

me thinks not...

http://bonsaibark.com/2015/08/30/revisiting-an-old-still-relevant-bonsai-debate/

a quote from the post:
"To whet your appetite, here’s an excerpt from David’s comment: “To be fair and honest I don’t believe in “extremely” naturalistic views from artists like Walter Pall, Dan Robinson and a thousand European artists who “sell” this naturalistic approach to Bonsai. In the end they just look like they love the art but they can’t be real bored of wiring again and again and styling their trees for 20 years in a row searching for true perfection like TRUE Japanese Artists have done for more then a 1000 years.” "

that is such a one-sided, fox news style, skewed statement
a real knee-slapper... Rolling Eyes

must one style be completely denigrated in order to prop up the style you prefer ?

silly and backwards thinking, imho.

SIEG HEIL !!!




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Post  JimLewis Sun Aug 30, 2015 8:48 pm


Well, MEthinks, the coincidence is at least partially that the book about Mr. Robinson's trees is "back in print" (as will at least one other book mentioned in that article by one of bonsai's largest book publisher/seller).

a quote from the post:
"To whet your appetite, here’s an excerpt from David’s comment: “To be fair and honest I don’t believe in “extremely” naturalistic views from artists like Walter Pall, Dan Robinson and a thousand European artists who “sell” this naturalistic approach to Bonsai. In the end they just look like they love the art but they can’t be real bored of wiring again and again and styling their trees for 20 years in a row searching for true perfection like TRUE Japanese Artists have done for more then a 1000 years.” "

And I can agree. I HATE to wire -- even though, shaky hands and all, I just spent a hour doing just that. Bummer. And I'm not and never have been/will be a "TRUE Japanese Artist." Or even a fake one. Or, probably, an "Artist" with a capital A.

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Post  Guest Mon Aug 31, 2015 12:43 am

I wonder if you have distilled your thoughts to the point yet where you can give a more concise definition of naturalistic bonsai? Your published article about it is a definitive answer but it takes a few thousand words to make its case.”

Whichever side of the fence one finds oneself a clear and concise definition would be most welcome. I think we can all agree on that. Perhaps the subject will be a topic for the panel discussion coming up in a few weeks (Artisan’s Cup)? In the meantime, if we’re asking something of an Austrian born in 1944 then leaving stuff like:

beer city snake wrote:SIEG HEIL !!!

may be counterproductive. Even in jest it is just plain insensitive.

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Post  MichaelS Mon Aug 31, 2015 4:01 am

I think we really need to examine more closely what these proponents of the ''naturalistic'' style (and what does that really mean anyway? But let's for now take Dan Robinsons work for the sake of argument) have achieved.
To me, it's just not good enough to say ''I'm doing it differently because that is what I believe''. For your own satifaction it is fine, but it holds little weight in an argument. You need to be backed up with what would conventionally seen as previous absolute top quality traditional work to have real credibility. I have not seen such work from any of these ''modernists''

If someone like Hiroshi Takayama (for example) suddenly went in this direction he certainly would and should command close attention. He would have the weight of work behind him to prove he is authentically seeing things in a different light and his new directions would have a validity which at present is missing.
I believe of course that he would not go in this direction because to do so would be a regression not a progession.
The ''rough enough is good enough'' look that we may observe in large natural trees just does no work on such a small scale. (Unless perhaps a deep consideration and valid reason was given for each individual wayward branch)

Perhaps that approach is for the future? But master the basics first! (not just follow,.... master)
I see this all the time with beginners. (and advanced too!) Always in a hurry to get to the finished product. Using wire to unnaturally arrange branches and ending up with unconvincing bows on the trees when instead they should be using scissors and cutting down to the first or second pair of buds each year.

Writing lots of words about a subject really means nothing if you cannot support your views with visual evidence. (in this case). If you do not have the evidence you should not expect your views to be seen as truly valid. (even if they often are).

Dan Robinson has been likened to ''The Picasso of bonsai'' This kind of throw away line should be held in the contempt that it deserves.
Picasso is regarded as a genius. And rightly so. He went in his particular direction for a reason. He had a CHOICE.

