Author Topic: styles for mcpesq817  (Read 3560 times)

Walter_Pall

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styles for mcpesq817
« on: August 03, 2009, 05:07 PM »
mcspesq817 in Boon's thread has asked about the difference of what he calls 'classical' style and what I call 'naturalistic' style. I did not want to hijack Boon's thread and so here we are. The images should speak for themselves.
 
First tree are trident maples, Acer burgerianum
fourth is a field maple, Acer campestre

In my system the first one is in the neoclassical style and the rest are in naturalistic style in different forms of abstraction and, of course, in different stages of development.
 

bonsaikc

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Re: styles for mcpesq817
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2009, 05:27 PM »
Walter,
I think these are wonderful examples of great bonsai indevelopment. Would you consider showing one of these from its earliest work and perhaps discuss how you made the style decisions you made along the way? I know that would be valuable for me, and I am certain it would for others, too.

Chris
 

ken duncan

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Re: styles for mcpesq817
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2009, 05:50 PM »
Hi Walter, Thank You for posting these Maples.
I love all of them, I can't Wait to see them a few years down the road.
Ken
 

King Kong

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Re: styles for mcpesq817
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2009, 09:28 PM »
Would someone please explain to me the meaning of classical, naturalistic and neoclassical styled bonsai?

__gary
 

Curtis

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Re: styles for mcpesq817
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2009, 09:55 PM »
Would someone please explain to me the meaning of classical, naturalistic and neoclassical styled bonsai?

Well Im pretty sure naturalistic is looking like a tree str8 out of nature, and classical is a tree that has all of those japanese rules applied to them. Neoclassical Im not to sure of. I dont know why this topic is such a big deal. As long as a tree looks good, what does it matter. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
 

greerhw

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Re: styles for mcpesq817
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2009, 10:46 PM »
There is not much those of us who collect conifers can add to the discussion this time of the year, we are three seasons care specilists bonsai folks. It's just the way it is. But the rest of you, good luck with your D trees.

Keep it green,
Harry






« Last Edit: August 03, 2009, 10:49 PM by greerhw »
 

bonsaikc

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Re: styles for mcpesq817
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2009, 12:01 AM »
Would someone please explain to me the meaning of classical, naturalistic and neoclassical styled bonsai?

Well Im pretty sure naturalistic is looking like a tree str8 out of nature, and classical is a tree that has all of those japanese rules applied to them. Neoclassical Im not to sure of. I dont know why this topic is such a big deal. As long as a tree looks good, what does it matter. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

I don't think that is quite it at all. Walter uses the terms "neoclassical" and "naturalistic" to quantify something a good bit subtler than these distinctions. I won't put words in his mouth, but my understanding of his use of the terms is to simply render a differentiation between trees that may be excellent but not necessarily surprising, and trees that surprise in their naturalness.

Walter, I hope I haven't mangled your concept too much. I would hope you would enlighten us a bit more.

Chris
 

Walter_Pall

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Re: styles for mcpesq817
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2009, 03:42 AM »
In a nutshell:

the first maple is styled in the neoclassical style. This means that it was built according to what we were led to believe to be the 'classical' bonsai rules: triangular shape, informal upright horizontal branches, layers of foliage with negative space in between. The bonsaiist tried to create a good looking BONSAI.
Note: the best broadleaved trees in Japan usually are NOT styled like this, they have a much more natural shape. Therefore 'neoclassical' and not 'classical'.

The other three are in the naturalistic style. This means that they were built according to the growth patterns of natural tree, in this case broadleaved trees. Everything that looks like a bonsai was avoided: not triangular shape, rather rounded crown, no regular space between foliage pads, horizontal branches are avoided. The bonsaiist tried to create a good looking TREE.

Note: it is called 'naturalistic' because it is not natural but appears natural. The natural appearance is usually achieved with very artificial means, like wiring everything. 'Naturalistic' means the final result and NOT the means how it was achieved. It is NOT the same as clip and grow and other such stuff. Do not confuse the naturalistic style with poor styling of lazy bonsaiists.

All this is a matter of taste. And taste is not something natural that one just has. Taste was crated. It is learned. According to our learned taste the unnatural neoclassical trees look beautiful. The most natural naturalistic trees look unusual, weird, not as expected and therefore somewhat ugly to many.

Tastes in art come and go. Watch your own taste how it changed in the course of your bonsai life.
 

King Kong

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Re: styles for mcpesq817
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2009, 05:45 AM »
Ok, natural or naturalistic style to me means two things. A bonsai  that is groomed to look like the tree species it represents  and two a tree that is grown from scratch. Now this concerns development. On a natural looking tree the limbs and branches are actual not apparent. Limbs and superstructure of the tree are in scale with trunk and were all developed on the most part at the same time. Yes there are some cut backs and apex changes but on the most part every thing flows together in scale. Not a superficial resemblance to a tree which I often see with drastic trunk chops.
Wow, not bad, I only mis-spelled ok.

__gary
 

bwaynef

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Re: styles for mcpesq817
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2009, 11:10 AM »
The most natural naturalistic trees look unusual, weird, not as expected and therefore somewhat ugly to many.

Walter, thank you for bringing this discussion here.  Hopefully we all can gain a better understanding.

I've seen this topic broached on many different occasions in the past, and in all that time I don't recall anyone seriously claiming that a well-done naturalistic tree looked ugly.  The world is large enough that we have to allow for differing tastes and if one likes the (neo)Classical styling more than the Naturalistic so be it, but I believe that most have an appreciation for the naturalistic style when its well-done even if they've no ambition to style their trees thus.  The strongest contention I've seen on this topic had more to do with the need to classify them at all. 

I can see how the Naturalistic style could pose challenges for judged work wherein the criteria on which it is judged hasn't been updated to accommodate for its strengths and nuances, leading some to think that the judges either have no appreciation or are unlearned (in their tastes).  I'd posit that over time, as the style gains familiarity and a broader appeal, an agreed upon criteria will be developed whose scores will adequately judge the quality of such Naturalistically styled trees.

On that note, what criteria would YOU use to judge a Naturalistic-styled tree?  What rubrics could be used to quantify excellence in this style?  What should have the most emphasis in terms of grading?  What is the biggest difference in terms of emphasis?  I'm no expert so all that I have are questions.
 

mcpesq817

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Re: styles for mcpesq817
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2009, 12:23 PM »
Walter, thanks very much for taking the time to respond to my question.  I greatly appreciate it.  

It's interesting that you chose that group of pictures to explain the differences between the neoclassical style and the naturalistic style - those were the exact trees I studied from your website to figure out the what it is about the branch and canopy structure to get an idea of how to build a tree under either style (fantastic trees by the way).  Your explanations in this thread (and elsewhere that I've read) clear this up for me.  Thank you.

Are you planning a trip to the East Coast of the US next year?  I missed you this year at Nature's Way, but would love to learn from you working on Ponderosas - I recently bought a couple of Ponderosas from Oregon Bonsai, and also have one from Larry Jackel that I will be styling in the next year or two (right now I'm letting the trees rest and gain in strength for the future work).


« Last Edit: August 04, 2009, 12:37 PM by mcpesq817 »
 

Walter_Pall

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Re: styles for mcpesq817
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2009, 02:05 AM »
mcpesq817,

yes, I will be at Nature's Way Nursery In Harrsiburg from Aprl 22 to 27 and do several workshops and demos there. I hope to see you then.

WP