When I decided to create a page on bonsai art, I realized just how many bonsai artists are also artists in what are considered more traditional forms
... painting, drawing and sculpture.
Some of the following are talented people I've known for many years.
Some are more recent acquaintances.
All have artistic talent, often influenced by their passion for bonsai.
Chad Beatty was at a Florida bonsai convention when I met him. Chad “works primarily in oils, painting mystical and sublime scenes rich in symbolism.” Influenced by his appreciation of bonsai, he has developed an additional stream of artwork he calls Kiri No Ki.
This Blossom Branch is one of my favorites.
Carl Rosner is an online friend of several years. Although I've never met Carl in person, he's been an asset on several of my bonsai site pages and now his first love appears on this page - painting.
Carl was born, raised and still lives in New Jersey.
Much of his work is painted on commission. He has created some very special art for several bonsai people including Jim Smith and Jim Moody.
You may recognize this Jim Moody Brazilian Rain Tree bonsai in this original oil painting.
Bonsai hobbyists have crusaded for bonsai postage stamps for years ... the time has come! The US Postal Service has chosen five bonsai tree paintings by Hawaiian wildlife artist John D. Dawson to appear on Forever Stamps. (Now available.)
Although not a practicing “bonsai artist,” Mr. Dawson truly gets it! We are honored by his talent.
Ernie Fernandez is a bonsai friend of many years.
Sometimes it difficult to imagine the future of a newly styled bonsai tree.
Ernie's drawings truly show what can happen with years of attention and passion.
I have to think, anyone who receives a drawing by Ernie - with their new bonsai tree - must be greatly encouraged to follow "the plan."
Ben Oki is an early student of John Naka and curator of the Bonsai Collections at the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California.
He has been growing and teaching bonsai since 1958. He is also accomplished in designing gardens ... many with magnificent stone arrangements.
After 50 years, Ben is still traveling and always brings his sketch pad.
If you find bonsai puzzling, take a minute (or 10) to put together these bonsai puzzles. The amazing artist is Paul Finch.
Two very important artists, who are no longer with us, can not go without being mentioned.
Joe Samuels was a fine bonsai artist and a self taught water colorists.
For many years, his friends looked forward to his hand painted Christmas cards. Joe enjoyed creating these “quick sketches,” as he called them, however, he relished the many hours of creating larger works, even more.
(Joe Samuels is also the bonsai artist who introduced
Ficus nerifolia to the bonsai world!)
The above watercolor is the last in a series of three painted after Hurricane Andrew. Joe named this one "The Aftermath."
John Naka's sketches helped many of us through the early days of our bonsai experience.
Many were donated, in honor of John, to the National Bonsai Foundation in Washington, DC.
In addition to those concept drawings, John was an accomplished painter.
(The Cheryl Manning site has many photos and stories about John Naka, including some of his art. )
Did I Miss Someone? Please help me fill in the gaps! If you know an artist who deserves mention on my site, please let me know.
Facebook recently introduced me to the world of wire tree sculptures.
I added this hobby as an extension to the bonsai art page.
Is it art or craft? I'll let you decide, see the page of wire bonsai trees!
If you would like to start over,
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