Mark Arpag wrote:
Must we create a" build a Literati check list" to humor those without a clue or the desire to find one?
Since you seem to imply that you have a clue somehow lacking in the others in this discussion, could you then humor us with your definition of what makes a tree cross over the line to Literati?
Mark Arpag wrote:
Many of the fine points of Literati are contrary to what is expected and accepted by most Bonsaist as of being of value. One example which comes to mind is the appreciation of imperfection. If you believe that perfect Bonsai are the summit of achievement, how can it be possible that imperfection can be elevated in Literati appreciation? Those that are looking for the obvious will not be receptive to anything of greater importance.
I never equated imperfection with Literati, in fact quite the opposite. The Literati style itself arose from a search for perfection, a single brush stoke that captured the entire essence of a tree...these paintings by the Literati and especially the trees within them were so inspiring that bonsaists attempted to duplicate them using actual living material as their medium, hence the Literati style classification.
This may well be what we are looking for, figuratively speaking. A Literati bonsai is one that captures the essence of a tree with as few brush strokes as possible.
Remember the disclaimer given by the judges when discussing Mike Page's tree, each judge who commented said that it needed to lose 50% of its foliage.
Also note that quite often when one is discussing a Literati, a mention of it being too lush, too full, or having too much foliage is often heard, it has happened in this very thread. We also hear about too many or too low branching.
We touched upon this with the word minimalism, but all bonsai should practice such. Literati is more than that, it is trying to tell a story with a single sentence, or 17 syllables, if you will. It is painting a tree with one brush stroke, it is living a life in one day. If there is one thing left that the tree could do without and still be visually appealing, it has failed as a Literati.