Final "Art of Bonsai" Class with Master Walter Liew...
The Final Night...
I'm sure I speak for all if not most of the class when I say that we were all anxiously waiting for this final night of education at Master Walter Liew's Dragon Garden Bonsai Cultural Center in Waimanalo while also not wanting the classes to come to an end. The final night of the official Windward Community College Art of Bonsai class covered critiquing, evaluation or judging the artistic quality of bonsai while having a dinner party featuring Mrs. Liew's Lemon Turkey to kick-off the Thanksgiving feasts we'll all be having for this rest of the week.
The photo above to the left is Master Liew describing how triangles are often seen as the geometrical shape of beauty. He is pointing out that trees in nature as well as in bonsai will usually be in the shape of a traingle if it's considered beautiful to the eye. He made mentions examples of other natural things of beauty that resemble triangles like mountain peaks and trees while pointing out man made triangular shaped things of beauty like architecture in buildings or homes (pyramids too?). The triangular shape represents Heaven (at the top), Man (1 lower corner) & Earth (2nd lower corner). This gives the feeling of balance and makes it beautiful to look at. The photo on the left is from his recently released book, The Living Art of Bonsai, published by Island Heritage Publishing. (More on the book later) We reviewed the principals of the thirds. It's refered to as the "Fibonacci sequence" in his book. Most formal style of bonsai would meet the criteria of the tree and pot being sectioned in thirds and creating balance when looking at it in its entirety.
We also reviewed the design of the pot. The pot should compliment the type of tree. Only if the tree is artistically styled and paired with an appropriate pot will it become a true bonsai. The pot is usually shallow and its width about 1.5 times the height of the tree. The reason the pot should be shallow is because it represents the horizon. A bonsai should be thought of as viewing a naturally beautiful tree in the distance on the horizon.
Master Liew also wanted to express his appreciation for a special honor. In the 55 years of Windward Community College's instructor evaluations, he was just informed that he is the first instructor ever to recieve a 100% "Excellent" rating for being knowledgable about the material presented. Of course, I already placed my excellent rating on the evaluation, obviously... but if anyone is considering pursuing their interest in bonsai this course is a must! If you still aren't certain, just visit Master Liew at his nursery. After that, I'm sure that you will be intrigued!
Ok... This is the book all bonsai enthusiasts will want to have. The book that's being described as the most complete, educational and inspriational book about bonsai. Master Walter Liew's very own book, The Living Art of Bonsai, published by Island Heritage Publishing. This book was just released about 3 weeks ago and is flying off the store shelves everywhere. It's retail price is just under $16!!! What a value! Believe me, I'm not a book buyer nor do I read any books (unless it's reference material). I am highly supportive of finding "free" information on the web, but the information provided in this book is not stuff you can just find on the web.
Kelli and I went to his 1st book signing promotion at Queen Emma Summer Palace on November 9th. The signing started at 3pm. Kelli took a couple vacation hours from work so we could get there by 3pm. As soon as the doors opened, 6 of his books were sold! Many other students from class tried to go later in the event and the books were sold out!
If you want to meet the author and Master of Bonsai, Walter Liew, he has a couple book signing scheduled this weekend. I don't know the specific times, but I think Saturday 11/24 he has a signing at Borders Ward Center during the day and a afternoon signing at Windward Borders. Call the stores and ask them about it. At $16 it's a great Christmas gift even if you personally don't want the book I'm sure you know someone that would.