I was thinking today about my need to draw in several different manners. After yesterday's rendering, I needed to bend my mind around a different kind of self-portrait, where features and surface attributes such as rendering matter not at all. Where you have to see things differently, apply marks vastly differently, in order to convey the look you are taking at yourself. It is an extraordinarily satisfying difficulty, to work in both ways - to rely on rendering features and then to let them go and rely on something else - to even find what that something else is. It is a kind of play; to be able to access play - and then to be able to let it go - is itself a bigger kind of play and it strikes me as deeply important to work on.
5.14.13, self portrait with pink leg and mother's day robe, graphite and chalk, 14 x 17"
©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