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
In between shuttling kids around all day, from violin concert to skating, I found myself on the subway alone with several minutes to work.  The train was crowded with St Patrick's day revelers, who were much too inebriated to pay me any mind.  I had a gritty, urban feeling while working, that the crowd, the noise, was all very much a part of myself.  At one point I had to change trains and stood by a half brightly painted column, emergency yellow. 

3.17.13, self portrait by emergency yellow, graphite and craypas, 5x7", ©Karen Kaapcke 2013


  1. I want to let you know that your work touches reaches right inside and brings out a very emotional response. That is what art is all about and I thank you for what and how you do it.

  2. Judy, I am really quite moved to hear how much my work is affecting you. Thank you so much for telling me that.