You're Not Going to Like This if You're a Pure Naturalist

RyanFrye

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I found a very nice Satsuki bonsai (here: http://riverbaybonsai.com/resources/DSC_0472.JPG ) that is styled like a literati pine. I'm interested in hearing why those who have a liking for the "natural" style would reject this tree. And don't say "cause it's not natural" :rolleyes:;):D
 

greerhw

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Interesting tree, it's one of those that will grow on you or not(no pun intended) Sean is a good guy, I've bought several trees from him.

Ciao,
Harry
 

RyanFrye

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Interesting tree, it's one of those that will grow on you or not(no pun intended) Sean is a good guy, I've bought several trees from him.

Ciao,
Harry
I love his stuff too! :D
 
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This actually looks more natural to me than many of the satsukis out there. Of course, the tree is non-apically dominant, so for that reason it appears to defy nature. But I like this one a lot. Just a little refining and it's good to go!

Chris
 

kytombonsai

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I think this is the first literati azalea that I have seen. Do you think you will have any trouble with the dead wood down the road. Azalea are not typically styled with lots of shari and I think it is probably due to the wood breaking down. Unless maybe you can use a marine type wood hardener on it.

Tom
 

RyanFrye

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I think this is the first literati azalea that I have seen. Do you think you will have any trouble with the dead wood down the road. Azalea are not typically styled with lots of shari and I think it is probably due to the wood breaking down. Unless maybe you can use a marine type wood hardener on it.

Tom
I think you're right about the rotting part...but the technical stuff aside, I'm interested in understanding why a bonsai enthusiast would reject this tree based on the aesthetics of the natural style they adhere to.
 

pauldogx

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I'm rejecting it wholly on the aesthetic that I dont like it. It doesn't appeal to me in any way--and sometimes thats enough.
 

shohin kid

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Being someone who loves satsukis,


I don't like it. BUT, I do recognize this as a unique work of art.
 

irene_b

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Tanuki???
Reminds me of Behr's work..
Irene
 

RyanFrye

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I know I'm asking for a lot when I want to know the "why" to the "I don't like it" statements. But that's why I chose this tree for the discussion. I knew it would be either one of those trees you either like or don't....and I know the "naturalists" out there definitely won't like it......that's where understanding the "why" comes in. I don't think it will be easy (but not impossible) for anyone to explain the "why" (when I think about doing it my self it would be a challenge) but it will be interesting and educational to explore it none the less.
 
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This naturalist attitude spoke of here is a weird concept. Those who base their bonsai on ancient Chinese or Japanese traditions should know that in the past bonsai were styled to look like animals, dragons, or such. Think of the old styles, look at the Larz Anderson collection, the naturalist mindset certainly did not come from the past.

Even the Literati style did not come in existence by duplicating trees in nature, but indeed by trying to imitate the trees in the Literati paintings.

Imagine telling a painter that all his trees had to look like trees, trees in nature, and that they must also duplicate the way they grow in nature, being true to natural forms.

Bonsai is art, sure you can imitate a tree, even be exactly true to form, but no one should be bound by the shapes in nature, nor the species natural form.


All that matters is the end result.


Does it matter if it is abstract?

Piet Mondrian
Hotlinked

Or impressionistic?

Vincent van Gogh
Hotlinked


Or any other style?


What species are the trees in the paintings? Does it matter? Does not knowing the species subtract from the end visual image as presented?

If knowing the species is not important, then neither is the form, because without knowledge of the species, there is no preconceived form.


So, I would not call the people who insist that bonsai forms be true to the species used naturalist, instead maybe I'd call them species to form purists. I'd also say they were limiting themselves needlessly.




Will
 
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Daysleeper

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The tree reminds me of those cheap braided mallsai that can be seen at home depot. It also just looks sick and ugly to me but I feel the same about most deadwood styles.
 

pauldogx

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What a well thought out reply. :rolleyes::p
It was well thought out Ryan. I dont always need to sit and ponder the why's and wherefores of why something doesn't appeal to me. That is the point I was trying to make. When it comes to art and visual aesthetics there are sometimes things you just dont like. This particular tree struck me immediately in a negative way. It is the same as when something strikes you immediately as amazing.

Sometimes too much navel gazing about something makes us a bit myopic.
 

RyanFrye

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It was well thought out Ryan. I dont always need to sit and ponder the why's and wherefores of why something doesn't appeal to me. That is the point I was trying to make. When it comes to art and visual aesthetics there are sometimes things you just dont like. This particular tree struck me immediately in a negative way. It is the same as when something strikes you immediately as amazing.

Sometimes too much navel gazing about something makes us a bit myopic.
Well my first post was asking for the "why" of the "I don't like it". Your opinion simply restated the fact that there will be those that don't like it... but, it still didn't answer the original question posed. Anyway, thanks for the contribution.
 

RyanFrye

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This naturalist attitude spoke of here is a weird concept. Those who base their bonsai on ancient Chinese or Japanese traditions should know that in the past bonsai were styled to look like animals, dragons, or such. Think of the old styles, look at the Larz Anderson collection, the naturalist mindset certainly did not come from the past. [...]

What species are the trees in the paintings? Does it matter? Does not knowing the species subtract from the end visual image as presented?

If knowing the species is not important, then neither is the form, because without knowledge of the species, there is no preconceived form.


So, I would not call the people who insist that bonsai forms be true to the species used naturalist, instead maybe I'd call them species to form purists. I'd also say they were limiting themselves needlessly.




Will
Now that's the kind of well thought out post I was looking for. Well done and well stated. I will have to think on that last statement about "species to form purists" vs. "naturalists". Interesting thought to say the least.

Thanks for the contribution.
 

Ross

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De gustibus non est disputandum, but in my opinion, deadwood like this is for conifers, and bleached white deadwood like this looks ridiculous on most trees. Also, I don't like the branch structure of the canopy. The first two branches look like the Yosemite Sam mustache in Harry's avatar.

"Yeah, Yosemite Sam - the roughest, toughest he-man stuffest hombré that's ever crossed the Rio Grande. An' I ain't no namby-pamby."
 

shohin kid

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deadwood like this is for conifers
This is a deciduous tree that I love the deadwood on.

http://www.shohin-europe.com/ALBEKGALLERY-prunus2.html

My feeling on deadwood is that it occurs on most trees in the wild, it just lasts longer on conifers, which is why people most often think of deadwood being on conifers. So having a couple non-conifer trees with deadwood are acceptable, as long as it looks natural.
 
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