Tribute Gallery

Feature Gallery


A Tribute to Vaughn Banting

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Vaughn Banting
Photograph by Alan Walker

AoB usually includes a brief bio of the featured artist at this point, in this case we have decided to forgo the bio, as there is no way we can do justice to this great man by adding anything that would surpass that which can be found at http://www.vlbanting.com/aboutme.htm. From his start in bonsai, to today, Vaughn's life is remarkably documented there, complete with photographs of his bonsai, his gardens, progressions, and friends he has made along the way. A interview AoB did with Vaughn can also be seen on this forum at http://artofbonsai.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=936

We mean this to be a dynamic gallery in which those who view it can add any content that they may have by, or about, Vaughn Banting, be it letters, drawings, photographs or other material, simply by emailing them, with your name and a brief history of the piece, to will@artofbonsai.org. As always at AoB, the owner of the submissions retains all copyrights and will receive full credit for such. AoB only requests permission to use them in this gallery. We hope you'll take the time and help us expand this gallery.

Special thanks must be given to Alan Walker for the vast number of pictures and videos he supplied for this tribute, thanks Alan.

Thoughts

Vaughn Banting... my friend, my teacher.

Vaughn and Guy Guidry 5/5/08
Photograph by Chis Guidry

In life, one must consider themselves very fortunate to cross paths with another person who has the ability to change their life, the ability to make not only them a better person, but in turn, those around them. In this day and age, such a trait is rare and almost non existent. It seems everybody has their own agenda. We live in our own micro-sphere and are not typically willing to make new friends or lend a helping hand.

Life is fast ...too fast.

If you are lucky and meet that rare individual who takes the time from a busy day to teach you, how do you thank them? Is it even possible to repay the debt?

In my case, not all the tea in china would be enough to repay Vaughn. I am one of the lucky ones whose path crossed Vaughn Banting’s path. We became great friends and I became a life long disciple of the Vaughn Banting Gospel, “A way to live a better life through bonsai.”

He taught me an awareness of Mother Nature and a common respect for all living things on earth. I gained knowledge from him that simply was unobtainable from any other source. He gave it all. He was an expert horticulturist by trade who knew both plant physiology and aesthetics, so he understood Bonsai as an art form.

He had a knack for teaching and an uncanny ability to take confusing, difficult topics and made them easy to comprehend. He was a fun teacher and we laughed a lot. He had many great stories and as a skilled storyteller, he always kept you amused. He mentored and touched many lives in multiple ways ranging from Bonsai to cancer.

Almost everywhere my travels have taken me, people always asked me to say Hi to Vaughn, to send their love to him, or simply pass along thanks to him for helping them to find the line. I guess that is what life is all about, finding the right line in a difficult world.

Vaughn taught through analogies and said many things that I often repeat, such as:

  • Find the line
  • If you can't find the front, find the back
  • Less is better than more
  • The beginning of the story and the end of the story
  • Keep it simple
  • A confusing design gets worse in time
  • Know when to cut your loses
  • Know when to bail out

When Vaughn was about 9 years old , his father noticed his love for trees. He regularly witnessed Vaughn taking container plants and, with pruning, made them look like little trees. Vaughn called them little trees. He had a little hut at the nursery where he grew them and it had a sign on the front that simply said “LITTLE TREES.”

His father told him of the art called Bonsai, which thrilled Vaughn. Vaughn was eager for information but to his despair, it was very limited at that time.

So what did Vaughn do?

What else.....He accumulated any available information on bonsai and began writing his own manual for growing bonsai. Pretty impressive for such a young lad, but that was Vaughn. His passion was evident even at that very young age and I guess that explains where his God given talent for teaching came from.

So, how do you thank someone for so much?

I guess I am lucky enough to have at least been able to tell him that ...to let him know how dramatically he changed my life. I got to Thank him for all that he taught me, I got to hug him and tell him that I loved him and I'm grateful that he knew.

