Waiting for To Go, 2012, oil on canvas, 12 x 9 in. (L) 
So Damn Early, 2012, acrylic latex and spray paint on canvas, 42 x 42 in. (R)
A. The larger painting on the square canvas is made from materials I've been playing with in the studio for a while now—house paint and spray paint. When I first started making these spray paint pieces, I was approaching them as paintings of drawings. Areas are cropped to look like paper. They're specific in their scale and shape, sometimes mimicking a particular piece of paper lying around in the studio. The paint is built up on the canvas to have a raised edge and this is where it starts to look trompe l'oeil, like a rendered or invented collage. Within these fields, which are usually hard edged and carefully painted, are more spontaneous and gestural marks executed in spray paint. I like the duality created from abstract mark-making within a controlled compositional space. This painting gets a bit playful with that pink edge. The smaller painting is dealing with much newer problems I've been thinking up for myself in my studio. I don't have a language for that one yet, but the materials are simple—oil on canvas and small in scale.

A. These paintings are coupled together temporarily for a show. I thought they had a nice dialogue and the pink edge on the larger painting starts to attach itself to the smaller one. This happens a lot in my studioworks start to attach themselves to others. I think it's because I don't work in terms of "series". I work from one piece to the next, solving a problem while creating a new one. I don't have grand conceptual questions, instead I have small questions of what it means to be in a studio and making.

A. Why Houston? I was born and raised here. I've traveled but I've always lived here. The city works for me and perhaps I've grown attached. Ultimately, I'm sure I'll end up living and working in other cities but Houston will always feel like my center, a place around which to circumnavigate like the center of a compass.

Jessica Ninci is in her third year at the MFA program at University of Houston. Her work will be included in the exhibition, HOWBOUTNOW: University of Houston Graduate Painting, opening Friday, October 12 at 4411 Montrose.

Jessica's flickr site here