Friday, April 27, 2007

Beech is leafing out

Last spring I have acquired this collected beech (Fagus sylvatica), and I really love it. This is one of my larger trees, I'm just barely able to move it myself.
This first picture is from last spring:

Once this tree was already in a bonsai pot, but later it was planted out in the garden and neglected.

Last year I have pruned and wired it, but had to remove the wire during the summer, as it was alreay cutting into the branches. This year I have pruned and wired again, and it's beginning to look pretty good imho :)
The second picture was taken about a week ago, when the tree was already mostly wired.

Now the tree is beginning to leaf out, pretty late compared to the other trees. Last year it was also the last tree of mine to leaf out.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Meeting with Robert Steven

In the Nitra 2007 exhibition (photo coverage in my exhibit blog) I have had the great pleasure of meeting Robert Steven from Indonesia. I am a great fan of his work since I purchased his book, Vision of my soul, which is a beatiful book presenting his own bonsai collection, also his works in progress and explaining his artistic approach. It focuses solely on the art side of bonsai.
So when I have arrived in Nitra at the exhibition site, it was a great surprise for me to see him standing at the pavilon gate, talking to a fellow bonsai enthusiast. We got into a conversation and he has shown us (me and my friend Tamás Virág) the juniper he has been working on the previous day. He got a pretty amazing tree out of a chaotic raw material. You can the end result on this picture. We have also been talking about the possibility of Robert coming to our autumn 2008 exhibition as a demonstrator. He is a really nice and friendly guy :)

Then we took a look at the pine tree he has stlyed the day before, and met the Hungarian bonsai collector György Rácz. He is probably one of the biggest yamadori collectors in Hungary and specialises in absolutely large-size trees. Robert and Gyuri have been talking about the collected pine Gyuri was about to style during his demonstration the same day. The pine was a pretty impossible material with quite a few problematic areas. The second picture shows Gyuri and Robert talking about the pine with me listening in between. In my exhibit blog you can see a picture about Gyuri in action, styling the pine.

Later that day I have caught Robert with a small group of bonsai enthusiasts from Slovakia and Poland, sharing his thoughts about the exhibited trees and answering questions. During this tree critique, Robert has been concentrating on artistic issues, just like in his aforementioned book. Many of the critiques he has expressed were about the incongruences he has pointed out on the trees, like a bonsai with a causal, informal trunk featuring a too formal crown. On the third picture Robert is sharing his thoughts about a juniper of Milan Roskos which I have known for some years from exhibitions and am a great fan of. For me it is a very abstract tree and I like it for this. Robert has pointed out though that the hollowed-out, sabamiki-style trunk, which speaks of a long, hard life contradicts the lush foliage of the main branch and suggested removing the entire right-hand side of the tree. I have to agree that the tree looks much more credible that way (although it would lose the strong geometric effect of its lines for which I have admired its design - I liked the proposed new image a lot).

It was a great experience meeting this real artist and a chance to learn a lot from his tree critiques. His enthusiasm and talent for the art and his open and friendly personality makes him a really amazing person.

I am attaching a picture of Milan's juniper so you can see what Robert has meant. This picture was taken at last year's exhibition in Budapest.

The pictures in this post, with the exception of the last one, have been taken by Tamás Virág, thanks a lot Tamás.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Nitra exhibition 2007

Last weekend I have been to the bonsai exhibition in Nitra, Slovakia. The pictures I have taken at the exhibition are in my exhibition blog.

Changes in two weeks

I am starting this page with a tree of mine that I'm really fond of right now. It is a plum tree, Prunus domestica, which I have turned into a literati by a drastic reduction of the crown this spring.
The first photo shows it as it has been flowering two weeks ago.

Now it's in leaf.

The last pictures is from 2006 in its autumn colors, still with the large crown.


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