This morning I spent several hours drawing a head. (Not my head). As is usual, I did several warm up drawings - loose, imaginative, playful - beforehand. Neither of them clicked into anything, but when I took them out at home, I thought to continue working on at least one since I had yet to do my self portrait. I brought it into the room with a mirror, and sat down to work into it, 'struggling' (in that unique way of non-struggling struggling that you do when you're drawing) to keep the play active.
5.13.13, self portrait with colored chest, graphite and chalk, 8x14", ©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