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October 2009

Nepal's Day of the Dog!

The second day of the Tihar Festival is devoted to honoring man's best friend -- the dog.   In 2007, we were lucky enough to be in Pokhara for the Day of the Dog or Khukor Puja.  


We found this adorable puppy on New Road in Pokhara.  


Above is Amar's version of the lucky little dog.  

This dog was also along New Road.   Dogs in Nepal get to roam free, without collars most of the time, and rarely on a leash.   Notice the traditional necklace of marigolds. 


Here's that previous puppy and her Nepali owner. 

The first day of Tihar is devoted to crows and little tidbits are left for the crows to eat.   The second day is devoted to Dogs, the third to cows, the fourth day is devoted to little brothers and the fifth is the festival of light, devoted to Laxmi, the goddess of wealth, and the night is aglow with spectacular displays of candles and holiday lights of all types inviting wealth into their households.   I notice that both Hindus and Buddhists celebrate this holiday.  

The dates of the Tihar celebration are based on a lunar calendar and change each year.   This year's date to celebrate the Day of the Dog was October 17.

Artists walls in Nepal

Nepali signboard artists have the best walls.   Some use them for practice, some to dry brushes, some as backdrops for spray paint, some for all of the above and more.


Even their windowsills are beautiful.   Three Kitties by Sabala.   Sold to the 3 Kitties' owner.


This is what I came upon at Chandra's studio.   I was 2 days late in picking up, he was even later!   At least he had started some!


Walls in Govinda's studio.   All three of these Danger Dogs are still available.   The lettering is reflective tape cut out and applied.   The real color of the letters is a bright orange red.   Great for outdoor use on a driveway gate.   Thanks to Oscar, Hilda and Ruby the dogs!


Jit Gurung's wall at Munal Arts in Pokhara, Nepal.   Only Gubby, the Danger Dog is still available in this bunch.


I loved Lal Karki's wall so much it is the cover of my 2nd book "Danger Dogs from Nepal Volume 2".   The book is available at       All the paintings are available.  

This lovely wall belongs to Ojna Studios.    These are painted on extremely heavy recycled metal and will last for years.   The French Bulldog (2nd from the left) is sold, but the other 3 are available.   Krishna Ojna is a professor of economics that paints signboards in his spare time.   When I was interviewed by the young (early 20-something) reporter from the Kathmandu Post she seemed surprised by this fact, and asked why he would do that.    "For the money, of course,"  I replied.   Ah, youth.  


This wall is in Om Sai Art's back studio.   Painted by ShaShi, the 3 middle paintings are still available.

Unfortunately, this wall no longer exists.   When I went to reorder from Prem, the building had been torn down and it was only after a lot of detective work that I found him in his new digs.   Ask about availability, as Prem's artwork has a few holds.  


Here is another wall that is no longer an art studio.    Just this last trip, Shahi lost his storefront studio and moved.   This wall is now the site of a bicycle shop in Pokhara.


This is the studio of Ram Mohan Patel, in red on the right.   

Later, I will feature shots of more studios.   Get out and enjoy your weekend.

Do consider either buying one of the existing signboard featured in this blog or commissioning your own piece.   Prices range from $125 to $200 for most paintings.   Some are more, some are less.   These artists make their art in very difficult circumstances, but nothing is easy in Nepal.   Please help these signboard artists to continue doing what they do so well.    Pre-printed signs are taking over due to the quest for modernity and progress.   But the hand-painted art here is the best.    Commissions start at $250.

All signboards are on metal, approximately one square foot, and are painted with synthetic enamel.   They can be hung outdoors or in. 

Please contact me for more information at   Or you can go to my website to see the full range of 56 (!!!) artists that I have worked with to date.

When you send a picture of your pet, I will give that photo to at least 3 different signboard artists.   You then choose which you prefer and then, and only then, you pay $250.    A portion of all proceeds goes to various charites in Nepal.   You choose what you'd like the portrait to say and can request certain artists.

Today is Nepal's 'Day of the Dog'.   The 2nd day of the Tihar festival.   I'll write more on that tomorrow.   There are some happy dogs in Nepal today!

North American Danger Dogs

I realize that I am often showing the Nepali signboards up on gates in Nepal, but I've never shown them exhibited here in the states.  

Here are 6 versions of Lucy in the hallway.

 New York_39
Basel on the fridge.   I'd assume she is using magnets to hold Basel in place.

Floy the Enlightened Dog greets guests at the WaterFall Rental in Woodstock.

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Mak is a lucky dog who now lives up in Canada.   Born in Haiti, he is immortalized with his very own Danger Dog signboard.

More another time.   I have many lovely photos of these Dogs in situ. 

Order your very own Danger Dog by sending me a photo of your pet.   I will give said photo to at least 3 different artists ensuring that these artists get much needed work.   You get 3 choices and only pay after you tell me which portrait of your pet you prefer.

Please contact me at with any comments or questions.

Loud Parrots and Enlightened Peacocks

Cockatoos are loud and Randy is no exception.  

This painting, by Sanjib Rana, is in the personal collection of Randy's owner.


This lovely peacock by Sufraj is still available.  


When I came in and saw this one being painted, I immediately ordered a second one!   By Hari T.  Available.

Love birds by Hari Prasad.  Available.


This proud peacock is by Sabala of Surya Studios.   Available at this time.

Also by Sabala, the Barred Rock Chicken above just keeps getting plumper.   I can never keep chickens in stock.   They are surprisingly popular.  However this one is still available.

Contact me at to buy one of these Danger Dogs or to commission a piece.

The perfect gift for that special pet lover who collects art - a Danger Dog!   This is the perfect time to commission a painting as I am leaving soon for my beloved Nepal.

I'd like to send a big thanks to for their support of the Danger Dog Project.

More Dogs on Posts!

I have been making short musical slideshows on the Danger Dogs lately, and have come across some mighty fine 'Beware of Dog' signposts from Nepal.  


I have over 200 of these and I'd like to make them the subject of my next book.


This sign is on it's last legs.   I believe that I have seen other signposts by this same artist.  


I think that this is the same artist as above.   They are both in the Jorpati area of the Kathmandu Valley.


Another oldie but goodie.   The laundry hung like prayer flags, the barbed wire...Nepal all the way.


This is not technically a signboard, but I just have to love the double Danger Dogs warning.   No way I'd trespass there.    The license plate on the motorcycle is painted by a signboard painter.   That is what my artists do as a daily business.  

Think about the holidays coming up.   You can order a Danger Dog (or any type of pet) and give 3 artists in Nepal work!   You don't even have to pay up front.   If, for some reason you are not happy with one of your pet's paintings, you don't have to pay.  

These artists need work.   Nepal is the 12th poorest country in the world.   These painters have no back up work they can do.   Digital signs are changing their lives, eating into their businesses.   Hand-painted signboards are being replaced and these artists have no means to keep up.   This is traditionally a family business, and many times, the artist does not write the lettering.   That is left to someone else who has had a different education.   

A portion of all Danger Dog proceeds go to charities all around the world.  

I will be going to Nepal in November, returning early December in time to ship holiday orders.   Do you know a pet lover who collects art that would love a gift that made a difference to 3 artists' lives?   Take that stealth photo of a loved one's pet, send it to me, tell me what you'd like it to say, then sit back and wait.   3 artists will treat you to their interpretation of your pet.   Pay only if you like one of them.

Contact me at for more information.   Go to too!   I'm happy to answer any question.