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Twisted – a Happy Accident

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Here's what Scott Lee wrote about this tree... "A sad day for me. I had my bonsai selected for the 1st Artisans Cup in Portland, Oregon. This year the weather has been unpredictable and challenging for my area. The tree's health is not up to my standards nor Ryan's..." Continued below the next photo... 

I just stumbled upon this unusual beauty in a post Scott Lee put up back in 2015. Purely a happy accident. The tree is a great example of an unconventional bonsai where little effort is made to make it naturalistic.  Though there are plenty of twisted bonsai, especially yamadori from high elevations, I don’t think you’ll see any quite like this (not yamadori), with its uniform twists piled so neatly on top of each other. Anyway, I like it, and the Suthin connection doesn’t hurt either (see below).

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twistorigScott's original photo, with a particularly strong companion plant. No variety is given, though Scott does say the unusual pot is by Keith Kitoi and the little slab below is by Dave Lowman (see below for links)

Scott, continued from above… “Here is a peek of what I was going to show at the Portland Art Museum this month. Kishu shimpaku from Royal Bonsai Garden (Suthin), Sara Rayner suiban pottery,  Jerry Braswell display stand, Keith Kitoi Taylor accent pottery and Dave Lowman display slab. An all American display. I want to thank everyone for there artistry in the American bonsai sceen. Good things are happening here, for that I am grateful.”

 

twistcucuI cropped Scott's original photo for a closer look at the trunk

Another Impressive Before & After Bonsai Transformation

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Though we often expect miracles when it comes to transforming mediocre or otherwise undeveloped bonsai into something as impressive as this one, in reality seven years strikes me as about right amount of time for such a radical transformation. The artist is Alfredo Salaccione and the tree is a Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris).
Today’s before and after Scots pine is rather famous. So famous that is has a name of its own –  Black Desire (Desiderio Nero).*  Actually, I’ve seen not-so-famous trees that have been given names, but in this case I think famous works – at least in Europe – as witnessed by the two magazine covers below. The artist is Afredo Salaccione of Bonsai Lab who has a series of excellent before and afters, so you may be seeing more of his bonsai here on Bark

 

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Before

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After. Seven years later

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I cropped this one for a closer look at the trunk and deadwood

 

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*I’m not sure why Alfredo chose Black Desire. You might expect a name like that on a one of the Black pines (Pinus nigra or Pinus thunbergii)

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Deconstructing Nacho

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Even though Nacho Marin doesn't mention the species, the origin of the crazy pot or give any indication of the tree's size, I couldn't resist. Here's Nacho's caption... "El estudio de la dinamica y el movimiento en el proceso de la deconstruccion de la imagen siempre arroja resultados impactantes." And here's my translation... "The study of the dynamics and movement in the process of deconstructing the image, always yields impressive results" All the images in this post are from Nacho's timeline

It has been awhile since we visited Nacho Marin, someone who was an accomplished artist before he started with bonsai. This might help explain his unusual approach. Most of us are influenced by the bonsai we see and study as we move along the bonsai path. This can be very helpful, but can also result in conformity rather than a more personal and daring approach. But maybe less so with Nacho, who brought an artist’s sensibilities from the beginning

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No species again, but at least we have some idea of the size of this one (see below)

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Bigger than you thought? Nacho Marin the artist (on the left) with Ricardo Marin the owner. The caption says... "Nacho Marin Bonsai School....Guadalajara Mexico....9 2018." Nacho also has a Bonsai School in Bogata, Columbia

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Nacho with an Acacia farnesiana

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This magnificent tree is from the cover page of our
New 2019 Japanese Bonsai Calendar

Our 2019 Japanese Bonsai Calendars are here

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Enjoy 26 powerful Japanese bonsai while you check the date 
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Cover page

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One More Time – A Spectacular Bonsai Event

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Kuhen Smith's Rough bark Japanese maple won the Finest Japanese Style Display at the 6th U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition. Unfortunately you can't make out the bark in this photo. No blame to Oscar Jonker, the photographer. The lighting in the display area was good for viewing but not necessarily for photos. I cropped Oscar original. The original is below