I think he was proud in knowing that he has many ambassadors from the school of Vaughn Banting carrying out his life's work, continuing the same direction of classical bonsai, and keeping on the same path he led us to.

If riches are measured or gauged by the number of lives one has touched, then Vaughn was a wealthy man, which in turn made me a very lucky man. If it were not for Vaughn, I would not be me.

I miss Vaughn greatly.

-Guy Guidry

HAIKU for VAUGHN by Dr. Chuck Eschenberg

A BALD CYPRESS WEEPS
A MASTER HAS PASSED ALONG
WITH THE SUMMER GREEN

 

"How very sad to hear of the passing a Vaughn Banting — a great guy!

I first met Vaughn many years ago at one of the Conventions here in the UK (I think, or was it Hawaii?). He was full of beans and I was particularly stricken by his sense of humour; especially where it came to practical jokes. He showed me a little coin and asked me to take a close look and before I could say anything, I had an eyeful of water. Typical Vaughn humour! The coin was hollow and filled with water, like a water-pistol.

I met Vaughn on several occasions and learned a great deal from him and his ardent 'Gang of Four' (The Flat-tops — Guidry, Marchal, Hoerner and of course Vaughn). These were great guys who were always passionate about bonsai and were happy to check out all sorts of innovative ideas. They were not afraid to break the rules. Great times spent together with very warm and hospitable friends who introduced me to raw oysters, gumbo and cray fish. What would life be like without memories!

When I first heard of Vaughn's first brain tumour I was totally shocked, but Vaughn in his inimitable way fought the disease and soon got on top of it showing a great deal of courage and character. His zest for life was immeasurable. He refused to let go and had many repeat performances coming up tops each time.

I feel so very privileged to have shared some time with Vaughn and shall miss him and his sense of fun.

We had many 'in-depth' discussions about bonsai and philosophy and shared our love of haiku. In fact another very good friend of mine (Charlie Duke) sent me his book of poems. I cherish it. So on this note I'll end my tribute to Vaughn with one of my own haiku poems:

Who sees the tears
Of the lonely Golden Carp?
Golden Carp alone."

- Dan Barton

GNOBS/BCI

Ben Oki and Vaughn Banting
Photograph by Alan Walker

Ben Oki and Vaughn Banting
Photograph by Alan Walker

Ben Oki and Vaughn Banting
Photograph by Alan Walker

GNOBS Charter - Larry Brown, Julien Rolfs, Ray Young, John Patrick, Ray Russel, Charlotte P, Vaughn Banting, Hilda Y
Photograph by Alan Walker

GNOBS at BCI '83 Orlando
Photograph by Alan Walker

GNOBS at BCI '83 Orlando
Photograph by Alan Walker

Jimmy Littleton, John and Shirley White, Vaughn and Donna Banting
Photograph by Alan Walker

John Naka with Vaughn Banting
Photograph by Alan Walker

Linda and Alden McEwen with Vaughn Banting
Photograph by Alan Walker

Lynn Porter, Chase Rosade, Ron Trupp, Donna and Vaughn Banting
Photograph by Alan Walker

Russ Copping, Jimmy Littleton, Donna and Vaughn Banting, Kathy Walker
Photograph by Alan Walker

Vaughn Banting
Photograph by Alan Walker

Vaughn Banting
Photograph by Alan Walker

Vaughn Banting with Alan Walker
Photograph by Alan Walker

BCI Orlando 07/1983

Cocktails with Vaughn Banting and Russell Coker
Photograph by Alan Walker

Cocktails with Vaughn Banting and Russell Coker
Photograph by Alan Walker

George Harrelson, Donna and Vaughn Banting
Photograph by Alan Walker

India Delegation
Photograph by Alan Walker

BCI Hawaii 07/90

Donna and Vaughn Banting
Photograph by Alan Walker

Vaughn and Donna Banting, Jean Smith, Mary Bloomer, Sharon Muth
Photograph by Alan Walker

