Winter Silhouette Exhibit Discussion Page

Smoke

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250 miles. We still had 100f temps in early October, and no rain for months until mid-October. Our color usually peaks in mid-November.
Normally that is true here too. We have had no rain since last March and I see none in the forecast yet.
 

Hartinez

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@Smoke whats your take on displaying group or forest plantings in the traditional sense. Do they often get paired with with accents, scrolls etc? Or are they best as stand alone pieces?
 

Adair M

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Normally that is true here too. We have had no rain since last March and I see none in the forecast yet.
But that’s normal for you! Not for us in the Southeast. We normally get afternoon thundershowers. We didn’t get any last summer.
 

Smoke

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@Smoke whats your take on displaying group or forest plantings in the traditional sense. Do they often get paired with with accents, scrolls etc? Or are they best as stand alone pieces?
I think "here" if you wish to see your forest immortalized on the pages of Bonsai Nut that is a very cool thing. I have a few. For the most part they don't really float my boat. In most Professional shows you don't see them at all. In an artist show you may see something really out there like Kimura's interlocking flat stones as a hillside which frankly has been beat to death artistically.

Now the controversial part. The part where I get beat up. Many beginners will flock to a group or forest because you have many trees, not very good on their own, and not much individually styled. If taken apart would you enter any one of the forest trees on it's own in a club show? Would it contain the patina of age and look as if it came from a mountain side? So a person can take 11 thin saplings, plant them out in a flat tray and call it bonsai. What I'm trying to say is that you can show a forest with well done single bonsai, artistic bonsai with twists and turns, deadwood and semi cascades, but the forest has to be so well done that it has some wow factor. Something that commands "hey look at me"!
 

MrWunderful

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The reason I mentioned the ocean to BVF, and now knowing your in SF is because I get no air from the ocean. I live in the central valley and in a giant canyon do to speak. The air here at night is very still and cold. Citrus growers love this place because the nights are cold and the days are warm, which you need for navel oranges. So when it gets freezing they use wind machines to move the air. It is still freezing but the moving air cause less damage or even no damage. It is so still here that some ocean air (and movement) really helps with fall color. When the air is still, it just freezes and the leaves turn brown and just fall off.

That is why this little nerifolia has no leaves. I didn't defoliate it, all the leaves froze and turned brown in one night. I think last Friday, so I just took all the leaves off.

The ocean for you is just a giant heat sink, which is why the air temp at the coast stays within a range. Hard to get fall color at the ocean, just not cold enough at night.

Also notice the big branch up top.
View attachment 270168

Now it's gone and another small branch bent down in it's place. Beisides it needed pruning anyway, which it got.

View attachment 270169
That makes complete sense. Thanks. Love that pot btw outstanding color.
 

Hartinez

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I think "here" if you wish to see your forest immortalized on the pages of Bonsai Nut that is a very cool thing. I have a few. For the most part they don't really float my boat. In most Professional shows you don't see them at all. In an artist show you may see something really out there like Kimura's interlocking flat stones as a hillside which frankly has been beat to death artistically.

Now the controversial part. The part where I get beat up. Many beginners will flock to a group or forest because you have many trees, not very good on their own, and not much individually styled. If taken apart would you enter any one of the forest trees on it's own in a club show? Would it contain the patina of age and look as if it came from a mountain side? So a person can take 11 thin saplings, plant them out in a flat tray and call it bonsai. What I'm trying to say is that you can show a forest with well done single bonsai, artistic bonsai with twists and turns, deadwood and semi cascades, but the forest has to be so well done that it has some wow factor. Something that commands "hey look at me"!
To me, your comments aren’t controversial at all. I feel the same about windswept and cascade styles. I was victim to the same issues early on. Buy a crappy juniper and turn it 180 degrees, wire nothing, creat Pom poms and BOOM!! I feel like I’ve matured in my bonsai viewing considerably though and I see forests differently. Almost like Literati, easy to mess up but very difficult to execute properly. When done well however, I think, for me, they are amongst the most powerful compositions. And I’ve certainly seen some that if separated are sticks in pots with good ramification, but together make a very strong image. Again, probably just my opinion. It seems like forest plantings if done well could and maybe should stand alone as a story could be told in a single planting/container
 

