Advanced Techniques > Advanced Display Discussion

Three point California juniper

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Victrinia Ridgeway:
Disregard my question about relative size... I see it was narrow minded, after reading the rather marvelous "Bonsai Deconstructed". It's a matter of perspective and intent... in this case size is dictated by the other two.

Humble thanks,


Victrinia, Thanks for the thought provoking questions.

If I had the smarts about everything display, I would be teaching instead of trying.

I think the biggest thing in display is that the west has to come to grips with trees used for display purposes. I mean trees are used as a means to an end. The end being the display. The means being a tree, any tree used to depict another type tree. Sure, we have to keep it within the realm of believability and useing a pine tree shaped trident maple to convey a high sierra type environment may be stretching it a bit.

Using a desert plant to convey a tree near a waterfall is not that far of a stretch. If I had used a sierra juniper would it had made a difference since they virtually look the same?

I think in display one has to look at the overall image presented. What is the artist trying to say? Are we right to just sit back and analyze it, think what is wrong or do we just look at it and appreciate it for what it is? Sometimes a person is just trying to convey an image of a tree near a cooling waterfall in blistering 105 heat we are having.

Whether it is a desert tree or a timber tree, I wish I was there.

Cheers, Al



--- Quote from: irene_b on July 07, 2009, 10:44 PM ---Al as someone who does not "Show" trees I am trying to understand the thoughts behind how each item is placed and the reason/story behind them...So anything I post in regards to how it appears is just me trying to find out the thoughts behind it and never to be thought of as negative feedback... So when I butcher English trying to find the right words just remember One thing...English is a damm hard language to learn!
I agree on the 105 and a waterfall...Makes ya want to live under the spray  ;D

--- End quote ---

I understoood your question and that is the reason I ended my remark wth a question mark.

What is the appropriate height? Is the tree in proportion to the actual waterfall I see, or is the waterfall too low based on what you see? Who knows. Ted Matson tried for a little height in his display and was criticised by many who looked at the display. Rather than try and imagine a tall water fall high above the trees, it was easier to just ask, "why is the scroll so high". Of course being from California and having access to actually seeing a waterfall high above the trees goes along ways towards making this imagery more understandable.

Your kidding right?

Ok let me attack this from another direction. The scroll in a display is a fucrum, a piviot point. It helps nudge the viewer into a direction the artist wants you to go. It may depict a season, it may depict a time of day. It may depict a subtle change of contrast to a mood.

The scroll is usualy incomplete. For instance the scrolls of waterfall I have shown three different time within this post are vague.

There is no sky.
There is no stopping point for the water.
There is no pool.

Scrolls are meant to be left to the imagination of the viewer. In Ted Matson case he wanted to depict a grove of trees at the base of a tall falls, the pool may be hidden by a larger stand of trees you can't even see. Why, because it was not needed. You are meant to imagine what is surrounding this imagery. The waterfall does not need a pool. It is depicted by the grove of trees planted on a stone. Ted has told us that the trees are grounded.

The simple truth is in the display shown here by me, the scroll is shown where it is because that is as tall as my backdrop is. I wished to include the whole scroll in the photo. I could have moved the scroll up but then I would have chopped it out. I didn't feel it necessary to cut the image to get it perfect. If I were to use this display in a venue that afforded me more height, I probably would have shown it higher.

What if my tree is a tree growing on a ledge near the waterfall as it plunges on further in the canyon? The truth is it is left to the viewer to get from the diplay what they feel. If in this case you feel that the spray is what is benifitting the growth of the be it. It's all subjective and though there are rules, there are really no rules. As shown with Teds piece, although everyone had something to say about the scroll being so high it did not matter, what mattered was that he captured something very special that was very simple yet very deep. Ted made you think....if you took the time to do it.

My real intent was to just show a nice picture of a tree a waterfall and a accent plant and make it look somewhat cohesive in a small amount of room.


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