Author Topic: judging bonsai for bwaynef  (Read 15147 times)

Walter_Pall

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Re: judging bonsai for bwaynef
« Reply #30 on: October 18, 2009, 09:41 AM »
To confuse you completely, here are MY criteria for judging a REGULAR bonsai:

criteria: it can look like a bonsai. And then it must impress you. It can impress you by it's beauty, by it's ugliness, by It's unusualness or by all of that. The more it impresses yo the more art it is for you. This means it must have soul, the more the better
 

MatsuBonsai

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Re: judging bonsai for bwaynef
« Reply #31 on: October 18, 2009, 09:45 AM »
Walter,

I believe the confusion, at least for me, lies in the fact that you don't appear to be using any particular guidelines for judging.  Many of the traditional shows will be judged on a scale of some sort, 10 points for trunk, 10 points for nebari, etc.  You seem to be describing feeling and emotion.  It appears to be quite subjective.  Is that correct?

I believe we're all trying to better understand.
 

John Kirby

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Re: judging bonsai for bwaynef
« Reply #32 on: October 18, 2009, 09:46 AM »
Thanks Walter, I always enjoy these discussions- they generate enough heat to warm one in the winter.

Rick, have you seen the tree you highlight in person? I only ask because some of the trees I have seen in lots of photographs I haven't though too much of (or thought of as "over rated") were very different in person. Some  were still, well, hard to figure out others are so much more.

John
 

Walter_Pall

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Re: judging bonsai for bwaynef
« Reply #33 on: October 18, 2009, 10:00 AM »
' believe the confusion, at least for me, lies in the fact that you don't appear to be using any particular guidelines for judging.  Many of the traditional shows will be judged on a scale of some sort, 10 points for trunk, 10 points for nebari, etc.  You seem to be describing feeling and emotion.  It appears to be quite subjective.  Is that correct?'

That's correct. i believe to have a score sheet with nebari, trunk, moss, ramification etc. is a big mistake. judging HAS to be subjective. The only thing that counts is the overall impact on first sight. This is how all big bonsai names judge in a show when asked to judge. It is done in ten minutes. M ost would be surprised.
I had to judge a show in Buenos Aires of around 200 trees which were spread all over a park. Judges with me were Kunio Kobajashi and Pedro Morales. It was a walk of fifteen minutes because the trees were so much apart.
At the end there were three winners. Surprise: all judges just walked through like me. And all three had the same winner and the other two only in other order.  And all we had was a sheet of paper with one single number, the number of the tree.
Judging has to be subjective it is most important who is the judge. There is no such thing as objective judging.
 

Rick Moquin

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Re: judging bonsai for bwaynef
« Reply #34 on: October 18, 2009, 10:41 AM »
Thanks Walter, I always enjoy these discussions- they generate enough heat to warm one in the winter.

Rick, have you seen the tree you highlight in person? I only ask because some of the trees I have seen in lots of photographs I haven't though too much of (or thought of as "over rated") were very different in person. Some  were still, well, hard to figure out others are so much more.

John

John unfortunately not. That tree was sold after a display in Japan I believe. The price tag is the picture's title. Would I like to see this tree in person? Yes. Would I change my mind about it? Perhaps.

Getting back to one of Walter's criteria, the tree has to move you. Now albeit Walter is talking in person. Some trees photograph better than others and Walter has allured to this in one of his writings on a Scots Pine. IMO regardless which way the tree is viewed (photo or person) one is asked to comment on the tree as viewed. So if it is a photo regardless how flat that can be, we comment on what we see and, in either case the tree has to move you. The pine did not for previously stated reasons.

Let's take some of Kimura's work: some move me and some don't. Regardless of why a tree moves a person or not is a moot point IMO. If we take the missus for example she absolutely deplores jin and shari. Regardless of any explanations I may offer, she simply does not like it, even if it is great art. Is she wrong? No she is entitled to her opinion. However, she will not dismiss a tree displaying natural jin and shari. Now we both know that more than likely these were created by the artist, but the deceitfulness that the tree grew like that naturally is to be applauded.

The maple below I have seen in person. It was displayed at the Japanese Pavilion in Montreal's Botanical Gardens. I do not like this tree, it is a leafy triangle. It doesn't move me. Now I spent quite some time analyzing this tree, and when time permitted would sneak a peak inside. All the correct elements were there, but not utilized etc... No one could comment on this tree. There was also a JBP on display that was being grown out for some reason, again no comment were available from the caretakers wrt why. The latter should not have been on display IMO, without educating the public as to why it was being displayed (educational).

Back to the maple, my main question is why the first, 2nd and third branches were so low. I was able to attend a "bonsai" class where this maple was part of the presentation, even the orator couldn't explain why the branches were so low, and this is after a lecture on bonsai fundamentals. I attended the lecture out of curiosity, but left uneducated albeit I went with an open mind. Her presentation was so flawed that I had to bite my tongue out of respect. When a professor in Botany doesn't know the difference between an apple tree and a camperdown elm well...

