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
There are days when I am so busy but refuse to let things interfere with my drawing time. A lot was looming today but I went downtown to draw regardless, and almost as a reward, I got focused so quickly. Most likely because of the business surrounding this immensely quiet moment, I only wanted the cleanliness of purpose of rendering. When I got home I started baking the birthday cupcakes, with only an hour or so before I had to leave to go pick up my daughter from school - but right in the middle of it all I realized that I had to do my self-portrait. Each batch of cupcakes took 10 minutes or so, enough time to get something down, and if I aimed it correctly something genuine. Aim - hand/eye coordination; it is a sport, drawing, a small small sport - and the more you work, the more you get closer and closer if you intend to, to gettting the arrow real close. And it has nothing to do with rendering.
1.18.13, self portrait with turtleneck and hair, craypas, 3x3", ©Karen Kaapcke 2013