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    JBP in tropical areas

    Hi, I go back to Maui twice a year to visit my family in Pukalani. The elevation is about 1,500 ft (450 m). On the coldest night of the year, it rarely gets below 60 degrees F (16 degrees C). About five years ago, I bought several Japanese Black Pines from a hardware store in a town...
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    display for discussion

    I wanted to take a little time to respond to Al's comments in particular: Bravo! In my experience, it is important to always begin one's critique with a positive statement. It goes a long way in establishing your goodwill and in securing the willingness of an student or a fellow artist to...
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    Formal display for discussion II

    Thanks for posting the other compositions! It is nice to be able to see the same tree in different contexts. In the original composition, the repetition of tall and narrow forms reminded me a little of Display III---the one with the gingko. It's rather like a "motif" that gains strength (and...
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    Formal display for discussion XIII

    I rather like the way the artist used the space to his or her best advantage: In contrast to Display XI, I think this composition uses the size of the space and the scale of the elements well. Although there are an even number of elements, I think the artist has found a tenable solution. The...
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    Formal display for discussion XI

    I think by themselves, the elements are very beautiful. The great age and the strength of the bonsai's trunk are impressive. Somehow, the composition doesn't quite work for me. I think it might be a matter of scale, and the size of the tokonoma. I wonder if the artist had any control over...
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    Formal display for discussion IV

    Isn't that neat? I get the same impression of fall: For me, the size of the moon conjures up images of the harvest moon, or of the mid-autumn moon festival. The cloud-like pads of foliage on the bonsai evokes memories of paintings... I wonder if the artist has ever used the same scroll...
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    Formal display for discussion XII

    Well, now that I know that Bill Valavanis likes it.... I really like the sparseness of this composition. For me, the empty space suggests the spareness of haiku or the openness of the sky. I'm not aware of a narrative in this display, but I'm not sure that it's important in this composition...
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    You be the judge!

    What I really enjoy about these displays are the different contexts within which each bonsai is presented. With some displays, I am aware of a narrative: the title of the display evokes a story and my mind wants to connect each of the elements of the display with the story. With other...
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    Formal display for discussion III

    I wish I could read the scroll.... This composition does seems like an essay on "verticalness". I like the way the three elements resonate with each other: The wood of the trees, the stone, the script painted on the scroll---I think it's grass script... P
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    Formal display for discussion

    Again, I really enjoy the idea that these displays can evoke stories and ideas. It reminds of the way abstract art and poetry works for me: that part of the meaning come from the artist or poet, and another part of the meaning comes from the observer. For me, what is evocative in this...
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    DFormal display for discussion XIV

    I usually like to just lurk and keep to myself but maybe just this once, I'll pipe up.... I really like the displays you've been posting. Apart from compositional issues like balance and scale, I've been drawn to the ideas of "the stories" and "the ideas" being that the bonsai artists are...
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