Saturday, June 12, 2010

US National Bonsai Exhibition: Opening Day!

Up at 5:30..gotta get walk in, shower, have breakfast, and get over to the floor to mist the moss before the show opens.
Found the local Starbucks, and another bonsai enthusiast and I discussed......the awful state of health care here in the US! And trees for a few seconds..... to the Exhibition!
Well..everyone is here...judges, artists, vendors, and of course, the trees.
Walking the display area is a treat for the senses. The accents are out of this world. The materials chosen, the method of organizing, and the display of each with it's tree...such a shame we cannot photograph...guess we will have to wait for the commorative album!
The trees have been peaked for display, and many magnificent Azaleas are in bloom. Pins are showing candles and backbudding. Larch are wonderful in their fresh spring needles.

Some of the trees moved during the night...I think Bill put his cot away just before we arrived....but all is ready.
The local politicians got into the opening ceremony, and with several scissor cuts on the ribbon, the Exhibition opened.
The judges have gathered in teams, and are studying each artists' attempt at perfection. Many folks off the street are wowed by the wonderful presentations of shape, color, age and grace seen in the trees on display.
Many shohin here...virtually all sections of the country are represented. Interestingly, there are more than a few recognized masters here. The mood is calm, serene, but it is clear this Exhibition bears no resemblance to the first, back in 2008. There has been some serious work put into the trees on display here, and it shows major betterment from 2008. It certainly follows how Ginkgo Festival got progressively better at each successive event.

Each tree in turn is taken to a special area set up for a formal photograph, for inclusion in the Commorative Album, which will be published later this year...I strongly suggest getting a copy thru Bill, and comparing the trees to 2008...a great viewing experience showing how we are progressing in the Art.

Of course, Marco put on a demo this afternoon on a large Juniper..everyone was enthralled.

Kunio K. is headlining tomorrow.

Tonite is the Banquet, where awards will be given. It will be interesting to see what the judges have decided, particularly after watching them and listening to their critiques...each from a different viewpoint, and different continent!

Had many wonderful comments on the Alpine Fir and pot..and some in-depth discussions. Many folks asked how I had found and fitted the rock slabs together so perfectly...chuckle...bonsai magic!

Had some interesting conversations with many other artists represented here. And...they are "just plain folks" like me...imagine!

OK..get critical...apply what my teacher has told me over and over...have these trees been groomed, and cleaned? Is the moss on properly? Is there any debris laying about? Is the scroll tie dressed to the side that the scroll seal is on? Is the scroll at the right height, relative to the tree? Such simple questions...such detail, but walking behind the judges and listening to their comments gives the final answers...yup, I can learn from that, so next time will be better!

Time for a break...Karen, Michael, Colin, Bob (from Natures Way), Paul, Jim, Chase, Soli and I have a cold one out in the breezy parking lot...and some sorely needed laughs!

Gathered the sketchbook, and back inside to document my favorite accents...these will not be many wonderful ideas which can be used later.
I recognize a wonderful grass, which puts out long thin blades ending in tiny blue blooms...wonderfully intermixed with miniature Hosta and Sedum. Here is another with rabbits foot many wonderful tiny accents!
Several folks have amazingly creative items like miniature picnic boxes, with knives, forks, and napkins..for a picnic in the forest (the tree was a forest composition!). Another had an old rotting log (perhaps 1 inch in diameter) with many grasses, ferns, and sedums affixed...just as on the forest floor!
One accent was a composition of slate bits laid together like a small rising anthill, and Japanese Bloodgrass rising from the middle...wonderful texture and color!
A shohin display had a small snail (0.5 inches long) on an irregular slab...another (by Nick Lenz) was a group of small snake-like creatures wound around the central sedum plants...under his displayed tree.
Tired..been walking, talking, and viewing for many hours now...I hear my bed calling for a quick nap before dinner...more tomorrow!


  1. flex,

    Yoeman's work. Thank you for the second report!!! Did you take any photos??? I know you cannot photograph the actual displays but did you get any shots of people, vendors, etc.?

    If you didn't, no worries. Just asking. Have a good time, success and a safe trip home.

  2. Man, I'm exhausted just from reading that! Hope you guys did good up there! I'm sure it was nice to cavort with your old friends.