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September 2009

August 2009

Why I love Nepal - Pokhara

Pokhara is the second largest city in Nepal.   It is a resort town built around Lake Fewa, and is surrounded by magnificent mountain views of the Annapurna Range.   It is also a tourist town, but off the main road...

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This is the Pokhara we love.   Walk the back roads off the beaten tracks and see the greenery - the lazy meander of the roads lined with mossy stone fences and moms and schoolkids walking under the hot noontime sun.

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The view from Mike's Breakfast.   In the morning we sit here enjoying a world class breakfast (with tasty bottomless coffee) and watch the action.

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Looking over to the Peace Pagoda on the top of the hill across the valley.

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From the rooftop outside our penthouse suite ($6 a night) we admire Machhupuchare (aka Fishtail Mountain) and watch the many birds flying by.

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And we enjoy a glass of wine as the sun sets.

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Enjoy the tourist services in excellent restaurants.   They have everything from Korean to Italian here.  French food, Middle Eastern food, Indian, Tibetan, Thai, German, Japanese... you name it.  

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Leika sleeps on her porch.

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Rent a bike, pet a friendly dog.

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Watch some cute kids play on a tractor.

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Fishtail Mountain is always a joy to catch sight of.   It has a dramatic shape.

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These ladies are going home from shopping.

Pokhara does have it's touts and tourist baiting -- i.e. 'shopping, Madame?'  'Just look at my store.' etc. but we have found that just walking off the two main tourist streets cuts that to almost nothing.   It is a charming town with water buffaloes roaming the streets, polite school children, temperate weather, a gorgeous lake, mountain views, any kind of food you can imagine.    It is also home to many great signboard artists.   Shree, Shahi, Santosh, Jit Gurung, and many more are all located in Pokhara.   There is not much of an art scene here, but I am trying to locate a venue to have an art exhibit featuring these signboard artists.  

More tomorrow.   Any questions, please contact me at ampage1@gmail.com


Beware of Dentist!

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Dental signboards are popular in Nepal.  Some very creative artwork can be found in this genre.   This signboard is by Sufraj and is right around the corner from his office.

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Quite an impressive before and after, I'd say.   That's a gummy smile above.

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Electrical wire used as dental floss?   And is that a teddy bear hanging there?

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I especially like the hanging dentures.  Perhaps they could use them as a lantern.

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No one likes waiting for the dentist.   Notice the perfect posture that is typical of Nepali women and her great choice of color. 

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Open wide!  

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A typical Nepali street scene with Dental signboard and florist's shop.   The car is decorated for weddings with flowers much like we would in the West.   No tin cans, though.

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Ladies always dress nicely and colorfully. 

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Best for a square-jawed client!

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Like many foreign countries, Nepal has a 'dental district'.   Many of these photos were taken in Pokhara's Mahendrapul district.  

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Shiva Thapa painted this Dentist signboard for me as part of the Danger Dogs Project.   It is still available.

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This lip-glossed smile is by Sufraj and is also available.

Please contact me with any questions or suggestions at ampage1@gmail.com.   If you have any requests about posts you'd like to see or things you'd like to see more of, let me know.   I plan to do more on Nepali culture as time goes on, the little niche things that no one who doesn't live there part time would notice.


I will be going back to Nepal in October, if you'd like to order your own signboard.  Please remember that these artists can paint anything you might dream up.  And they look forward to doing so. 

Stay tuned for more tomorrow.


Popular Pomeranians

Pomeranians are from the Spitz family of dogs.   With their luxurious fur, they make great Nepal Dog signboards.

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King and Princess by Dilip.   This pair of Pomeranians is a little larger than average at 12" by 15".

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King and Princess by Sabala.

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Mooke the orange Pomeranian by Amar.

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A cream-colored Pomeranian by Nara Arts. Signed on the back

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An orange Pomeranian by Nara Arts, also signed on the back.

That's it for available Pomeranians.   Please contact me at ampage1@gmail.com with any questions or comments.   I love to know you are out there and reading. 

I will be going to New York City near the end of September.   If anyone has any suggestions for Museum Shops or other outlets for the Danger Dogs, please let me know.   Or if you'd like to see some in person, maybe we can arrange something. 

Stay tuned.   I am going to write about the lovely lakeside town of Pokhara tomorrow.


From Black Dogs to Black Cats

Zia is a Danger Cat.   She is a good hunter as well as a looker, and is the alpha cat in her hood.

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Above is Zia by Shree of Pokhara.   Something about the intensity of her gaze always makes for a great portrait.  As always, Shree signs his pieces with an artist's brush underneath as a flourish.

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I miss Birju and his lovely lettering.   The artist here is Vinosh, who is doing remittance work in Saudi Arabia for a couple more years, Birju is now sculpting and is not available for calligraphy.   But I will keep trying to find him.

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Queenie the Black Cat by Shantos.  

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Zia by Sabala.   In a dark mood.

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Fuzzbie the Zen Cat by Amar.

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Finally, Zia by Sagar.  Sagar signs his distinctive pieces with a Japanese chop.

All of these cats are currently available.  Please contact me at ampage1@gmail.com for more information.   All are synthetic enamel on metal, about a square foot, painted by Nepali signboard artists. 

You can also order your own Zen Cat by sending a file of your kitty to me at ampage1@gmail.com and I promise to give that photo to three different Nepali artists.   When I return (in early December 2009), you choose which you prefer and then pay me $250.   You pay only if you like one of the pieces.   The rest are sold in museum shops as folk art, and you have given much-needed work to three talented Nepali signboard artists. 

More tomorrow.


Enlightened Black Labradors from Nepal

Black Labradors are lovely, faithful pets.   And some are Danger Dogs.   All of the signs below are available.   Apparently most Black Lab owners consider their dog Enlightened.

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Layla the Black Labrador Retriever by Shree.  

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Layla again, by Hari Prasad.

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Layla by Sabala.

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Bella by Sagar.  

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Chandra painted a naive version of Layla.

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Killian, the Black Lab by Amar.

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Punam with his cartoon version of Killian.

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This cute Labrador is Davey.   Painted by Amar.   

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Dilip Naroj painted Layla the Lab.

If you are interested in purchasing any of these Danger Dogs, please contact me at ampage1@gmail.com.

If you'd like your own Danger Dog, I am travelling to Nepal in mid-October, returning to California in early December.   Please place your order by sending me a photo of your pet.   I will give it to three different artists in Nepal.   You choose which of the three you like, and only then do you pay.   The price is $250 for a choice of 3.   I sell the rest to museum shops or online.   The artists all get paid no matter which you choose.

You get a painting of your dog (enamel on metal), 3 artists get work, museums get folk art. 

Micro-finance through art patronage.