Late Summer Update
I will gradually update the blog with all my self-portraits from the summer. Many things became clear during this period. My drawings began to point further away from myself. I found myself thinking - beyond the question of 'what is drawing' that began to emerge last spring - 'what is paper?', what is this surface doing, between the marks and the world, supporting the marks even as it puts up a barrier. Like skin, but always refusing to be like skin. There was, during the summer, one star-filled night when I sat on the balcony and wondered, as I've been doing since about 10 years old - and I saw the drawings as I see the stars - each a small spot representing so much, and yet so unreachable to the mind. In a further clarification to what I had begun to feel last spring, as I sit down to draw, I find myself more and more unreachable, and yet the drawing - the attempt at drawing - is the need to reach out and understand nonetheless.
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