Thursday, February 16, 2012

In and Out of the Box

During our January "InspiredArts" guild meeting we did an excercise that involved being in a box and out of a box.  Each of us stood inside the box and talked about what our particular box was.  We then physically stepped outside the box and told each other how we hoped to 'get out of our box' during this year. 

My 'in the box', as many of you know was that I focused too much on production work in 2011.  Actually, with shows and deadlines that I had imposed upon myself I had been in that box for several years.  As I stepped out of the box in January I talked about new-to-me abstract wall hangings.

This has become so intriguing to me.  I found that in January I almost had to force myself to take my time, take breaks to study the work before moving on, slow myself down.  As I make my way through February I am finding that my body and mind are learning to 'take it easy' -- new stitches and techniques have slowed me down and that's a really good thing. 

My out-of-the-box goal is to make work that pleases me, that stretches my knowledge base, that expands my horizon and that has no preconceived pattern, shape or reason.  I guess I could say that I am 'free' this year and for me right now that is a very good thing.

"Exploration is really the essence of the human spirt." - Frank Borman


  1. Yes! a very good thing.
    I used to do a lot of things. I always had to place a value on a completed project and them moved on to selling them. Jewelry, sewn items. Whatever interested me at the time. Then I started creating what would sell...pressure to produce "value".

    In the past few years with the kids living here I haven't had a lot of time to do what I want. I need to step out of the confines of worth and purpose to pure pleasure.

    Good post.
    xx, Carol

  2. Some of what you wrote, Penny, reminds me of how much I value learning beading the "improvisational" way. It does take a conscious effort not to plan a piece, and to this day my most satisfying beaded piece is my first one where I did really good at not planning.

  3. Yup!....take your time....

    ...better things come of it methinks.

    ..and don't forget...just because it's bigger, doesn't mean that every square inch has to be punched....you can do easy-to-handle sized patches and then apply them afterwards....:-)

  4. It's good to know that you are already learning the change of pace required. If you've been driving yourself for years, it's a great achievement to have stepped away from that already.

  5. explore expand express.
    yep, thats it, boxes be damned!!

  6. When I saw your little pic on my sidebar I thought, "hey, what's Penny doing in that box? Let's go see!" ha! And, here you are in a box. But look...you stepped out and the art journey continues! Have fun slowing down and enjoying the new skills you learn and wonderful things you will make. xo

  7. Good post - good exercise. Its a point well taken. Trying something new is good. Trying something outside your comfort zone is great.

  8. This is a post that is a *friendly reminder* for so many of us, I think. I want to find a box. I need to stand in there and think about things. But I really need to stand o.u.t.s.i.d.e. of said box and answer a few of my own questions...

    Improv is a powerful tool. I wonder why it is so hard to let it be a trusted recipe?

  9. A very good goal, indeed... be free, enjoy your journey, and thank you for sharing!

  10. what a great entry xxgo for it girl......



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