Today, it’s the final two prize winning bonsai at the 6th U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition. And some more photos by (or of) Candy Shirey. I hope you have enjoyed the series and maybe this will encourage you to make the trip to Rochester in 2020

Thanks to Bill Valavanis and his tireless Exhibition warriors for putting on a spectacular show. Thanks also to Oscar Jonker for his on the run shots of prize winners. And to Candy Shirey for her up close and personal shots of many of the good people involved in the Exhibition. And to everyone else who chipped in to make this the 6th U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition the best yet

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Brad Foresyth's Kiyo Hime Japanese maple won the Finest Classical Bonsai. Again, you can't really make out the details too well, even though I cropped the original for a closer look (especially at the trunk). Guess we'll have to wait for the album

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Candy Shirey with her exhibited Hino Crimson Kanume Azalea. Candy is the source of numerous great photos from the exhibition. Including several that we've featured over the past week

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Oscar's original shot of Kuhen's maple with companion and award certificate

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Original shot of Brad's Kiyo hime
candy&friendsStudents of Kenji Miyata at the 6th US National Bonsai Exhibition. — with Marc ZimmermanLinda JohnsonAnthony Alario, Candy Shirey and Brad Foresythe

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I ran into David Knittle at the Exhibition and asked him how many of the exhibited trees were on his stands. Unfortunately, I don't remember his reply (CRS), but it was a very large number. And for good reason, David is a master craftsman. Here's some evidence, but it's only the tip. And btw David is a fellow Vermont resident. A special category of humans. Photo by Candy Shirey, of course

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Natural Bonsai Winner

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Mark Arpag's American larch won the All American Bonsai award at the 6th U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition. The rough hewn pot and stand (looks like a piece of wood), along with the wild ground cover, provide the perfect complement to the natural feel of the tree. I cropped Oscar Jonker's photo for closer look at the tree. The original photo is below

Just one tree today in our series on the prize winning bonsai at the 6th U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition. It’s a American larch (Larix laricina) and its natural untamed look strikes me as the right choice for this species. This might be because larches (Tamaracks in the local jargon) grow wild here in northern Vermont, so it’s a look those of us who live here are familiar with

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Oscar's original photo with two companions and a couple old boards that enhance the natural feel. I'm not sure what the tray on the right is about


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Two More Award Winning Bonsai Favorites

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I like the undulating parallel living veins on Jeremiah Lee's ABS award winning Sierra juniper (Juniperus occidentalis). I cropped the original (see below) for a closer look

Continuing with the prize winning bonsai from the 6th U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition, today we’ve got Oscar Jonker’s photos of the winning ABS Award Bonsai and the Finest Tropical Bonsai

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This one of my favorites. For starters its sheer size is a mind stopper. I don't know the dimensions and I know memory can play tricks, but I'll guess five feet across. But impressive size is only part of its power. Its vibrant color and health, the arrangement of the trunks, the massive slab and other tangibles and intangibles add up to an exceptional work of bonsai art. I wish you had been there to see it. Oh, and by the way, it's a Brazilian rain tree (Chloroleucon tortum, also known as Pithecellobium tortum) from the Sho Fu Bonsai Society of Sarasota, Florida that won the Finest Tropical Bonsai award. I cropped the original (just below)

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The original photo. Just getting rid of the top of the Pepsi sign is an improvement

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Jeremiah Lee's Sierra juniper with companion

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Apologies for the fuzz, but I wanted a closer look at the deadwood and living veins

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Now, thanks to Alexander Hoffman, we have the names of the trees in John Kirby's Finest Shohin Bonsai Display from yesterday

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Winning Shohin & Mame Bonsai

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The winner of the Finest Mame Bonsai at the 6th U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition. It's a Willow leaf ficus (Ficus neriifolia) that belongs to Johnson Teh. No dimensions are given, but some sources list mame as up to 4" (10cm) tall. Others go a little taller. Oscar Jonker took the photo. I cropped it for a closer look. Oscar's original is below

