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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 5:56 pm 
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Mark,
very good point!

Vance,
look into the topic section..

Regards,
dorothy


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 6:23 pm 
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Mark Arpag wrote:
Does copying the style or techniques used in creating a World Class Bonsai produce another World Class Bonsai?

Nah - it usually produces a dog's breakfast! (Old English term)
What you can and possibly should do is to learn from their techniques and apply them to what you want to achieve. Technique without artistry leads nowhere. Artistry without technique also leads nowhere. You need both, and you need to learn both.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 6:43 pm 
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Mark Arpag wrote:
Does copying the style or techniques used in creating a World Class Bonsai produce another World Class Bonsai?
Mark

No but learning how some of this stuff was done and becoming comfortable with those "Advanced Techniques" will equip you with tools, precious tools. Tools that you can use to create your own visions of perfection. To divorce yourself from the work of masters is to sequester yourself off into the nether world of DIY. Why do that? Why stumble around in the dark to learn how to do something you want to do in your bonsai when the technique is already available?
This is even more mentally lame than by the numbers repetition. Do you think that architecture went from piling rocks on top of rocks to the Flying Buttress Arch without some sort of progression? You build on the work of the masters not reinvent it. You have to make the distinction between pride, stubbornness and just plain stupidity.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 6:54 pm 
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ah yeah... I'am not sure where all that came from but clearly you missed my thoughts if that is what you think I said.
Mark


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 7:23 pm 
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I understand Mark was not questioning certain techniques or how to obtain them,it is like Colin pointed out,the dog's liver,I mean breakfast.
A technique without a theme and visualization is like a bowl without the
soop-dry.
And the soop without a bowl won't work either (unless you consume the soop directly out of the pot,which will either burn your tongue or reveal your true bad mannors..).
The artistic heart is there first,then follows the eye and eventually the hands,applying the technique.
Regards,
dorothy


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 8:03 pm 
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Mark Arpag wrote:
ah yeah... I'am not sure where all that came from but clearly you missed my thoughts if that is what you think I said.
Mark

This was kind of a throw back to some of the discussions I have encountered in clubs and some of the Internet forums where those individuals so bound up in trying to convince people that they are creating an "American Bonsai" reject everything every body else has done. When in fact all they are really doing is making excuses for their lazy attitude toward bonsai and trying to make some artistic argument to legitimize some really ugly trees as "American Bonsai". Using the specious argument that you cannot criticize an artist's expression blah, blah, blah, they try to beat you over the head that they are being innovative.
When that fails they default to the art versus craft gambit and proceed to condemn the use of dead wood and even wire. At which point I usually default to my one and only rule: A bonsai must be beautiful. I did not think that was where you were going but it did raise the issue in my mind so I explored it.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 8:36 pm 
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Vance Wood wrote:
This was kind of a throw back to some of the discussions I have encountered in clubs and some of the Internet forums where those individuals so bound up in trying to convince people that they are creating an "American Bonsai" reject everything every body else has done. When in fact all they are really doing is making excuses for their lazy attitude toward bonsai and trying to make some artistic argument to legitimize some really ugly trees as "American Bonsai". Using the specious argument that you cannot criticize an artist's expression blah, blah, blah, they try to beat you over the head that they are being innovative.


I enjoyed that!

.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 7:57 am 
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Vance Wood wrote:
Mark Arpag wrote:
ah yeah... I'am not sure where all that came from but clearly you missed my thoughts if that is what you think I said.
Mark

This was kind of a throw back to some of the discussions I have encountered in clubs and some of the Internet forums where those individuals so bound up in trying to convince people that they are creating an "American Bonsai" reject everything every body else has done. When in fact all they are really doing is making excuses for their lazy attitude toward bonsai and trying to make some artistic argument to legitimize some really ugly trees as "American Bonsai". Using the specious argument that you cannot criticize an artist's expression blah, blah, blah, they try to beat you over the head that they are being innovative.
When that fails they default to the art versus craft gambit and proceed to condemn the use of dead wood and even wire. At which point I usually default to my one and only rule: A bonsai must be beautiful. I did not think that was where you were going but it did raise the issue in my mind so I explored it.

