Highland Girl - Painting & Story

It's finished! Yet another painting! I've been working on this piece since last night, about 4 or 5 hours of work on it then and again today. In all it's felt like an eternity! But before I show you let me tell you a bit of the background behind it, a story in pictures so to speak.

I've had this project in the back of my head for a while now. You may or may not know that I grew up in Indonesia and spent my middle and high school years in Papua, then called Irian Jaya. You may have also heard of it referred to, in the news perhaps, as West Papua. While there I had several opportunities to go to a few of the more remote locations, which is most of the island. One particular trip was to a village called Langda with my mom.

If you've been browsing in my Portfolio recently then you've already come across a photo from Langda. That is where this photograph (below) was taken.

Highlands Langda Village | NaomiVanDoren.com
Highlands Langda Village | NaomiVanDoren.com

Families live in "honai" like this one.

Highlands Langda Village | NaomiVanDoren.com
Highlands Langda Village | NaomiVanDoren.com
HighlandS Langda Village | NaomiVanDoren.com
HighlandS Langda Village | NaomiVanDoren.com

Men walking the airstrip.

HighlandS Langda Village | NaomiVanDoren.com
HighlandS Langda Village | NaomiVanDoren.com
Highland Girl Langda Village | NaomiVanDoren.com
Highland Girl Langda Village | NaomiVanDoren.com

We were perched right on the side of a mountain and with a drop off into a valley. The mountains and view here are spectacular and the people so very friendly and kind.

Lots of kids followed us around each day. They smile so easily. For a majority of the trip I was filming and it was fun to hold the camcorder screen so they could see themselves. This always causes lots of giggling, pointing and smiles.

And here we find the subject of my painting, the girl on the right. My inspiration.

Highland Girl Langda Village | NaomiVanDoren.com
Highland Girl Langda Village | NaomiVanDoren.com
Highland Girl Langda Village | NaomiVanDoren.com
Highland Girl Langda Village | NaomiVanDoren.com

It has been 7 years since I left Indonesia to come back to the US for college. Since then I've contemplated creating some sort of artwork that reminds me of home, Indonesia. But I've never been quite able to pick a worthy subject nor style. I suppose it really hadn't been the right time for it. Now, as I look toward planning a trip back I'm thinking again of the place I love and the time was right to create.

Highland Girl Langda Village | NaomiVanDoren.com
Highland Girl Langda Village | NaomiVanDoren.com
Highland Girl Langda Village | NaomiVanDoren.com
Highland Girl Langda Village | NaomiVanDoren.com
Highland Girl Langda Village | NaomiVanDoren.com
Highland Girl Langda Village | NaomiVanDoren.com

The Creation Process

At the last moment I decided to try a second background. So here is a version 2 and finally version 3.

Highland Girl Langda Village | NaomiVanDoren.com
Highland Girl Langda Village | NaomiVanDoren.com
Highland-girl-v2-2-Naomi-VanDoren
Highland-girl-v2-2-Naomi-VanDoren