African Doll – Day 5 Strada Easel Challenge

"African Doll", 8x6, oil on canvas panel, © Nelia Harper
“African Doll”, 8×6, oil on canvas panel, © Nelia Harper

I guess it was the trip down memory lane yesterday, that prompted me to attempt this African doll painting for Day 5 of the Strada Easel Challenge.

I found this doll when I lived in Namibia. (Nambia is located on the bottom of the African continent between South Africa and Angola.)  I’m not sure what the initial attraction was to the doll, perhaps she reminded me of when my mother sewed our clothes.

My sister and I each had a doll that resembled us. My favorite feature was the way their eyes closed when they were lying down. Mom even made matching outfits for our dolls.

Of course, this African doll looks nothing like me!

Unlike the sandstone statues, hand-woven baskets, and various trinkets that felt mass-produced for the tourists, this doll appeared to be made with focus and care. Although the doll doesn’t look very happy, I was quite happy to buy her. I felt that someone put attention and effort into shaping her face, and sewing on the trim. Whoever made her seemed to care about doing good work.

She sits on my shelf, wearing her light pink dress, trimmed with red bric brac and a zigzag of green thread. I also have a clay pot, some woven baskets, wooden bowls, and hand-carved statues that might make future paintings too.

I think my childhood doll is around here too. Hmmm…I just might have to find her. Altough, there’s a good chance she’s missing an eye…

If you want to see all of my pieces created for the challenge (to date), you can head on over to Instagram or Facebook.  And, use the hashtag #stradaeasel to see what others are up to in the Strada Easel Challenge.  You can see Days 1-3 here.  Day 4 is here.


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