Vance,
I like your mindset, but I have to agree with remarks made in another thread. I'm not convinced that bonsai has to be "beautiful" because the term is too objective. A bonsai has to be "moving" or it "speaks" to the viewer, but I'm not sure that a bonsai made up with lots of deadwood can truly qualify as "beautiful". Rugged-looking seems to contradict beautiful, at least to me.
Still, it's really just semantics. I "understand" what you mean.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 2:26 pm 
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I have heard bonsai with deadwood described as "rustic" I still don't know how I feel about that.

Will


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 2:48 pm 
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Will Heath wrote:
I have heard bonsai with deadwood described as "rustic" I still don't know how I feel about that.

Will


We know it when we see it. It is really difficult to reduce to words.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 3:47 pm 
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It seems this thread is losing its impetus. Maybe not before time!?
However, one thing that many posts illustrate is how difficult it is to reach informed and considered judgements without actually experiencing both sides of the equation. It's like a lover of classical music criticizing jazz when all they've experienced is watching it on TV with the sound turned off.
When you get up close and personal with top quality bonsai (with or without deadwood) it can be a total revellation, like someone who is indifferent to choral music suddenly seeing the light after attending a live concert for the first time.
At the risk of being accused of spamming, I urge all of you who are interested in progressing to the next level, to join the trip to the Ginkgo Exhibition and Awards in September.
Colin


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 4:09 pm 
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Colin Lewis wrote:
It seems this thread is losing its impetus. Maybe not before time!?
However, one thing that many posts illustrate is how difficult it is to reach informed and considered judgements without actually experiencing both sides of the equation. It's like a lover of classical music criticizing jazz when all they've experienced is watching it on TV with the sound turned off.
When you get up close and personal with top quality bonsai (with or without deadwood) it can be a total revellation, like someone who is indifferent to choral music suddenly seeing the light after attending a live concert for the first time.
At the risk of being accused of spamming, I urge all of you who are interested in progressing to the next level, to join the trip to the Ginkgo Exhibition and Awards in September.
Colin

Funny you mentioned classical music. Randy Rhodes was trained in classical guitar but is remembered best for his guitar work on Crazy Train with Ozzy Osbourne. It's really amazing how one can be very competent in one way, yet choose another.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 4:26 pm 
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Colin Lewis wrote:
I urge all of you who are interested in progressing to the next level, to join the trip to the Ginkgo Exhibition and Awards in September.

I will definitely keep that window open for myself, I am due for a trip to Europe next year anyway, to visit family and friends.
So, keep me in mind when time comes.
Attila


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2007 12:02 am 
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Hello I am new here.
Vance Do you consider your self one of the "good enough " bonsai artist that America has to offer?
Different cultures, different people, different passions, climates, material, history, tastes, etcetera. There are many reasons bonsai differ around the world.
Lets not for get that it is also art and we all have different likes and dislikes. I do not agree Rob that Taiwan bonsai are the best. I know what you are talking about though, that huge tapering trunk so fat and squat. Not my style but I do appreciate and admire them. Not a huge fan of simpaku and other juniper even though I would have them in my collection.
In regards to competition, who?s the judge? How can a Hemlock from the North West compete with a buttonwood from the South or a fig from the Philippines?
I believe in America we have so much that consumes us such as work and other past times, that we do not devote the time, the passion, the conviction. The "world class" bonsai artist in America that truly are great, few as there may be, eat, breath, and are consumed by bonsai.
Chuck


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Fri Feb 16, 2007 9:20 am 
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Chuck Hickman wrote:
In regards to competition, who?s the judge? How can a Hemlock from the North West compete with a buttonwood from the South or a fig from the Philippines?

Welcome to AoB Chuck.
They can be judged against each other easily, at the level of world class bonsai the technique is left far behind, it really disappears and becomes a given, unmentionable because it is mastered by all who are at this level. Now all that is left to judge is the artistic vision presented.
This is where craft turns to art, when the craft has been mastered, when it is indeed not worked toward but becomes just the means in which to accomplish the goals. When all the greatest have mastered the craft then all that is left, all that can be added is beyond what can be described, it is the vision of the artist, the soul of the tree, the story, the final destination which is a visual appealing, artistically created, work of art.
At this level, it is all about the image created and not about the techniques or materials used to get there. When is the last time you looked at a great sculpture and looked for the tool marks or a great painting and looked at the brush strokes....when they are so good, the technique disappears and the art shines though.
Species are not judged, styles are not judged, technique is not judged, the image presented is judged. The art created by the artist is judged.

Will


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