 

Dustin Mann

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Re: judging bonsai for bwaynef
« Reply #35 on: October 18, 2009, 08:01 PM »
Going to jump in(hope I don't get blasted back for ignorance/not esoteric enough). I love some trees in naturalistic style because it evokes very strong feeling about looking extremely old in minature form;like I am right there. Walter Pall's reply#27(natural. pine blogspot) and his #33 is succinct. It is a minaturation of a place by abstraction and distortation. For myself, it is about the tree first and the artist 2nd. In my day profession(psychologist), often say-"don't make it all about you" Look outside yourself and find calmness,loneliness,antiquity. Of course we judge uniformity of leaf size, tension/resolution in tree.  Thanks for reading. Dustin Mann
 

greerhw

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Re: judging bonsai for bwaynef
« Reply #36 on: October 18, 2009, 09:04 PM »
NEVER buy a tree because someone else tells you it's a nice tree, NEVER buy a tree just because it's a bargain, NEVER buy a tree to impress someone else, NEVER buy a tree you can't afford to kill, do some research and NEVER buy a tree that won't thrive in your climate, I could go on, but be sure to use some common sense, because you're the one that is going to have to take care of the and look at it for a long time hopefully. The smartest thing you can do is join a local club, they will save you time and money and make your bonsai experience more enjoyable. If you ever plan on showing your trees in an exhibit, you will have fun, but on the other hand , if you show your trees in a judged event, plan on getting your feelings hurt, too much politics and it sucks the fun out of your experience.

keep it green,
Harry
« Last Edit: October 18, 2009, 09:44 PM by greerhw »
 

John Kirby

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Re: judging bonsai for bwaynef
« Reply #37 on: October 19, 2009, 08:35 AM »
Harry,
sounds like you had a bad experience at a judged show, some of them can be fun and educational- if you have a good judge who will  provide a useful rationale and critique.

 

MatsuBonsai

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Re: judging bonsai for bwaynef
« Reply #38 on: October 19, 2009, 09:21 AM »
Walter,

With all due respect this sounds very much like "you'll know it when you see it."  While I'm sure to some degree this may be the case.  However, I've seen you address many times those that have misunderstood you and declared they're own work as naturalistic when in fact it is merely untrained and unkept.  I know that you put a lot of work into your trees and it shows, but how are the less knowledgeable to gain the knowledge in this style?  Is there further explanation other that "it must impress you"?

To a certain degree I agree with Harry.  I would not purchase a tree simply because someone told me it was good.  But, if he taught me what was good and why it was good then that's another story entirely.

You said that the "cherry is one of my best creations".  Why?  What makes it better than the Scots?

Back to Wayne's original question, "what rubrics could be measured to determine a good naturalistic-styled tree from a bad one"?
« Last Edit: October 19, 2009, 09:43 AM by MatsuBonsai »
 

greerhw

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Re: judging bonsai for bwaynef
« Reply #39 on: October 19, 2009, 01:04 PM »
Harry,
sounds like you had a bad experience at a judged show, some of them can be fun and educational- if you have a good judge who will  provide a useful rationale and critique.



A lot of bad experiences, but not at a bonsai show, all the other hobbies I've been involved in over the years. Judged exents are never on an even playing field, NEVER.  Car shows, koi shows, bonsai shows, they're all the same. The judge usually has a vested interest. I'm not bitter, just an observation from life's experiences. No one is open minded!!!
Just for the record, I won a trophy once, because I had the only koi in it's class, some accomplishment huh.


keep it green,
Harry
« Last Edit: October 19, 2009, 01:21 PM by greerhw »
 

greerhw

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Re: judging bonsai for bwaynef
« Reply #40 on: October 19, 2009, 02:50 PM »
One thing I need to clear up, going to a judged event where there are nice trees can be a great experience, I'm just talking about entering.

keep it green,
Harry
 

greerhw

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Re: judging bonsai for bwaynef
« Reply #41 on: October 19, 2009, 04:23 PM »
' believe the confusion, at least for me, lies in the fact that you don't appear to be using any particular guidelines for judging.  Many of the traditional shows will be judged on a scale of some sort, 10 points for trunk, 10 points for nebari, etc.  You seem to be describing feeling and emotion.  It appears to be quite subjective.  Is that correct?'

That's correct. i believe to have a score sheet with nebari, trunk, moss, ramification etc. is a big mistake. judging HAS to be subjective. The only thing that counts is the overall impact on first sight. This is how all big bonsai names judge in a show when asked to judge. It is done in ten minutes. M ost would be surprised.
I had to judge a show in Buenos Aires of around 200 trees which were spread all over a park. Judges with me were Kunio Kobajashi and Pedro Morales. It was a walk of fifteen minutes because the trees were so much apart.
At the end there were three winners. Surprise: all judges just walked through like me. And all three had the same winner and the other two only in other order.  And all we had was a sheet of paper with one single number, the number of the tree.
Judging has to be subjective it is most important who is the judge. There is no such thing as objective judging.


Walter, let me go out on a limb here, I will bet anything you didn't pick a JBP or a Shimpaku.

keep it green,
Harry
 

greerhw

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Re: judging bonsai for bwaynef
« Reply #42 on: October 19, 2009, 05:02 PM »
With all due respest to Mr. Naka, who said "Don't make your tree look like a bonsai, make your bonsai look like a tree. That's painting with a pretty wide brush, I have all conifers, JBP ,JRP, Ponderosa and Shimpaku, none of which look like anything I would want if not styled like a bonsai. If you want to know my vision of a bonsai, I will be glad to post some pictures, that don't resemble anything found in nature.

keep it green,
Harry
 

Walter_Pall

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Re: judging bonsai for bwaynef
« Reply #43 on: October 20, 2009, 01:17 AM »
Harry,
it seems to be easier for you to write than to read.
 

greerhw

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Re: judging bonsai for bwaynef
« Reply #44 on: October 20, 2009, 09:31 AM »
Harry,
it seems to be easier for you to write than to read.

True Walter, I like to hear my own voice, don't we all. I have a little trouble with comprehension these days, sometimes I have to read things more than once to get to the marrow. The only comment made in your direction was the judging in Buenos Aires, which species did you pick.  My brand of humor is lost on some people (maybe a lot of people).

keep it green,
Harry