He mastered traditional fine painiting BEFORE he changed. Not because that was all he was capable of.
That is NOT to say that DR (or other pseudo masteres) are incapable of achieving traditional masterpieces only that they have not done so. And so their views cannot be taken too seriously if they claim that way is wrong or even undesirable. In the end, it can only be regarded as just someone elses idea but nothing much more than that.


http://www.mcguilmet.com/articles/could-picasso-really-paint-yeshe-really-could-as-the-evidence-shows
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Post  JimLewis Mon Aug 31, 2015 1:14 pm

That's a tad harsh, and and a bit of a My-Way-Or-The-Highway approach to bonsai. Methinks.

Unless you yourself have seen all of these "modernists" (your word, not mine), early works, that kind of verbal crucifixion may be unwarranted.

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Post  Kevin S - Wisco Bonsai Mon Aug 31, 2015 1:20 pm

mikey - it should go without saying that the "sieg heil" was simply aimed at those who think their way is the only way and that everyone else should line up and drink the kool-aid.... Rolling Eyes

michael - regression vs progression = another skewed statement.

why is "rough enough is good enough" in quotation marks ?
are you quoting a proponent of the naturalistic style ???
probably not...

and the picasso comparison seems... perhaps invalid... ?
did jackson pollock first master traditional fine painting ???
probably not (though i could be wrong)
is he considered a genius ?
by many yes (though i am not so arrogant that i can not admit that i dont 'get it')

as a novice it is my understanding, and has been proven true, that bonsai is an on-going, even life-time commitment of constant learning... and so developing one epic tree can take many many many years...

why should someone spend all those precious years developing a tree in a style that does not appeal to them on a personal level ?
BUT, should they learn about what came before from, first the chinese, and then the japanese masters ?
absolutely... everything 'new' is built upon what came before.


and through all this, i personally am ONLY disagreeing with those who denigrate another PERFECTLY VALID style, simply because they do not care for it... that just seems counterproductive to moving bonsai, or anything for that matter, forward.


American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum - Page 20 Flogge11

(i almost feel like i shouldnt even be contributing to this as i am only a 4 year novice but i have heard the same types of arguments in all aspects of any creative endeavor)




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Post  Walter Pall Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:11 pm

JimLewis wrote:
a quote from the post:
"To whet your appetite, here’s an excerpt from David’s comment: “To be fair and honest I don’t believe in “extremely” naturalistic views from artists like Walter Pall, Dan Robinson and a thousand European artists who “sell” this naturalistic approach to Bonsai. In the end they just look like they love the art but they can’t be real bored of wiring again and again and styling their trees for 20 years in a row searching for true perfection like TRUE Japanese Artists have done for more then a 1000 years.” "


Now this I call a great quote. It seems to have become acceptable for some journalists to just invent facts to support their statements. I wonder whether it is already acceptable to do so in a civilized argument.

Here to the 'facts`:

- A thousand European artists don't do naturalistic style. To my knowledge I am the only big name who does it. If my omnipresence lead you to believe that a thousand Europeans do it I thank you for the compliment. European big names all do Modern Bonsai Style which now is gradually becoming popular in America. Modern Bonsai Style is mainly a Japanese style.

- Naturalistic artists do not 'sell' their direction, they just do it. They often have to defend themselves for uncalled attacks by fundamentalists, which you then mistake for 'selling'.

- Naturalistic styling requires endless wiring again and again until the hand of man totally disappears. Someone who does not like wiring should not do this style. Well he probably should do Ikebana anyway.  Very Happy

- Japanese artists were not 'allowed' to wire until before the big war, which is  only 80 years ago. They started to groom their trees more and more in the sixties. So this 'true perfection ' started only fifty years ago.

There seems to be some dislike of Europeans in general. Well, we have many lunatics who dislike Americans in general. So it is OK to pay them back. Very Happy
The only thing in the quote that is fully acceptable is the total dislike of naturalistic style in bonsai. This is fine. Bonsai is an art form and art is about taste. Arthur wrote, however, how his taste has changed considerably. So be aware!
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Post  Sam Ogranaja Mon Aug 31, 2015 3:44 pm

Walter Pall wrote:
JimLewis wrote:
a quote from the post:
"To whet your appetite, here’s an excerpt from David’s comment: “To be fair and honest I don’t believe in “extremely” naturalistic views from artists like Walter Pall, Dan Robinson and a thousand European artists who “sell” this naturalistic approach to Bonsai. In the end they just look like they love the art but they can’t be real bored of wiring again and again and styling their trees for 20 years in a row searching for true perfection like TRUE Japanese Artists have done for more then a 1000 years.” "


Now this I call a great quote. It seems to have become acceptable for some journalists to just invent facts to support their statements. I wonder whether it is already acceptable to do so in a civilized argument.

