Monday, 21 May 2007

Virtually May -Adding foliage

In these hints I will try to go through topics by what you might want to achieve and describe how I go about it & what 'tools' you'll need to use to achieve it.

One of the first things I ever wanted to do was add foliage to see what a tree could look like.

The easiest way to do this is copy foliage that already exists on the tree. ( I will go through at a later date how to put foliage on a 'nude' tree.) There are a number of ways to 'nick' foliage, the easiest is using the lasso tool.
1. Click the lasso tool & draw around a section of existing foliage by holding down your left mouse button, making sure you complete a perimeter. When finished this will leave a dashed line around the area to be copied.
2. Then you copy the area by either going to edit/copy (next to File on your top horizontal tool bar) or by pressing the Ctrl & C buttons at the same time. This stores a copy of the area 'in' the computor.
3. You then want to add this back onto the picture by using paste, now highlighted under copy as above or by pressing the Ctrl & V buttons.
4. This then adds the new bit of picture on a new layer (like laying a sheet of tracing paper over the original picture. What might be confusing at this point is that it puts the new bit of picture exactly over the old, so it might look like nothings happened!
5. By clicking the Move tool (above and to right of the lasso tool) you can then position the added foliage where you want.
6. You can then work on this new foliage layer ie. move it to where you want-
or if you're up to it, use the rubber tool (below the stamp tool as per the picture above) to delete bits you don't want.
Then remember, save the picture with a new file name ie. Hawthorn A - then, if you have a c**k up you can always start again!!!

Thursday, 10 May 2007

Tree of the Month- May

This months TotM was selected by Tony T and I must add that he obviously has excellent taste!!!
(If you hadn't guessed already the tree resides in my garden!!)
I've always liked Silver Birch, even Bb (before bonsai) and I 'acquired' this a number of years ago even though I was warned they were 'temperamental.' If I can keep it as healthy as it is now (it's just about recovered from loosing 40% of it's foliage, following one afternoon of extreme heat!!) I hope to exhibit it at our annual show at Gordale.
I personally think the effort of 'pandering to its whims' is worth it!

May Meeting- Speaker -Tony T

As anticipated, this months meeting proved to be a winner with an excellent turn out for Tony's talk.
Following a period of mutual 'back slapping' the meeting started with a critique (which, as Tony pointed out, can include positive comments!!) off one of his trees, a beautiful Hawthorn in (virtually) full bloom. (note to self -take picture of tree next time!)
Tony initially discussed the process he goes through when assessing any tree but particularly deciduous -via looking at the nebari, taper, movement, foliage and pot. The exercise proving useful even for Tony as a slight change in the trees front (suggested by Ian) proved to enhance the trees elegance.
He also elaborated on some of the reasons why he sees the Hawthorn as the Uk's best native tree, most notably because of the potential they show throughout the 4 seasons.
To follow, a number of members trees were then brought to the front to receive a collective critical eye, all of which proved educational yet entertaining.
The second half of the talk involved an exercise in applying our 'warmed up' critical eye to the trees exhibited at this years Noelanders trophy. (Take 2 for those at Burrs recently but entertaining non the less.) Lee took a back seat for this critique, something to do with not wanting to 'pop' any stitches!!
All in all I think it was widely agreed to be a very interesting evening- & well worth the build up!!
PS. (I think I now know why Lee is keeping a low profile- Frankenstein eat your heart out!!!Follow the link for the gruesome details)

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

New post topic- Virtual tips

By way of a follow up to my club presentation last year on 'Virtual Bonsai' and to cover requests from members on 'how do you do this?' once a month I intend to highlight a virtual tip, task or technique I use when doing virtuals.
From the outset I think its important to convey that though I use photo manipulation software as part of my business, I wouldn't describe myself as an expert. I have heard it told that when using any software, individuals only tend to use a tenth of the software's capabilities; they just tend to use a different tenth to everybody else!! So please bear this in mind when reviewing the hints- there is always more than one way to skin a cat!!
I use Photoshop, the industry leading software for this type of work; and will therefore demonstrate using this software. The theory should transfer to other software (unless it's really basic & then I would suggest that if your serious about doing virtuals, you need to get you're wallet out!!) -it will probably just be achieved differently, so you may have to find your software manual.
(I'm aware this is a bonsai club site & some may not be interested in virtuals at all -so ill try to keep it brief, review how its going & if it starts to get too large or uninteresting let me know!!!.....cue Les.)
So if there's anything your interested in achieving or need help with, let me know and I can attempt to show (or figure out!) how its done.

