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
After a certain point the argument with my son was spiraling down into senselessness.  He was raging, and I was getting ready to burst.  So I went to draw.  The paper had to take quite a beating, shaving down the colors and drawing back into it, finding and losing an image, reeling with an emotion and then locating the lifeboat.  After about 30 minutes my son came to find me, and said - wow, you're still in the bathroom?  I said yes, I'm drawing, and he said - oh, and walked away.  Crisis averted, for now.

2.18.13, self portrait with blue-grey forehead, graphite and craypas, 9x13", ©Karen Kaapcke 2013


  1. je trouve que tu as une cinquantième année magnifique Karen ! je te trouve inspirante !!!

  2. et, en fait la beauté de ton geste artistique c'est la constance. çà c'est inspirant et çà donne envie.
    je voulais aussi te dire Karen, que tu es sans doute la plus belle rencontre que j'ai faite sur FB. Pour çà merci.

  3. thank you very much Lisa - I am glad you like this one.
    Michel - quelle compliment! Merci. Je suis tres contente aussi d'avais fait ta conaissance sur fb. Je suis en effect super-contente que ca t'inspire! a bientot.