Michael Hagedorn, a highly respected American bonsai artist and author of Bonsai Heresy and Post Dated, just posted some excellent photos he took at the recent UBE Expo in Madrid. I've picked three of my favorites. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
Itoigawa juniper. There's a lot going on here, with such a wild, free play of fluid movement. I think the artist was fearless, not to mention skilled, when he or she set about to transform so much living tissue into dead wood.
This one, which Michael calls simply Chinese juniper, is another tree where the deadwood demands our attention..
Aha. Bunjin. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think you see that many great bunjin (literati) style trees outside of Asia. I like both the fine deadwood touches as well as the way the whole tree hangs together, with the downward sweep of the branches and trunk's strong upward movement (at times like this, I wish I were a poet).
Michael's books are here and links to Michael's site and blog are below.
Michael Hagedorn's Crataegus Bonsai site
Michael on Bonsai Bark
We've got a New Bonsai Roundup for you today. Enjoy!
We found this sterling Silver Fir at Bonsai Mirai. Here is their description:
Pacific Coastline - age: 100-250 Years - size: Large - collector: Jason Eider - potter: Byron Myrick - initial creator: Eric Shikowski - availability: Private Collection.
This magnificent Coastal redwood in an upright weeping style was styled by Eric Schrader. We found in on FB at Bonsai Society.
I've seen full grown Acacia along some highways in costal California, but I don't think I've ever seen one quite like this. It was posted by Pete Inglis on FB. Here's what he had say about it: "Friday night Bonsai. It's been a while. Acacia Howitti, Sticky Wattle. Imported Chinese pot. Loving the early spring weather."
Here's a highly stylized Moss cypress by Peter Tea. And here's what Peter wrote about it: "The yearly cut back and thinning of this Moss Cypress has occurred! Tedious work but well worth it. We’re planning on repotting to tree into a different pot next Spring."
Another one from Peter Tea. "2nd defoliation for this root over rock Trident Maple. Most of the time I defoliate this tree twice a year though sometimes just once depending on the strength of the tree that year. It’s nice seeing the Winter silhouette in the middle of Summer."
This one was posted by 鳳鳴盆栽 on FB, and here's their comment:
"For all of you "WTF"? It may be considered "imitation", but it is a treasure to me. I've gotten much better after a couple of years since I was shaking. I love the shape of this tree 🤣 cleaned and measured. Fall leaves are just around the corner. My energy is number one 👍"
Another one by 鳳鳴盆栽. Are you detecting a pattern?
The other side.
Here's another one from Bonsai Mirai. This time from FB. It's about their Summer Tree Mercantile.
Bonsai Mirai website
Bonsai Society on FB
Bonsai Barn on FB
Pete Inglis on FB
Peter Tea on FB
鳳鳴盆栽 on FB
Bonsai Mirai on FB
2023 8th U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition
We've got some rough and ready bonsai and some others that are a bit more elegant. All by Walter Pall.
I love everything about this tree. The lovely spring leaves, the pleasing shape of the crown, the profusion of rugged and distinctive trunks and and visible lower branches. And of course the powerful nebari. Here's Walter Pall's caption, "Japanese maple #30. About 65 cm high (26"). Pot by Walter Venne. Tree is originally from a cutting in a nursery in South Korea. It was imported to Germany in May, 2021."
Here's a beefy Oriental hornbeam by Walter. No leaves so you can see the profusion of small branches and twigs. This wild natural look is one of Walter's trademarks.
Another Oriental hornbeam, but with leaves and a bit more pleasing to the eye. What a difference a few months make.
Another rough and ready hornbeam. But this time a cascade.
Aha, a little less rugged and a lot more elegant. It's Walter's Trident maple #11. About 50 cm high (20"). Pot by Walter Venne. The tree was imported from Japan in 2001 and was styled by Jurg Staheli of Switzerland until Sept 2019 and then by Walter.
Another colorful Japanese maple. It's Walter's #17. height 40 cm (16"). Pot by Walter Venne. Tree originally imported from Korea.
Walter Pall's Bonsai Adventures blog
Walter Pall Bonsai Bark Archives
Walter Pall on FB
We've rounded up a few trees by various artists for your viewing pleasure and hopefully inspiration. If you'd like to explore any on your own, there are links way below.
David Benavente seems to present an endless train of brilliant bonsai. Most set in his perfect (yet relaxed) Bonsai Studio garden wonderland.
Another one from David Benavente. Here's the caption, "New available. Wild olive, wild bonsai. Just restyled by Pablo Comesaña."
Here's one that was posted by Moyogi Chris at the Bonsai Club Eda Uchi Kai on FB. Here's the caption, "A species not seen every day as a bonsai, this Potentilla fruticosa. But this specific tree from one of our club members, as shown during our recent exhibition, is not only extremely well developed, the tree/pot combination is just as stunning as well. Sometimes good things come together ...."
After and Before. Itoigawa Juniperus chinensis by Francesco Santini.
Pinus parviflora by Francesco Santini.
This one was posted by Kuanghua Hsiao. Here's the caption, 分享自 Komunitas Bonsai 的的相片。And here's the machine translation, Shared photo from Komunitas Bonsai.
Here are a couple crazy Buttonwoods by Ed Trout who lives in Florida.
Here's Ed's caption. "I grew up climbing Buttonwoods during my youth in the Florida Keys. I clearly remember the odd shapes of these incredible trees, and how beautiful they are as giant specimans. The “crazy” ones stuck in my brain, so that’s probably why I style many of my trees in those contorted shapes. Not sure if the shapes are crazy, or it’s me that’s crazy 😂? Then again maybe I do know…."
