Studio Process Blog



Online exhibition with Paula Damasceno, Zöe Cohen, Katherine Demetriou Sidelsky and Jennifer Lord

One is a syntax of differences, a practice, and an exercise.

Four artists use similar vocabulary to articulate different materiality.

Overlaying, transparency, boundaries, and material culture takes different shapes for each artist displayed in this exhibition.


In the studio this week:

I began three paintings on paper that are pattern based, which lead to discussion/contemplation of the meditative aspect of pattern(s).

I painted designs that I will heat press this weekend, and sketched plans for their layout.

I failed at documenting my work, and asked for help (thank you C.W. and J.M.). I will try again.

I had work illegally installed in the ceiling of my studio and had to change how everything is hung.

I completed one work titled, The Worms Beneath the Meadow and have an idea for how to include embroidery in the piece.

I have met with so many different people whom I’ve spoken with about my work, yet I feel that I have not truly or fully expressed myself. I feel like there is always a gap in languaging, or how can I actually explain the research because it is slow, on going, happens through my body, and study, accumulates in fragments, is shifting, etc.

What can art be?

Based on a few experiences this week, I want to start including text in my work, or I want to start working with text. I want to find a way that my intellect can appear more readily (without hesitation or reluctance; willingly) in the work.

Actually, I think that I need to disrupt what I think of as my work, and to change what I think of as art and making art. 

What do I want my art to be? I can decide/determine this.


I want to set up 4-8 texts to embroider

I want to dye my vintage stock and my shorts

I want to heat press the paintings I’ve done and make more.

I want to document the work currently installed in my studio.

GROUP exhibition

We discuss: transparency, overlay, veiling; revealing/concealing; seeing through, obscuring, cutting/the cut, sewing/mending, layers; boundaries and borders (edges)

K asks, “how does the boundary perform?”

The cut as a portal

abstraction to (im)materiality; matter as spirit; connecting to the spiritual through the material; transforming the mundane through wrapping/physical devotion; the immeasurable

P says that concealment and transparency are woven through history

Z’s interests lie in repair, mending, healing and grief and the communal perspective

From P, “by binding (↔) I am unbounding(↕)”

Idea for exhibition layout, based on the horizontal-vertical, like a compass.

If we each make a google site with our writing and images, then the front page, where we each inhabit a directional quadrant, can link to the individual pages.


Left: corner installation with works in progress; Right: image constellation
Jennifer Lord interviewed by Ann Marie Gould and Michelle Hoppe on 07.07.22


Week two research:

I made three videos of interesting surfaces with multiple types of patterns interacting. The visuals are just for me right now. The videos capture: a drain clogged with trash, water patterns on a fountain with a scribble texture bottom and tree shadows, and black bees swarming over white flowers in a breeze.

I visited the library and left with 13 books

I learned how to heat press images and paintings on fabric

I had a studio visit

I measured a dress to make a pattern

I fell in love with the Fashion Resource Center; I spent almost 2 hours there and could have stayed longer. I was too awed to take many pictures.

Sterling Ruby garment
Draping experiment

I embroidered details and thought about the front and back of the fabric pieces

detail of leaf embroidery
I like to work on multiple pieces at the same time, moving between one surface to another.

I had a studio visit and asked how does the work fail?

I collaged

And sewed

And moved pieces around

I had a studio visit and was challenged to make no more new things, but to use what I have in this room, and to try various arrangements to push the work into three dimensional space. Before I came here I was thinking about scalability in the Harawayian sense of multiple pieces in combination.

verso of a two-sided canvas

The process is transitioning; the process is practical; the process is out of my reach; the process is happening; the process is hidden; the process is nuanced; the process is a waste of time; the process is not something that leaves a trace; the process is messy; the process is the process; the process is talking on the phone; the process is multiple; the process is ongoing

What is the art that I want to make? And how is that different from what I have been making up until now? How is it the same? Where do they touch?

How do I make work with intention inside it/embedded within it?

How does my research move more visibly into my work/practice?


What does it mean for you to PRACTICE?

Practice, for me, means showing up everyday for art, whether that means being in the studio, or being curious about the world and open to the everyday magic that is daily life. In taijiquan, practice or gungfu is discipline over time, or the daily accumulation of skillcraft through the daily repetition of the art(form).

On a granular level, in the studio, PRACTICE means that I am present in the space, looking at the work, trying out ideas, sketching, painting, sewing, looking at books and collected images, breathing, putting things in dialog, changing my mind. Outside the studio, PRACTICE means doing my daily taiji form, picking up the strange scrap or object that caught my eye on the street, filming or photographing the patterns of water or black bees swarming over white flowers, it mean visiting the library and taking out almost more books than is comfortable to carry home; it means reading, and making and eating a good dinner.

What changes when you imagine a professional practice? Does this have meaning in the present form of your own practice?

Often when I think of professional practice I think of hussling, of putting myself and my work out there–going to art openings, applying to calls, documenting the work, writing, editing my website, or screaming into the void and hoping that something lands. The professional part of my practice right now is being in graduate school at SAIC.

Art has continued in this time of crisis. Does the pressing of this world-wide reset button allow space for any innovative ways to enact your practice professionally?

We are living in and through multiple crises: climate chaos, racial inequity, wealth inequality, a pandemic, etc. so yes, ‘pressing the worldwide reset button’ has allowed for innovation in ways in which people connect to and access culture. For me personally, I hosted a full moon Zoom event, one month into the pandemic, for a show I curated called Bigger View(s): Earth, Anthropocene, Beauty; I participated in multiple online exhibitions; I published an article, Instructions for Feeling the Air in Venti Journal; and I was a guest artist for The Wilds’ Spring Solstice event via Zoom; all of these innovations came about as a result of the pandemic.

During the pandemic, I took daily walks with my then 17-year-old child. We meandered, talked, observed the light and bird sounds, watched squirrels and crows, greeted whomever was blooming, learned our neighborhood, borrowed branches from neighbor’s trees, doorbell ditched flower arrangements on said neighbor’s porches, and felt slow, and sane and connected to each other and to where we live. As I had to return to work, and they had to return to school, and “normal life” started to encroach on this small haven, I vowed to continue walking regularly, a vow that is renewed once a week instead of daily, but still. Thus or but or and, as Adrian Piper writes, “doing art can be seen as a purposeless activity the way taking a walk is purposeless.”

Is professional a word that has any meaning to your work? Should the phrase professional practice be reconsidered?

I want to be an artist all the time, forever, and to be supported, economically, as such. I want a life of art. This six week residency period is the first time in my life that I have gotten to be an artist first and foremost, full time, with no other obligations than to my work (and to being a good student). I am digging a pit of debt to do this. The way professional will have any meaning to my work is that on the other side of this MFA I will be a professionally supported and practicing artist.

And, yes, I think that professional practice should be reconsidered, in the same way that our extractive, disposable, and exploitative system of scarcity should be reconsidered for a system that favors life, livability, (bio)diversity, harmony, abundance, spiritual fulfillment, and wellness.