Vaughn Banting, Susumu Nakamura, and Donna Banting
Photograph by Alan Walker

LCBS 08/1990

Vaughn Banting, Charlotte Tucker, Brian Hoerner
Photograph by Alan Walker

Charlotte Tucker, Vaughn Banting
Photograph by Alan Walker

Clark and Stephanie Long, Vaughn banting, Carol Wood
Photograph by Alan Walker

Clark and Stephanie Long, Vaughn Banting
Photograph by Alan Walker

Guy Guidry
Photograph by Alan Walker

Guy Guidry
Photograph by Alan Walker

Howard Vanzant, Vaughn Banting
Photograph by Alan Walker

Maria and Howard Vanzant
Photograph by Alan Walker

Maria and Howard Vanzant, Vaughn Banting, Brian Hoerner
Photograph by Alan Walker

Maria vanzant, Vaughn Banting, Brian Hoerner
Photograph by Alan Walker

Maria Vanzant, Vaughn Banting, Carol Wood, Brian Hoerner
Photograph by Alan Walker

Maria Vanzant, Vaughn Banting
Photograph by Alan Walker

Maria Vanzant, Vaughn Banting
Photograph by Alan Walker

Marvin Ettinger, Carol Wood, Vaughn Banting
Photograph by Alan Walker

Marvin Ettinger, Guy Guidry
Photograph by Alan Walker

Vaughn Banting
Photograph by Alan Walker

Vaughn Banting
Photograph by Alan Walker

Vaughn Banting Workshop
Photograph by Alan Walker

BCI Memphis 05/92

Jake Watson, Donna and Vaughn Banting, Hideko Metaxis
Photograph by Alan Walker

BCI Orlando 05/93

Botero Flat Top Sketch
Photograph by Alan Walker

Brian Hoerner, Vaughn Banting, Gary Marchal, Dal Cousans, Don S
Photograph by Alan Walker

Brian Hoener,Vaughn Banting, Guy Guidry
Photograph by Alan Walker

Brian Hoerner, Vaughn Banting, Guy Guidry, Gary Marchal
Photograph by Alan Walker

Dal Cousans, Guy Guidry, Vaughn Banting, Brian Hoerner
Photograph by Alan Walker

Dal Cousans, Vaughn Banting, Guy Guidry
Photograph by Alan Walker

Flat Top Crew, LA Contingent
Photograph by Alan Walker

Flat Top Cypress, Yose Ue Final
Photograph by Alan Walker

Gary Marchal, Don S, Vaughn Banting, Brian Hoerner, Martha Botero, Dal Cousans, Guy Guidry
Photograph by Alan Walker

Gary Marchal, Dal Cousans, Vaughn Banting, Guy Guidry, Chuck Roy
Photograph by Alan Walker

Gary Marchal, Dave Degroot with Zhou penjing
Photograph by Alan Walker

Guy Guidry and Vaughn Banting
Photograph by Alan Walker

Vaughn Banting
Photograph by Alan Walker

Vaughn Banting, Solit Tafur
Photograph by Alan Walker

Vaughn Banting with Flat Top Display
Photograph by Alan Walker

Vaughn Banting, and Gary Marchal
Photograph by Alan Walker

Vaughn Banting, Guy Guidry, Gary Marchal
Photograph by Alan Walker

Vaughn Banting with sister, Ivey Schlegel
Photograph by Alan Walker

Vaughn Banting, Brian Hoerner, Dal Cousans, Gary Marchal, Don S, Guy Guidry
Photograph by Alan Walker

