Looking for inspiration

Rick Moquin

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This pine was growing in a patio pot and was neglected. As my neighbour knew I was into Bonsai, she asked if I wanted it (summer 2005). I do not have original pictures of the tree as acquired with the exception of saying it was a "Charlie Brown" tree, probably still is.

At acquisition I just put it in the ground and left it there. I planted it out in a grow box last year and nursed it back to health. This will be the second season this tree has been under Persiano's feeding regimen, and has done very well. The tree is 20 inches high by 20 inches accross with 1 1/2 trunk. It still has a good ways to go. The branches of this pine are extremely flexible.

All comments and criticism welcome on a way ahead, including but not limited to "toss it". This is a virt or it planted out in a suitable pot. I have the pictures of it in the grow box but the visual weight of the box seems to impair judgement (no offense intended), I'll post if requested. Pic 2 is a top view.

I know a Literati is one of the hardest things to pull off convincingly. JUst thought I'd give it a whirl!
 
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You put this into the ground for a year and then moved it to a grow box for a year, making for a total of two years since you aquired it in 2005, is this correct?
 

Rick Moquin

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That is correct Will. It was given to me late summer it was in one of those patio planter thingies, the neighbour wanted it back, so I just stuck it the ground for the time being. It survived the winter and I planted it in a grow box with good soil, to start it on Persiano's feeding regimen last spring. The foliage has tripled since it has been nursed back. It will be a while yet before work will commence.
 

Vance Wood

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You do not state what species of Pine this is. I suspect Scotts but from the picture it is difficult to tell. Regardless of species though, it should not have any serious work done on it for at least two years.
 

Rick Moquin

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The species is unknown it is not a scot nor a common pine, it's a 2 needle pine. I do not intend to start work on this puppy until next year even perhaps the next. The health of the tree and future development will dictate when work can begin. I'm just looking for some thoughts.
 
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Dav4

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I think the trunk is too straight to pull off the bunjin style. You could use the lowest branch as a new apex, jin the upper trunk, and incline the trunk a bit to the left to give it more movement. From your pic, I think that is your best option. You would need to thicken that branch up a bit...maybe use a sacrifice branch.

Dave
 

Vance Wood

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There is no rule that says a Bunjin cannot have a straight trunk. However this trunk is not straight by any stretch of the imagination. I think the Bunjin is the best choice for this tree but I think you have to lose one of the two major branches to pull it off. I would have to sit with this tree for a while to get some idea beyond the above point, but it is definitely worth the effort to make a Liteatti of it.
 
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Dav4

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Sorry Vance, I guess you and I see it differently. Except for the nice little curve at the base, I don't see alot of movement except for 2 subtle curves further up that almost seem monotonous. The trunk as a whole (movement, bark) doesn't seem that interesting to me, though my opinion might change if I could see the tree in person. You are right that the tree could be styled as a bunjin using the upper most branch, though I'm not sure how good it would be. My personal preference is for bunjins to have more dramatic movement in their trunks. I think that the trunk would be much more appealing if the lower branch was to become the apex, creating more dynamic movement. My 2 cents,

Dave
 
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Rick Moquin

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I don't see alot of movement except for 2 subtle curves further up that almost seem monotonous. The trunk as a whole (movement, bark) doesn't seem that interesting to me, though my opinion might change if I could see the tree in person.
... and it would Dave.

There are two branches on this tree, this is where I am at a stand still. I know the top part can be turned into the apex without a problem, I'm looking for suggestions if there is anyway for the bottom branch to be in this picture, not that it matters. Basically, some folks can see stuff that others don't that is why I posted it waaaaaaaaaay ahead of time, to take the forums pulse.

As far as trunk movement, that can be induced which will happen late fall when I start to wire this puppy, as there is certain things that need to be done now. The trunk is fairly manageable as is and the branches also they are extremely flexible, so some initial placement is called for (radical) before they loose their limber. The bark is starting to plate quite nicely (this is why some trunk work needs to be done soon, before too many plates develop. To me this tree has some potential, not much mind you, but I would definitely like to be able to do something with this tree if not for me, but for the neighbour who can't believe the health that was brought back to it.

The remaining pics.
 
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perhaps if you got rid of the first, introduced a larger bend at that kink in the trunk, then continued the trunk line through the top branch a bit? I am definitely not a fan of the "bunjins" I see with only one branch at the top, regardless of how much I personally like the artist. I see one after another posted at IBC, and one was even entered in the recent AoB contest here. I would have judged that one more strongly, one of the few I disagreed with the judges somewhat.

That being said, something might be possible with this tree, but I would find someone else to do it, I think.
 

Rick Moquin

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Chris,

I hear you! The most difficult thing to pull off in our chosen hobby is a Literati or Bunjin, convincingly that is. Because of this many do not bother with this style. The link is a terrible rendition if you ask me. There are alot more credible ones out there. In all honesty, I don't see the first branch in the trees future. I have the talent to develop it into something credible, perhaps not convincing. I was hoping that the more learned enthusiast of this forum would partake in suggestions, alas it does not seem to be forthcoming.

I posted the tree at K of B in hope that Robert would share his visions or tell me to toss it. He makes things out of nothing. I have collected a few inspirational pictures from various artist that can be used and replicated in some sort in about 5 years time. I'm looking for other ideas, anyone?

