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

A few years later, and I looked into the mirror - and was struck by how foreign my belly was to me. I still don't recognize myself.

Karen Kaapcke 9.20.16
It often happens that it's only as I am working on something that what it is really about becomes clear.  This piece took a lot of negation - a lot of saying 'this is not what it's about' and then taking it out, before finding out what it is about.   I followed leads, ideas that I was finding out in the process of drawing - thinking at some point along the way that it was about triangles, and then more about my shape blocked out behind the bright notepad.  At one point here I even put a large vase of dried purple flowers in front of me, took that out....but, as I was doing that, the brown of the pot which I had put in smeared and merged with the bottom of my legs.  My feet turned brown, and warm.  Yes.  Along with the white of the notepad, that's what this was about. 

1.23.13, self portrait with brown feet, charcoal, chalk and graphite, 9x11", ©Karen Kaapcke 2013