ABS Convention, April 2001

Marchals, Guidry, Jean, Merrill, Bantings
Photograph by Alan Walker

David, Chris, Vaughn
Photograph by Alan Walker

Guidrys, Bantings, Walker, Porter
Photograph by Alan Walker

Howard, Jean, Merrill, Vaughn Banting, Linda, McEwen
Photograph by Alan Walker

Vaughn, Kathy
Photograph by Alan Walker

David, Alan, Vaughn
Photograph by Alan Walker

Porter, Guidry, Kathy, Bantings
Photograph by Alan Walker

Vaughn and Gayle Banting
Photograph by Alan Walker

Vaughn and Gayle Banting
Photograph by Alan Walker

Vaughn and a Raintree
Photograph by Alan Walker

NBF

Gayle and Vaughn Banting, Janet Lanman, John Naka
Photograph by Alan Walker

Mary Bloomer, Alan Walker, Vaughn Banting, Chase Rosade
Photograph by Alan Walker

Mary Bloomer and Vaughn Banting
Photograph by Alan Walker

Roger Case, Vaughn Banting, Alan Walker, George Heffelfinger
Photograph by Alan Walker

Vaughn Banting with Sweetgum
Photograph by Alan Walker

Vaughn Banting with Sweetgum
Photograph by Alan Walker

Vaughn Banting
Photograph by Alan Walker

Vaughn Banting - Atrium
Photograph by Alan Walker

Vaughn Banting
Photograph by Alan Walker

Vaughn Banting and Chase Rosade
Photograph by Alan Walker

Vaughn Banting and Chase Rosade
Photograph by Alan Walker

Vaughn Banting with Yose-ue Maple
Photograph by Alan Walker

Vaughn Banting with Naka Bust
Photograph by Alan Walker

Vaughn Banting with Naka Bust
Photograph by Alan Walker

Miscellaneous

Vaughn Banting Haiku
Photograph by Alan Walker

Gary Marchal, Vaughn Banting, Guy Guidry
Photograph by Alan Walker

Vaughn Banting Obituary
Photograph by Alan Walker

Videos

Bonsai

Of course no tribute to this great artist would be complete without photographs of his bonsai. Our sincerest thanks go out to Vaughn's family who graciously submitted the following photographs of Vaughn and his work so that his work can be shared with the community.

Vaughn Banting Tribute

Water Elm, Broom Style
Photograph and permission to use given by Vaughn's family

Vaughn Banting Tribute

Bench of Bunjin
Photograph and permission to use given by Vaughn's family

Vaughn Banting Tribute

Benco Azalea
Photograph and permission to use given by Vaughn's family

Vaughn Banting Tribute

Black Gum Group
Photograph and permission to use given by Vaughn's family

Vaughn Banting Tribute

Flat Top in Driveway
Photograph and permission to use given by Vaughn's family

Vaughn Banting Tribute

Photograph and permission to use given by Vaughn's family

Vaughn Banting Tribute

Photograph and permission to use given by Vaughn's family

Vaughn Banting Tribute

Red Pine, Informal Upright Style
Photograph and permission to use given by Vaughn's family

Vaughn Banting Tribute

New Bonsai Courtyard
Photograph and permission to use given by Vaughn's family

Vaughn Banting Tribute

Photograph and permission to use given by Vaughn's family

Vaughn Banting Tribute

Photograph and permission to use given by Vaughn's family

Vaughn Banting Tribute

Photograph and permission to use given by Vaughn's family

Vaughn Banting Tribute

Photograph and permission to use given by Vaughn's family

Vaughn Banting Tribute

Photograph and permission to use given by Vaughn's family

Vaughn Banting Tribute

Trident Maple in full leaf
Photograph and permission to use given by Vaughn's family

Vaughn Banting Tribute

Twin Trunk showing fused trunks and scars
Photograph and permission to use given by Vaughn's family

Vaughn Banting Tribute

Vaughn by his forest planting
Photograph and permission to use given by Vaughn's family

Vaughn Banting Tribute

Vaughn pruning his Sweet Gum
Photograph and permission to use given by Vaughn's family

Vaughn Banting Tribute

Vaughn with his Slanting Water Elm
Photograph and permission to use given by Vaughn's family

Vaughn Banting Tribute

Vaughn working on a Wakabaesu that used to be a cascade
Photograph and permission to use given by Vaughn's family



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