Drawing 50

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
I am finding myself more and more able to make the self-portraits less and less about me. Maybe there is a sense of the homeless to this one, pleading or begging but not entirely - a dirty quality, which I go with when it happens to the paper - and so on. All of that allows me to search within the drawing for what emerges which is more and more using myself as a springboard - approaching each one with a sense of play that takes me beyond myself actually. I also think, more and more, that there is this universality to ourselves when you try to find a way to work beyond surface representation or likeness, and allowing myself to play might, with all hope, allow me some of that.

6.14.13, self portrait in hoodie and brown skirt, graphite and craypas, 9x12"

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