PABonsai

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Now the controversial part. The part where I get beat up. Many beginners will flock to a group or forest because you have many trees, not very good on their own, and not much individually styled. If taken apart would you enter any one of the forest trees on it's own in a club show? Would it contain the patina of age and look as if it came from a mountain side? So a person can take 11 thin saplings, plant them out in a flat tray and call it bonsai.
I know you have me on ignore @Smoke but I 100% agree with this. Putzing around here for a while I just see tons of forest this and forest that. And, while I expect forest to be an advanced form, essentially 1 full bonsai times x. But it's often just what you describe, a bunch of little seedlings not developed on their own thrown into something easy to show other folks. I don't find your opinion controversial at all.
 

coh

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I know you have me on ignore @Smoke but I 100% agree with this. Putzing around here for a while I just see tons of forest this and forest that. And, while I expect forest to be an advanced form, essentially 1 full bonsai times x. But it's often just what you describe, a bunch of little seedlings not developed on their own thrown into something easy to show other folks. I don't find your opinion controversial at all.
If people are presenting something like that as "finished" that's a problem, but it's not uncommon to start a forest or group planting with a bunch of young trees/seedlings (or at least, relatively undeveloped) and then develop them as a group over time. Bill Valavanis does this a lot with Japanese maple and beech, check out his blog articles on this if you're not familiar.
 

Smoke

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To me, your comments aren’t controversial at all. I feel the same about windswept and cascade styles. I was victim to the same issues early on. Buy a crappy juniper and turn it 180 degrees, wire nothing, creat Pom poms and BOOM!! I feel like I’ve matured in my bonsai viewing considerably though and I see forests differently. Almost like Literati, easy to mess up but very difficult to execute properly. When done well however, I think, for me, they are amongst the most powerful compositions. And I’ve certainly seen some that if separated are sticks in pots with good ramification, but together make a very strong image. Again, probably just my opinion. It seems like forest plantings if done well could and maybe should stand alone as a story could be told in a single planting/container
I don't disagree with you, you just don't see many forests executed to the level of Kimura or Walter Pall. Those displays are on another level and worthy of collective artistry.

Lets look at a deciduous planting;
Carpinus-turczaninovii-forest-style.jpg

And a deciduous forest by Walter Pall. The trees are so much better styled each tree could stand on it's own.

2010-10-PSC_1020v.jpg

A look at a "try" at a John Naka composition

bonsai-juniper-forest.jpg

That was his third attempt and was done by people at the convention. Time was an issue and the forest was built in a few hours while Goshin was built over decades and "added to" as more grand children came. (He added trees to correspond to the grand children)

Helpers building this comp.

scan00050001.JPG

Compare this to Goshin. The patina of the trees and the look that they have been growing together for 40 years or more.

th.jpg

This Naka design is old and and some history as well as being immortalized in "Techniques II". It is in the Pacific Rim Collection and I think this is a Greg Brendon picture. It is a windswept design but to me it has always looked contrived and not very natural. Just an opinion....

088.jpg
Here is a tray full of small trees, they seem arranged OK...but...

Japanese-beech-1-2.jpg

In the skilled hands of someone like Kimura, the trees seem to take on new meaning. Pay special attention to the spacing and size of trunks. I don't get the feeling of a forest in the one above, but immediately feel I'm in a forest in this one.

formalforest11.jpg
 
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Smoke

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But I prefer Bosc pears to apples.

Hopefully you get my drift 😉
Not really...

Single trees are a near view experience, while forests are a far view experience. But...you take a far view experience and force it into a "near view"
 

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