by maggie

So I got up pretty close and personal with lots of natural phenomena building the shed, not all of it was dead. It was the inanimate patterns that held still long enough to keep my attention as I don’t have a fascinated with invertebrates.

Li is a concept from Chinese philiosophy. It’s often translated as ‘principle’ which I don’t find terrible helpful. I tend to think of Li as the thing-ness of a thing, rather than the ought-ness.

Of course Western Scientists and Artists have long been fascinated by the form things take as well. A well known book on the subject is D’Arcy Thompson’s ‘On growth and form‘ first published in 1917. Another more approachable book is Phillip Ball’s ‘The self made tapestry‘.The wood grain of the logs for the shed have their own form – small diameter trunks cut and planed, then exposed to the weather. Of course the knots are more eye catching and varied.


more practice with a graphite stick should get an even application


these are from the door frame where the wood was finished in a different way

Of course the wood work had to be painted varnished. I used a little roller for the faces of the logs and an inch brush for the nooks and crannies. Not knowing very much about P&D I just grabbed the first ones in the shop. The shaggy rollers made a lovely pattern on the raw wood and on absorbent paper later.

now what happens when you paint over the varnish?

now what happens when you paint over the varnish?

I’m sure there are lots of other possibilities for Li with the paint roller. i usually push the uses of tools past their limits, much to the consternation of my teachers.
I suppose the Li is central in trying to make effective pebble pictures. Looking for the thing-ness of things. I’ll keep you updated on the use of these Li images in more pictures.