Here to the 'facts`:

- A thousand European artists don't do naturalistic style. To my knowledge I am the only big name who does it. If my omnipresence lead you to believe that a thousand Europeans do it I thank you for the compliment. European big names all do Modern Bonsai Style which now is gradually becoming popular in America. Modern Bonsai Style is mainly a Japanese style.

- Naturalistic artists do not 'sell' their direction, they just do it. They often have to defend themselves for uncalled attacks by fundamentalists, which you then mistake for 'selling'.

- Naturalistic styling requires endless wiring again and again until the hand of man totally disappears. Someone who does not like wiring should not do this style. Well he probably should do Ikebana anyway.  Very Happy

- Japanese artists were not 'allowed' to wire until before the big war, which is  only 80 years ago. They started to groom their trees more and more in the sixties. So this 'true perfection ' started only fifty years ago.

There seems to be some dislike of Europeans in general. Well, we have many lunatics who dislike Americans in general. So it is OK to pay them back.  Very Happy
The only thing in the quote that is fully acceptable is the total dislike of naturalistic style in bonsai. This is fine. Bonsai is an art form and art is about taste. Arthur wrote, however, how his taste has changed considerably. So be aware!

Now this is what I call a response. Great job Walter!

I've been following this thread since it's inception. My only 2 cents is that the dislike that Walter mentions towards Americans or Europeans, I fear is the human condition which without a massive global shift will never change. I'm Albanian and I think David's immature thought process must have gone something like this: "I prefer the Japanese style. The naturalistic style proponents are wrong. I'm right". The reason it's immature is because I'm trying to do a Naturalistic African style Acacia in a Brazilian Raintree. I was told to leave it alone and simply clip it to shape. The end result is that it looked like an immature flying saucer. I came to the conclusion that the only way to go towards a truly believable African form is with a LOT of wiring and even more time. I can have a flying saucer on my BRT in about 1 year because it grows so fast. I now think it'll take me at least 5 years to simply put down the framework on which to build the ramifications.

Look, there are many super fine bonsai in the world. They were all made with the deliberate hand of man. Grow some respect for these growers regardless of whether you agree with their end result.

Have a great week!
Sam
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Post  Guest Mon Aug 31, 2015 4:41 pm

beer city snake wrote:mikey - it should go without saying that the "sieg heil" was simply aimed at those who think their way is the only way and that everyone else should line up and drink the kool-aid....

So, your usage excuses you? Still seems to be in bad taste. There's a time and place for histrionic buffoonery. I'm suggesting
this ain't it.

Walter Pall wrote:Now this I call a great quote. It seems to have become acceptable for some journalists to just invent facts to support their statements. I wonder whether it is already acceptable to do so in a civilized argument.

It is a great post to deconstruct I agree. It's full of flaws. I'd just like to point out it was deliberately chosen by the publisher to sell books. Create a false dichotomy / chose the most provocative 'anti' post / sell pulp. It's an old devise. The problem is it's from someone that's not here. Not in this thread.

As stated: I'm not really interested in debating from either side of this manufactured duality. I'm not waiting for a clear and concise definition of naturalistic bonsai so I can pick it apart. I'd just really like to read something like that because I may just learn something.

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Post  AlainK Mon Aug 31, 2015 5:41 pm

Sam Ogranaja wrote:
Look, there are many super fine bonsai in the world. They were all made with the deliberate hand of man. Grow some respect for these growers regardless of whether you agree with their end result.

Wise words...
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Post  Guest Mon Aug 31, 2015 5:55 pm

Mr. Pall,
Since you are here, I wonder if you wouldn’t mind commenting on one of your trees. You are listed as the “initial creator” but I’m wondering how much it has changed since it left your care. Is it close to your original vision or do you think it’s drifted a bit towards overly refined?

American Bonsai at the NC Arboretum - Page 20 Juniper

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