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
Continuing to work without a mirror, I sit down, and sometimes close my eyes to see what I look like.  An interesting way to force the mingling of sentiment with visual reference.  I saw only a vague heaviness about my head, my forehead - possibly hair.  I picked up a pen, and just started in.  The scale happens on it's own, lately - I use a big paper, so there's room should I go big - and this time my pen went large right off.  Making rather loopy marks, I located myself - and my face emerged - shapes, rather abstract - started defining the composition.  But towards the end, it still felt lacking.  It was OK, but lacking somehow.  I turned around, and saw - of course! - - the kitchen.  I was sitting in front of the doorway to the kitchen.  Starting to build that up I realized that it, the kitchen, was the heaviness on my head.

9.17.13, self portrait with kitchen door, ballpoint pen, 14 x 17"

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