... or should we engage in a pollitically charge debate vice discussing trees :(
 

Tachigi

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Rick, to be totally honest I don't see you investing time and effort into this tree as it stands now. Let the tree mature some more. Obviously steer it in the right direction, perhaps a year or two down the road the inspiration will hit you like a bolt of lightning. Robert maybe able to create visions out of thin air but some times I'm sure he says to himself, I think I'll let that cook a little longer. You have shown some great trees in past postings, all worthy of attention and focus now. Don't let this one drive you nuts.:)
 

Rick Moquin

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Tom,

You are absolutely right and that is why I am posting it now. If we go back at the beginning I mentioned this is a couple of years down the road. The foliage needs to be pushed back towards the trunk and this is happening. I share this tree with the members and as the title stated looking for inspiration. Sometimes we can't see the forest for the tree. The branches are too leggy at present time to do anything. They can be contorted but I don't see that as a solution. The branch that shows the greatest potential is the bottom branch, yet I do not see the possibilities of using this branch. The top is a no brainer and can be used in the future. Can I used both branches convincingly?? That is the question, and hence why I have posted it. I don't believe I can as the trunk is too short and the bottom branch too low IMO.

As mentioned this needs to develop some more and there is a certain amount of work that can and needs to be done to move ahead in my opinion e.g some wiring (guide wires) and introduce some movement in the trunk. As far a jinning and shari goes, no it is still very much too early for this, once again IMO. This tree is not driving me crazy Tom, it was posted to generate discussion and as I mentioned not limited to "toss it", which is indeed an option that could very well transpire in the future. I have no problems what so ever in tossing trees, but perhaps some folks can see something I or we don't see.

You know, Walter discusses this at times. We are accustomed to seing bonsai in a certain way, which he calls kitsch, so at times we can't see the forest for the trees. It's that inovative design that eludes us at times and one that many an artist can readily pick up. Take a look a Robert's prennas I believe, beautiful dead wood etc... stumps that he turned into a forest planting, who would of thought. Those postings would have been really interesting if the trees were offered up for comment on direction and then a rabbit was pulled out of the hat. These works are absolutely amazing.

Vance,

Well done and thank you! Now we are getting somewhere. That design is indeed achievable, something to really chew on. I'm not a fan of the candlelabra style but you have done a good job disguising it and your virt does indeed look credible, more importantly achievable. The link Chris posted from the contest is a poor candlelabra IMO. The're probably as hard if not harder to pull off convincingly. I've only seen a few in the last couple of years, and none have inspired me.
 
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Behr

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Mr. Rick,

Robert Steven has stated "I always believe that every material can be created to be nice bonsai, at least to be explored to express their character. Every tree has the right to be honored as an individual personality…no matter how simple...but it plays its own role in the flora world…", but as we know Mr. Robert does not limit his vision to only the 'traditional' and 'accepted' forms...

I really like and appreciate the direction Mr. Vance has taken this material in his virt, and this would probably be more the direction I would pursue if I were to work this tree...I would however, I believe, reduce the uppermost deadwood a bit more and extend the 'shari' more to help with the visual balance, as in the attached virt...Good eye Mr. Vance...

I also notice you chose to post this tree in the "Windswept, slant, literati" forum, and did indicate your thoughts on the 'literati' form for this tree...I do think this material could also be developed into quite a nice 'literati' form as indicated by the second attached virt...

I do look forward to seeing what direction you decide to take when the tree is ready to be worked...

Regards
Behr

:) :) :)
 

Rick Moquin

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I also notice you chose to post this tree in the "Windswept, slant, literati" forum, and did indicate your thoughts on the 'literati' form for this tree...I do think this material could also be developed into quite a nice 'literati' form as indicated by the second attached virt...

I do look forward to seeing what direction you decide to take when the tree is ready to be worked...

Regards
Behr

:) :) :)
Behr,

Thank you for taking the time in rendering your visions into credible virts. I was wondering how one would fit the bottom branch into the design and you have pulled it off quite nicely.

The reason I chose this particular forum was indeed because of my vision for the direction this tree should take. The root base supports a slanting form, the pole effect supports the literati.

I knew/know how to develop the top, but the bottom branch had me puzzled. Normally a literati calls for specific design characteristics e.g sharp bend for a change in direction, branches pulled down steeply etc... This is a classic case of keep the rules in sight but not necessarily apply them all, as Robert stated (not in so many words) in his latest article. You my friend have demonstrated that it is indeed possible to include it the design, and have done so very well.

I also like your re-make of Vance's vision. Both these virts were extremely well thought out and have assisted me greatly with my dilema, both of the virts have merit. I am sure If I can pull either one of these off, my neighbour would be totally flabergasted.

You know we come to these forums, discuss and debate the artistic merits of bonsai. We all want to have world class trees and at times we find ourselves loss in "what a bonsai should be" I call it tunnel vision, Walter kitsch. This will never be a world class tree, but hopefully one that will bring a smile on Sandy's face, once completed.

... and really isn't that what it is all about?

PS: All the virts have been saved for future reference, as with forthcoming ones.
 
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The more I look at the virt in the post above, the more I hate it. Well, consider it a virt of what NOT to do...:)
 

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