How it began..
I began Bonsai in 2008 after receiving a small juniper as a gift and finding myself fascinated with it. The tree, as most first bonsai do, died and I was left wondering why?
I wanted to try again but on something a bit more substantial. I researched bonsai in my area and was pleased to learn that Wigert’s Bonsai Nursery was conveniently located within a 20 minute drive. I met Erik Wigert, and expressed both my admiration and desire to learn this Art from him. Originally I was told that there was no position at the nursery. I decided to essentially show my persistence by taking every class the nursery offered and spending all of my weekends there. One day, during class, Erik approached me and told me to report for duty the following Saturday. That was the beginning…
Since then I have accomplished the following in the Art of Bonsai:
- In 2010: I was awarded the sum of $1000 by the Bonsai Societies of Florida, in their annual styling competition.
- With the scholarship money, I traveled to Mexico for the 2010 FELAB convention where I met and learned from artists such as Mauro Stemberger, Min Lo, Robert Steven, Vlad Novak, and Enrique Castano.
- In 2011: I was Awarded best Shohin tree, and best Kifu Tree by Pedro Morales at the Annual Wigerts Open house display and critique.
- 2012: Marked the Year I started teaching, and taught several workshops and demonstrations throughout the state of Florida, as well as teaching individual classes on specific Styles and facets of Bonsai. This was also the year that I began teaching my monthly help session under the Mike Lane Shohin Studio Banner.
- In 2014: I again did workshops and demonstrations for the Bonsai Society of Southwest Florida, and received the AKAI award in bonsai design and 2nd place best tree for shohin.
- Later That Year I was invited to do a program for the Long Island Bonsai Society in New York.
- Also in 2014: I had a tree accepted and displayed in the U.S. National Bonsai Exhibition in Rochester New York.
- In 2016: I taught demonstrations and workshops at the Bonsai Society of Florida’s Annual show, and had the opportunity to work with established artists Bjorn Bjorholm and Juan Andrade.
- 2017-Current: over the last two years I have been deeply dedicated in refining my technique and advancing skills. I will be a featured artist at the Texas State Convention, have been invited back to the Long Island Bonsai society, and have submitted a tree to display again in the National Exhibition in Rochester, New York.
My approach to bonsai is unique in my appreciation of the global distribution of Bonsai and the diverse aesthetics that have become established as bonsai takes its place on the world stage. Essentially, the difference between Japanese Bonsai, and the Bonsai produced around the world.