One of the things that most concerns me right now is not drawing in an ivory tower - that is, not creating 'perfect' situations in order for painting or drawing to happen, and not imagining any 'perfect' kind of drawing or painting that would be a result. In fact, I'm not even sure what such a drawing would mean anymore. After years of trying to answer the question of how do my marks make sense - to get annoyed at my daughter for interrupting me with her anger about her missing swimsuit would be undermining the very meaning of this drawing. It exists as interrupted by a child, is 'finished' at the moment of interruption - indeed, my very act of sitting and drawing may have inspired this interruption. This to me is likeness at its deepest.
4.7.13, self portrait interrupted by my daughter, graphite, 4x6", ©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