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
When I think about drawing right now, I have been getting this sense of layering yet still drawing, and an intensity of color halo-ing my head.  Or something. When I drew today, though I started with a thought of just a simple drawn head, the color came quickly but wrongly, and as I smeared it and scraped it down, and then drew into it I saw the life of it emerge.  This sense I had been imagining, of a colored intense fleshiness.  But at the t-shirt, I stopped.  Graphic quality again and I'm still in drawing.  Leaning towards painting though, and possibly seeing how far I can go. 

3.11.13, self portrait with white t-shirt, craypas and graphite, 3x5"


  1. This is excellent, of my favorites in your whole series of self-portraits.

  2. Steve, thank you so much. I really appreciate it. As you yourself very well know, if one can stay with these things, the result can be worth it.