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
As I get larger with the drawings right now, I am noticing an increased sense of play.  A larger space, a larger field, the energy of bigger lines and grander smudges - on the days when I have very little time, like today, with this larger energy per mark I feel as though just a few to situate the head are enough.   The pieces are more physical when they are larger, less cerebral.  The sounds the pencil makes are louder.  Today's play carried me beyond one sheet, and so I taped more paper up and made it a diptych.  This is getting very close to how I began thinking about landscapes this summer, of building up a drawing over time but with multiple sheets rather than layers - a real temporal reading of the movement or life through a landscape.  Perhaps the movement through the self is similar.

2.22.13, self portrait diptych, graphite and chalk, 13.5 x 27", ©Karen Kaapcke 2013

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