The "boxes" as Patricia Nix often calls her painted constructions are "just like paintings except that you use real objects instead on recreating them in oil." By 1981 Nix was beginning to identify certain objects and symbols that appeared and reappeared in her work. At times, she thought, the boxes almost created themselves without conscious effort on her part. In fact, although the gathering of components was gradual and often governed by availability or whim, the boxes were occasionally assembles deliberately, with the artist well aware of the compositional and metaphorical relationships.