I ran out of paper yesterday, and was planning to run downtown for supplies - I need some important paint colors too - but couldn't bear to leave the house without drawing first. I do still have a lot of stuff left over from the kid's class, though I already used up their watercolor paper. But bristol! I remember a few large sheets somewhere....As I was working I kept fighting the sense of superficial likeness. I appreciate how bristol holds the charcoal, which virtually stains it - no real erasing possible - so I looked back at myself for something else from this morning, some quality. When I did this I felt a lack of clarity, a loss of one eye perhaps. So I smudged it out and couldn't take it back. I wiped down some more, and some of my lines stayed darker, which was good. And then, a sense of peace - that blue.
2.4.13, self portrait on Monday morning with blue, charcoal on bristol, 7x11"
©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