Continuing with the prize winning bonsai from the 6th U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition, today we’ve got Oscar Jonker’s photos of the winning Mame bonsai and the winning Shohin display

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The winner of the Finest Shohin Bonsai Display. It belongs to John Kirby. Oscar Jonker took the photo. No varieties are given (you may have to wait for the album for those). See below for a couple close ups

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The main or standard part of John Kirby's Shohin display (Nanaten tanakazari)

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The sub-stage (Maeoki or Hanadashi). I used Morten Albek's Shohin Bonsai (Stone Lantern Publishing - out of print) as a reference for the Japanese terms

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Oscar's original photo of Johnson Teh's Willow leaf ficus. I think the relationship to space is better in this photo, but I like to see as much detail as possble, thus closeup at the top of the post

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More Winning Bonsai & Some Value Added

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The winner of the Finest Evergreen Bonsai at the 6th U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition. It's a Rocky mountain juniper (Juniperus scopulorum) that belongs to Tim Priest. Oscar Jonker took the photo. I cropped it for a closer look. The original is below

Continuing with the prize winning bonsai from the 6th U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition, today we’ve got Oscar Jonker’s photos of the winning evergreen bonsai and the winning medium size bonsai. We’ve also got a couple more people shots by Candy Shirey (apologies to Candy for misspelling her name yesterday), only this time with their exhibition trees

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troycuThis Dwarf Japanese five-needle pine (Pinus parviflora) won the Finest Medium Size Bonsai. It belongs to Troy Schmidt. I think you'll have to wait for the album if you'd like to see trunk details. Oscar did his best with his hand held camera and no control of the lighting
 

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A photo by Candy Shirey of Linda Johnson with her Zelkova (Zelkova serrata). Linda and her husband Verner Johnson were customers and friends from my days at New England Bonsai. Sadly, Verner passed away recently

 

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Marty Klein with his pitch pine (Pinus rigida). Marty is from Andover Mass where pitch pines grow abundantly. Especially along parts of the sandy coastline. Photo by Candy Shirey

 

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Oscar's original shot of the Finest Evergreen Bonsai with companion and other value added

 

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Oscar's original shot of the Finest Medium Size Bonsai with companions (plural)

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Winning Deciduous Bonsai & a Little Break with Tradition

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Winner Finest Deciduous Bonsai at the 6th U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition. The tree is a Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) that belongs to Dennis Vojtilla. I cropped Oscar Jonker's original photo (see just below) for a closer look

Continuing with the prize winning bonsai from the 6th U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition, today we’ve got the winning deciduous tree and another couple bonsai photos by Oscar Jonker (Bonsai Empire), as well as a couple photos of people at the event by Candy Shirey (Candy’s eye and feeling for people are spot on)

The break with tradition mentioned in the title of this post, is the shots of people. We normally stick with bonsai and leave the people shots to facebook, but I just couldn’t resist my fifteen minutes of fame. Stay posted for more winning bonsai and more of Candy’s people shots

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Oscar's original photo with companion. For the rest of Oscar's photos from the Exhibition, stay posted. Or if you can't wait, you can visit Bonsai Empire

 

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Bill Valavanis. Photo and caption by Candy Shirey.... "One of the few times Bill stood still. Most photos that I captured of Bill were just blurry streaks with a poof of dust as an after-thought."

 

babsThis lovely lady is Barbara Patitucci at Stone Lantern's booth in the vendor's section. I cropped the original photo by Candy Shirey to eliminate some noise (see just below)

 

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Now you can see why I cropped it. I don't think he ever stops running his mouth off

 

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Another photo by Oscar. With apologies (especially to Owen) for not knowing the type tree, its owner or anything about the painting. Maybe someone can clue us inr. Just got this from Sean Farenish... The tree with the painting is a redwood from the pacific bonsai museum

 

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In situ

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