For many reasons, it has come to me to do the drawings large now. Except when I'm on the run, in the subway, at a swim meet, or some such. When I find myself wondering whether or not to paint, I continue to tend towards the particular quality of making drawing marks - and the image is instead of painting, making these larger. And so today I took out a large sheet of some kind of bristol, ripped off an approximately 13 x 17" piece, taped it up, and found the pleasure of working on what felt like a field, of my self literally being the field of play.
2.20.13, self portrait with blue rectangles, charcoal on bristol, 13x17.5", ©Karen Kaapcke 2013
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