Bonsai Study Group Forum

Advanced Techniques => Advanced Display Discussion => Topic started by: akeppler on July 05, 2009, 10:10 PM

Title: Three point California juniper
Post by: akeppler on July 05, 2009, 10:10 PM
Today I worked on taking off wire and pruning, then putting some new wire back on. After all the work was done I thought it might like to have it's picture taken.

Juniper, accent and waterfall scroll.

Title: Re: Three point California juniper
Post by: akeppler on July 05, 2009, 11:40 PM
The scroll is not too low, the picture is just not very high?
Title: Re: Three point California juniper
Post by: bwaynef on July 06, 2009, 08:10 AM
I like how the scroll works to pull your eye up and to the right (with the strong diagonal upward movement that opens to the splash that dumps you back down to the right).  The tree doesn't really do much for me individuallly but in the display I think its harmonious.

I'd like to see the accent slightly off-center of the slab/burl to the right.

ps.  If you'll indulge me in a little proslepsis: I think its the main branch going to the left that bothers me about this juni, ...but as this is a thread about display, I won't even bring it up.
Title: Re: Three point California juniper
Post by: MatsuBonsai on July 06, 2009, 08:59 AM

I like it.  I'll agree that the scroll appears to be too low and close to the tree for my taste.  Perhaps if the picture was higher in the scroll itself? 

I understand work was just done, did that include making more jin and shari?  Some of the carving looks to be fresh and inconsistent in color.  All treated and polished with the soil mossed this one will look incredible, imo. 

And though I like the stand, I think a darker color would be even better.  Perhaps my mind would change with the deadwood treated and soil mossed?  Or perhaps some color is lost in the photo?

I really enjoy the accent as well.  It fills the pot nicely and adds a little splash of color without distracting attention away from the tree.

What are your thoughts seeing this in person and now in the 2-d?  I find I sometimes catch something new when looking at my own trees in a photo and really study them.
Title: Re: Three point California juniper
Post by: Victrinia Ridgeway on July 07, 2009, 06:15 PM

I'm curious about the marriage of the tree and the image in the scroll... I was wondering what your thoughts were behind it? The juniper feels like a desert styling to my minds eye. I know it isn't finished... but the amount of deadwood, and being a juniper always makes me think of the desert. So I am struck by the waterfall/desert theme in my mind. Not impossible at all... and so I was wondering if you had any of those thoughts when you picked it out.

Don't ask me why... but I think a really cool sumi of a indiginous bug would be cool. Or a snake... or some small critter. I want to start working on painting sumi scrolls... and when I do, I want to try and paint them in a way which honors the simplicity of sumi, and the area it should evoke. Which for me will largely mean trying to express the western 11 states.

For example... I have a sweet little zin grape bonsai from California that I would like to do a scroll for. The image I want to evoke is the many layered hills of northern California. The third point would be tricky... an appropriate accent to those two Californian images. It'll come to me... but you see what I mean.

Also a question... should the visual mass of the scroll be greater, lesser, or equal to the visual mass of the tree? Or does it even matter? Personally I like there to be a little more visual mass in the scroll, but not greatly so. Just curious....

Yours most kindly,

Title: Re: Three point California juniper
Post by: Victrinia Ridgeway on July 07, 2009, 06:45 PM
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,

Title: Re: Three point California juniper
Post by: akeppler on July 07, 2009, 08:49 PM
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

Title: Re: Three point California juniper
Post by: akeppler on July 08, 2009, 12:11 AM
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

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.
Title: Re: Three point California juniper
Post by: akeppler on July 08, 2009, 01:02 AM
Your kidding right?
Title: Re: Three point California juniper
Post by: akeppler on July 08, 2009, 02:22 AM
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.
Title: Re: Three point California juniper
Post by: John Kirby on July 08, 2009, 09:40 PM

As someone who likes to set up displays that "look nice", I truly understand where you are coming from. As someone who really likes the highly stylized japanese art forms, I tend to like the bold. Not being Japanese, not able to speak Japanese and certainly not a practitioner of Asian religion(s), I certainly don't try to "get the meaning" of most truly Japanese displays- it is not from my sphere of experience.

I base my appreciation of displays on how they make me feel, how well laid out they are and by their, to use an old Bird watching term- jizz- that "movement or attribute" that lets you identify what you are seeing even when you can't make out the details ( aclasic birding example is that you can almost always ell gulls from terns by their movement- even hundreds of yards away.

Nice piece.

Title: Re: Three point California juniper
Post by: akeppler on July 10, 2009, 01:10 AM
Thanks Irene, I spend about 5000.00 a year in travel alone between my state board obligations and demo's I do as well as the convention and motel stays during some of the exhibits I go to. It is a lot of money to spend to simply take 50 photo's to post to a few discussion forums.

I do enjoy the journey though.

GSBF Convention XXXII Riverside is right around the corner. I sent my convention package to Joanie Berkwitz Monday. I need to call her, I forgot to write down what I signed up for, doh...what a dope.