A gorgeous day, and I was tempted to play hooky a little - but not too much. On the bike ride home from tennis, I pictured a drawing - the graphic possibilities of a short skirt. I was surprised though by the difficulty of this one - how long it took to pull it out, to pull it to somewhere where it wasn't silly, trite, and not felt. I kept pushing it, with an energy that seemed even to me disproportionate to the subject matter, a woman just after playing tennis. As I pared down the figure looking for the big shape again, the shape that kept getting lost, I found the movement in it; and as I took a pale craypas and worked down the details on the left I pushed more light into my side. Very nearly done but now, a little too serious. I looked down and saw my stripes - both on my tank top and on the side of my skirt and yes! The element that made me laugh a bit. I finished up with the stripes.
4.24.13, self portrait in tennis skirt, graphite and craypas on vellum, 5x7"
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