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Drawing 50


I woke up, thinking - what to do today? What does one do when one turns 50? My paints were in my studio, but the only thing that made any sense was to sit myself down right away, and take a good honest look at myself before I had any time to think. I found a watercolor block, and my drawing box and thus began a project of drawing myself every day for my 50th year. To live 50 as a painter, taking a good look each day, whether I have 2 minutes or an hour, and whether I want to or not. And in the way that iterations are not just repetitions but change due to the very fact of being repeated, I will live the year of 50.


Karen Kaapcke, September 2012

The Continuation: I have noticed in this, my 51st year, that I am more my body than ever. Yet I was suddenly barely recognizing it. The need to look at it and 'lean in' with it, to work with it, has become central. As a result, my body is becoming more my own. And more universally representative of the need to be present physically in a way that most women find only happens in the younger, sexy years. 51 = drawing the body.

Karen Kaapcke 3.30.13
Winter Light

12.21.15 Oil stick, craypas and graphite on bristol, 9x12"
Before the shower


5.13.15, oil stick and graphite, 9x12"
Saturday morning.


5.2.15, oil stick, pastel, graphte and turpentine wash, 9x12"
I realized again recently that I didn't recognize my body when I saw it in the mirror. Worked until the workers came back to start their hammering outside my bathroom window....


4.30.15, oil stick and graphite, 9x12"
It's been a while since checking in with my body.   Which is a kind of unbelievable fact.


Pinstripes, graphite, concealer and oil stick on bristol, 9x12"
This morning I was thinking a lot about negativity of varying sorts and had to look again at my aging body. After working a bit I thought about it then as this belly 14 years after bearing 2 children. I thought about filling the page with that. 


1.26.15, charcoal, wax and oil sticks on polypropylene
continuing to work with wax with graphite, for the way in which it is so close to the transparency and warmth of flesh.


1.6.15, graphite and wax, 9x12"
I've been interested in exploring wax with my drawing and painting, ever since seeing a series of sculpture by Medardo Rosso, who used wax as a surface to his pieces.   The skin-like sense is extraordinary, and reminded me of how I consider paper and canvas or board to be like skin, with both sides, an inside and an outside, interacting.  


12.17.14, Before The Shower, graphite and wax, 7x8"

broadsheet from 10.20.14, oil pastel and graphite, 9x12"
the large painting is finished and I have a sense of freedom.  Until the idea that is percolating begins to gel, I am going to keep my hands in touch with the body.


before the run, oil sticks and graphite, 9x12"
painting with a big heart today.  At 52, I am calling the series: Broadsheets


10.10.14, oil sticks, graphite, 9x14"
as I work on the large painting, I am using my regard on my body to consider the questions of red.


Red, graphite and colored pencil on acid free vellum surface paper, 5x8"
Very low on supplies, so using up some small pieces of bristol that I have around.  The energy I had, however, was almost too much for the scale.  And the paper tore through in places.


before running, ballpoint, watercolor and craypas, 4x6"
a small drawing
my hands feel still
And the flesh is outside me.


9.11.14, oil pastel and graphite, 4x6"
the kids are back in school, and I was able to take the whole morning to work - without having to put a shirt on to leave the bathroom.  


khaki shorts 2, oil pastel and oil sticks on foam core, 12 x 8.5"