And finally a Bougainvillea, also by Ed Trout.
David Benavente on FB
Myogi Chris on FB
Eda Uchi Kai on FB
Francesco Santini on FB
Kuanghua Hsiao on FB
Ed Trout on FB
Ed Trout on Bonsai Bark
We're featuring just one tree again today. It belongs to Michael Roberts, a Southern California bonsai artist. Here's Michael's caption, "30+ year old twin trunk Cork Bark Elm prepped for the Baikoen “winter Silhouettes” show this January 13th & 14th from 10-5 at the Los Angeles Arboretum. Hope to see you all there."
Before and after trimming from back in August when it had leaves. You might notice how much light comes through in the after shot. John Naka's axiom about enough space for the birds to fly though was well heeded.
Michael Roberts on FB
We've got a four photos today from American bonsai artist Mark Arpag. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
Chojubai dwarf flowering quince by Mark Arpag.
I know this Beech belongs to Mark Arpag and that I got it on FB, but now I can't find what Mark wrote with it. Anyway, I like its natural feel and simple beauty.
Mark doesn't mention the variety, but he did offer this message on Dec 25th.
Peace, Joy & Harmony
Today & every day
I guess we're a little late with this, but it's a lovely photo and the sentiments in the first two lines could extend beyond the holidays.
One more by Mark Arpag.
Mark Arpag on FB
Mark on Bonsai Bark
Time for our old friend Harry Harrington. Still one of the most distinctive and industrious bonsai artists we know. I'd like to call him a genius because of just how unique and seemingly uncontrived so many of his bonsai are, but I think he might take offense.
Can you see this...
... when you look at this?
Or how about this? All the same tree reimagined and styled by Harry Harrington. I think maybe Harry has been visited by the great Bonsai Muse.
Here's what Harry wrote about it. "Sometimes I’m forced to make room in my personal collection. It’s just not possible to keep everything when I have so many other trees coming through at a reasonable quality.
This is an English Elm bonsai I collected in 2004 (see image from 2005), that has brought a lot of pleasure but will soon be on its way to another garden.
I have heaps of progression and instructive images of the tree from over the years and will be in a book/magazine at some point in the future!"
Have you gotten your copy of Harry Harrington's Foundations of Bonsai yet? It is a must-have for bonsai beginners and long-time practitioners alike. Harry Harrington is a unique force in our world bonsai community. What he accomplishes with inexpensive, undeveloped and sometimes unattractive material is nothing short of impressive. We can all benefit from Harry evolution as a bonsai grower and artist of considerable dedication and skill.
You can get your copy here.
Harry Harrington on FB
Harry's Bonsai4me website
Harry on BBC
Harry on Bonsai Bark
We've got some super trees in perfect settings by Andres Alvarez Iglesias. The photographs are courtesy of Santi Lorenzo Borda, and according to Andres, "They are wonderful as always."
No IDs are provided for the trees, so you'll have to enjoy them nameless.
Here's that little companion piece in the photo above.
Another of Andres' trees. Everything about it suggests Ginkgo.
Muscular! We could guess, but we won't. Can't quite make out the little complimentary piece....
... but this might help.
Here's Andres' caption with this one, There are trees that are engraved in our retina once contemplated. This is definitely one of them.. let's walk together, reinventing ourselves and reinventing ourselves.
We've got a treat for you today: a few trees by Dave De Groot and a few teaser pages from Dave's Principles of Bonsai Design (still the best how-to bonsai book we've seen in a long time).
This colorful Japanese winterberry belongs to David De Groot. Here's his caption, My little JAPANESE WINTERBERRY (Ilex serrata) is still very much in development but is showing some Holiday Cheer.
Dave decides to promote his most excellent book. Speaking of the holidays, if you still haven't gotten a gift for that special bonsai someone, there is still time to order my book "Principles of Bonsai Design" from Stone Lantern. Covering not only design, but container selection, display and evaluation, it's a book they will refer to again and again.
I'll second that!
In Dave De Groot's own words, I just finished the WINTER WIRING of my "Windblown" Chinese elm. I have shown this a couple times before, but the reason I'm showing it today is that after several years of training, I did not have to move any large branches, and as a result can show it with no large wire. I used only a few pieces of 2 mm, and the rest was all 1-1/2mm and 1mm. Parts of some branches could simply be trimmed, with no added wire. This is a good time to wire as the winter buds are tight and undamaged by handling small branches in congested spaces.
This one and the next two are pages from David De Groot's Principles of Bonsai Design.
We'll let the images do the talking.
Dave De Groot (in the vest) with Mauro Stemberger, who visited Dave recently. You might imagine Dave and Mauro worked that elegant Juniper together.Gallery Sources:
David De Groot on FB
David on Bonsai Bark
We've got some great shots from the 2023 Taikan-ten Bonsai Exposition that I'm sure you'll like. I found them on Peter Tea's FB page.
Peter Tea presented so many phenomenal shots from the 2023 Taikan-ten Expo, that it's hard to know where to start. I guess this juniper will do...
... or maybe we should have started with this Japanese black pine?
And then there's always this abundantly fruited little Princess persimmon.
Another Juniper from Peter Tea's Taikan-ten photos.
And one more black pine. This one looks like it might be cork bark.
Peter Tea Bonsai on FB
Peter Tea on Bonsai Bark