As promised, here’s the “story” post of the trip to the 2016 Winter Silhouette Expo. Let’s start with the view from the second floor, above the exhibit room. It’s always best to start at the top. But maybe not in order. I don’t remember things in order, it doesn’t seem, sometimes, so maybe I’ll write this post that way. Or maybe it was the coquito. And beer. Memories soaked in spirits. Nestor supplied the cocquito. Chris poured the beer.
Some of these pics aren’t mine, some are Nestor’s (above left), some are Cullen’s (from AB Tools) and some I just outright stole from the Facebooks. Let’s start in the middle somewhere.
My buxus microphylla being photographed by the amazing Joe Noga. If’n you’re wanting a true professional photo of your (your club, Society, or regional group’s) exhibit trees, I suggest You hire Joe. He took, I kid not, at least thirty photos of my buxus here. It’s a difficult tree to photograph I guess (the light bark seems to reflect the lights and it causes really bright hot spots) but he finally got the photo, with the help of holding up two blinds blocking the lights and handheld spots and all kinds of tricks that only a pro could think of. Here’s the result (photo by Joe, obviously)
I’ll show my demo trees a little later in the article.
If you remember last years coverage (click here) James, Rob’s sister’s boyfriend’s son, and Rob had collected a pine tree. Surprisingly, it was still alive and flourishing. We are thinking it’s a loblolly pine.
In case you didn’t guess, this year I drove with Rob again, along with my good friend Dustin Mann. This is after they defoliated Rob’s tree, The Kraken (a ficus microcarpa) mid show. It was a dramatic move and surprised a lot of people. The before/after shots.
Rob is pushing the envelope when it comes to bonsai display. I think he’s having fun doing it too.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Rob and his sister and her family for putting up with Dustin and me and letting us stay with them for the show.
Last year I talked a lot about my prep for the show, the stands, the trees, etc., but this year I’m going to go quickly over it.
I went through too many configurations for the tree placement. I’m not sure I got it right in the end, but I enjoyed the challenge. It’s all about flow. As it was presented in the show:photo by Joe Noga.
Barb provided the moss this year, which gave rise to the above companion, some reindeer moss (lichen) growing out of regular moss. She really came through for me. Her sea grape and shimpaku juniper. Along with her sweet companion plants. Thank you ma’am!
One of my favorite people, who just moved from Florida to North Carolina, was in attendance, No, not Alex Jones, that’s Mr. Mike Cartrett. He was doing what he does best, selling bonsai and bonsai related sundries. He gave me this cool Hawaiian rock.My original idea was to carve it out a bit more and drill some drain holes. But Rodney reminded me that I should leave it alone, else I’d feel the wrath of the Hawaiian volcano gods. Mike promised me that it had been blessed and any curses removed. I might just be careful, this time. I don’t need any more curses chasing me around.
One of the great things about shows like this is you get to meet many new people and renew old friendships. You see, bonsai is little trees. But it’s also big friendships, good people and great art. I’m grateful to be a part of the community.
Ok, now for some (if you’ll forgive me a little) shameless self promotion.
The theme of the talk was, believe it or not, “Why tropical bonsai is superior to classical bonsai”. Maybe I’ll write a blog post using that theme soon. Post it on all the forums and stir up all kinds of trouble. Maybe…..
I hope to see some more readers of the blog next year, too. We need a contingent, a movement. A mob. That’d be cool. Take over the joint.
That’s what bonsai is about. Not the awards, not the egos, the cliques and politics. Not the money or the trappings or the hubris. Bonsai is this. That girl is seeing the tree and was so inspired by it that she stopped to take a pic. Simple. And that makes me feel hopeful.