Colin Fraser Purcell repots a pine bosai
Colin Fraser Purcell repots a pine bosai

-About Me-

Hi, I'm Colin Fraser Purcell, a bonsai teacher and artist based in Long Beach and Santa Barbara, California.

After completing a biology degree at UC Santa Barbara I discovered the art of Bonsai, and my passion for trees eventually led me to an apprenticeship with Travis Goldstein at California Bonsai Studio in Thousand Oaks. Subsequently, I took over day-to-day management of the bonsai studio and began teaching classes and workshops (you can still find me there on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays).

I am also available independently for instruction, styling, repotting, and other bonsai work. My goal is to make bonsai approachable and accessible for a wide range of hobbyists and enthusiasts. If you're interested in some hands-on help with your bonsai trees and you're in Santa Barbara, Ventura, or LA County, check out my BONSAI SERVICES.


"I strongly recommend private lessons with Colin! There are a lot of great bonsai teachers in the SoCall area, but Colin has a unique talent for explaining things in a way that immediately makes sense. After I started taking regular lessons from Colin a great deal of the mystery and confusion that I struggled with trying to learn bonsai over the years has vanished. My knowledge and skill in developing bonsai has increased in leaps and bounds over the last year, and I’m finally starting to feel like I’m getting a solid grounding in the development of good quality bonsai."

"Colin is also a walking encyclopedia of bonsai knowledge and his background in biology gives him a deep understanding of the inner workings of trees. He is great at boiling down complex subjects into understandable parts that then become building blocks for more advanced topics."

"Often when asking questions that I expect a simple answer to, I get a much more complex and comprehensive answer that very often completely reframes how I think about a whole topic in bonsai, and always leaves me with a better understanding than I had before."

"Studying under Colin has dramatically accelerated my progress as a bonsai artist and put me on a path to being a better bonsai artist than I would have thought possible a year ago. I highly, highly recommend him as a teacher!"

-Damon DuBois, Golden State Bonsai Federation Secretary and Conejo Valley Bonsai Society President

I scheduled a lesson with Colin for a new bonsai tree tutorial and it was awesome! We walked through all the basics while I got to do a lot of hands on work.

- Charlie A, Thousand Oaks

"I do not have a green thumb and practically killed my 2 beautiful bonsai trees . . . Colin took extra special care of them. We were able to save the bigger one. He was knowledgeable, kind and focused on the health of my plant."

- Stacy B, Simi Valley

"I went for my beginners class with Colin and I am officially all in. He made the art accessible without the pressure of seeking perfection, which makes it perfect. I have already recommended you to others and will continue to do so."

- David D, Ventura CA

Had an absolutely lovely afternoon learning about bonsai, and pruning and potting our first trees! Colin is an excellent teacher, and so good at making this art form feel very achievable. We will definitely be back."

- Ashley C, Los Angeles CA

Colin had been great to work with just to schedule the class, but he was even more great to work with in person. His knowledge and passion for what he does was very evident. I would highly recommend . . . "

- Geneva W, Salt Lake City UT