The USPS unveiled a new series of bonsai stamps last month. The artist, John D. Dawson of Hawaii, came out to Sacramento’s McKinley Park for the “first day issue” rollout. Had I known, I might have attended.
I first heard about the project 18 months ago when the USPS wanted to license the image of one of my trees. The artist had used a photo of my black pine from Bay Island Bonsai’s 2003 exhibit as a reference for the stamp. Upon seeing the design, I was immediately struck by the likeness.
Black pine stamp – January 2012
Black pine – January 2003
The USPS included a bit of a bonsai primer in their announcement of the series, and followed up with a nice piece (no longer available) about how the project took shape. The other stamps in the series feature a banyan, a trident maple, a Sierra juniper, and an azalea – a colorful mix!
This is the most fun I’ve had since my hinoki was featured in a cosmetics catalog.
Hinoki – “The Giving Tree”
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Chris Cochrane says
Love your bonsai, Jonas. Thanks for sharing. It displays the beauty of nebari stretching the trunk base in one direction while compressed on the opposite side.
For me, the stamp looks more like a formal upright. I leaned the stamp to view the trunk vertically because of the painting’s near symmetrical root stretch.
Has the artist acknowledged the original trees? As an icon for bonsai recognition in North America, your tree would be especially prized alongside the stamp image in an American bonsai museum. I hope you would consider it. The subtle attention to detail of your tree is deeply inspiring.
Jonas Dupuich says
Thanks for the note Chris! I don’t know if the artist has acknowledged sources for any of the images on the stamps. It would be fun to see the other trees if he did.
Jose Luis says
The casdade ficus belongs to Liang Yueh Mei (Amy Liang) fron Taiwan. To corroborate, please refer to the color plates in her book.