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Did you know?... part2

No,.... this is not a Dendrophiliac's dream site (look it up!.... I had to.) This is a legitimate, wholesome (no pun intended) magazine/site produced by the Tree Council; dedicated to all your arborcultural needs!!

Nb. All lonely hearts, please take no notice of the strap line, this is not a dating agency!!

But you will have to pay if you want to see more..........apparently!

Bonsai Site of the Month -May

'Authentic oak'

This months site is one I found recently when I wanted to discover the meaning behind the term 'Shimpaku'. As can be gleened from the interesting article that the link below directs you too, the term was actually made up by bonsai traders-

-"......The rumor spread among the traders that "this is the authentic (=shin), oak (=paku)." Thus, the juniper was named "Shinpaku." (Accounting for the conventions of Japanese word combination, it becomes "Shimpaku.") This word was not known in either the Chinese or Japanese language and so the name "Shimpaku" was conceived within the world of bonsai as a new variety of junipers. "

One important lesson from the article was, [and particularly pertinent for Lee & Tony T ;) ]
- -make sure you're able to end your days on a Tatami mat!!

May's Speaker -Tony Tickle's Tree Clinic

A brief TT Résumé.
(For those members from Mars)
Tony is a winner of the first Ginkgo awards in 1997, UK winner and runner up in the European New talent competition in 1995, coached three UK new talent winners including David Prescott in 1997 and Mike Sullivan who won the Event in 1998 in Fermo Italy. Board of Director for Bonsai Clubs International 2003- 2005 and Member of Association of British Bonsai Artists.
He is the director of Bonsai Residency Workshops @ Burr's, is widely published and has had Bonsai selected for four Ginkgo awards, World Conferences and many European events. He has demonstrated widely at major conferences, clubs, societies and organisations throughout the UK and Europe.
........And he will be speaking at our club this month.
The theme for Tony's talk will be a ‘Tree Clinic’ the idea being that members bring trees and he will advise on future work, styling and a plan for maintenance.
-- be sure to get your backside and a tree to the RAFA club on May 9th!!

(He better be good now -after that build up!)


Hello and welcome to the Wirral Bonsai Society Blog - an ongoing diary & newsletter highlighting the adventures of the society & its members

Society Diary-We meet at 8pm every 2nd Wednesday of the month at the RAFA club in Oxton (CH43 1UU).

  • 13th January
  • 10th February
  • 14th February Workshop - Port Sunlight GC
  • 28th February Workshop - Gordale
  • 9th March - Monthly meeting - Topic TBC
  • 13th March Workshop - Port Sunlight GC
  • 27th March Workshop - Gordale
  • 13th April - Demonstration - Andy H
  • 17th April Workshop - Port Sunlight GC
  • 24th April Workshop - Gordale
  • 8th May Workshop - Port Sunlight GC
  • 11th May- Monthly meeting - Topic TBC
  • 29th May Workshop - Gordale
  • 4-5th June WBS Flowering Bonsai Show - Port Sunlight GC
  • 8th June - WBS Member trees critique
  • 12th June Workshop - Port Sunlight GC
  • 26th June Workshop - Gordale
  • 10th July Workshop - Port Sunlight GC
  • 13th July- Monthly meeting - Topic TBC
  • 31st July Workshop - Gordale
  • 10th August- WBS Show tree selection
  • 13-14th August - Wirral Flower Show
  • 20th August - Japan Day, Liverpool
  • 27-29th August WBS Annual Show - Gordale
  • 14th September- Monthly meeting - Topic TBC
  • 11th September Workshop - Port Sunlight GC
  • 25th September Workshop - Gordale
  • 9th October Workshop - Port Sunlight GC
  • 12th October- Monthly meeting - Topic TBC
  • 30th October Workshop - Gordale
  • 9th November- Monthly meeting - Topic TBC
  • 13th November Workshop - Port Sunlight GC
  • 26-27th November - Potter Workshop with David Jones (Walsall Studio Ceramics)
  • 27th November Workshop - Gordale
  • 14th December - Club Party


New members are always welcome, just come along to one of our monthly meetings at the RAFA club. You can even 'try us out' for a few months before you decide on joining as an official member. The meetings are informal (there's a bar!) and the club members are (mostly) friendly, approachable and happy to pass on guidance and information to anybody interested in bonsai- whatever your level of experience.