I have started painting again full force, which for me of course means nearly obsessively. Doing a self-portrait painting each day now as well, because of this need to push paint also to a kind of appropriate limit - similar to what's going on with a lot of my drawing. Having reached 50, I feel that there simply is no time for shilly-shallying around; push that paint now, or never. Push that drawing now, or never. Take those chances -- there's no time for safety.
After painting for several hours, and feeling that unique kind of exhaustion, I found a slant of afternoon light coming in through the shelves in the kids' room which restored my vision, and I drew.
4.4.13, self portrait in afternoon side-light, craypas and graphite, 5x7, ©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