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December 2009
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January 2010

Danger Dogs and Furniture

American Dogs live the good life, and that includes being able to rest on couches and furniture!

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It's no surprise that this Italian Greyhound lounging on a turquoise chair is a Star!   Star as painted by Sabala.

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Here's another lucky Italian Greyhound - Flojo - by Shree.   As in yesterday's post, Shree used his artistic license to give Flojo's home a Nepali Extreme Home Makeover.   Below is the original photo:

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Here's Flojo in real life.   As you can see by the before and after, you never know what you will get with a Danger Dog portrait!

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Rosie the Labradoodle and her three portraits include one where it looks like she is on a ping pong table (top left by Hari Timsina), one with no furniture (by Sabala, top right - this is the one the owner chose) and lastly (bottom by Hari Prasad) Rosie appears to be on a magic carpet ride. 

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Murphy the Basenji relaxes in his bed, as painted by Shree.

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Arjun Karki paints Jasper the Weimaraner with his blue blanket looking much like an ocean.

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It  is hard to believe that this painting is from the same photo of Jasper the Weimaraner as the portrait above by Arjun, but there you have it...Danger Dogs can take all shapes and forms and you NEVER know what you will get.   But that is the charm of this project.

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You can see by this painting of Kahuna the Pug that Shree does like his couches bright!

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But in this case, he did not exaggerate overmuch!

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King and Princess, a pair of well-heeled Pomeranians, perch on a stylized table.   Painted by Sabala.

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In contrast, here King and Princess are on a giant Oreo cookie.   Painted by Dilip.

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To get an idea of what Dilip and Sabala had to work with, here is the original photo of the beautiful pair.

This blog was inspired by Julia Szabo, pet blogger for the New York Post, who has a new blog at www.LifeOnCrypton.com -- a place to find eco-friendly and durable furniture covers for your furry friends.  Julia is a big fan of the Danger Dogs and of practical and beautiful ways to co-exist.   She's even written a book called "Pretty Pet Friendly" with tons of practical advice on how to conquer the chaos of living with pets.

Questions or comments are always welcome.   Contact me at ampage1@gmail.com for more info or to request photos of specific types of Danger Dogs to feature on this blog.   With 1400 pieces commissioned to date, it is hard to find a breed that I have not had painted in Nepal.    Many of the above featured signboards are still available.

The Danger Dog project is a Fair Trade Art Project supporting endangered Nepali Signboard artists in this digital world.   All of the above signboards are hand-painted on metal using synthetic enamel.   They are suitable to be hung indoors or out, framed or not.   Often they are painted on recycled metal.

The Danger Dog official website is at NepalDog.com.

Tune in tomorrow for Danger Cats on furniture!


Danger Dogs and Their Toys

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Everyone knows that Labrador Retrievers love their balls!   Here is Gus as painted by Megh Raj with his Soccer Ball.

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Lucy the Border Collie with her toy by Shantosh.  

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Flojo the Italian Greyhound by Amar with a favorite toy. 

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Cooper, a Black Lab Labrador Retriever with his frog toy.

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Chloe the White Standard Poodle with her Red Ball by Shree.   This photo of Chloe was taken on a hardwood floor lined with bookshelves.

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Williwa the White Samoyed has her favorite bus.   By Amar.

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Lucy the Border Collie again with her toy, and this time behind a chair!   By Penter Amar.

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Niki with her little ball.  This portrait of a Pomeranian disappeared from a post office in Brooklyn.   By Shree.

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Lastly, we have the lively Jasper - a dachshund with the neat trick of being able to run with a toy in hand.   The original photo of Jasper had no ball, but this was painted by Shree at the same time as the above portrait of Niki the Pomeranian and Shree gave both of the dogs' a yellow ball.

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To illustrate the marvelous before and after of these works, here is the original photo that Shree worked with.   I love the added tree and the impossible little ball that he gave Jasper to carry.   

The Danger Dogs are signboard art from Nepal, hand-painted on metal by endangered Nepali signboard artists, whose work is rapidly being replaced by generic mass-produced works.   As you can see, their work is original and amusing, and one never knows what to expect.

By commissioning a portrait of your pet, you will support 3 different artists, getting a choice that will surprise you.   You pay only after choosing which portrait you prefer.   The cost is $250 per commission.   The next Danger Dog trip to Nepal will be in late spring, 2010.   Send me a photo of your pet to ampage1@gmail.com, let me know what you would like your signboard to say.  

Please contact me with any questions or comments at ampage1@gmail.com.   The Danger Dog website is NepalDog.com.  


An American Hippie in Israel

Tonight is the world premiere re-release of the long-lost classic "An American Hippie in Israel".

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The poster for the re-release was painted by Santosh Shrestha of Pokhara.   He made a poster-sized painting on canvas from 11 stills of the movie.   You can find out more about the screening and the film at the Flavorpill website.     The screening is at the Steve Allen Theater in Los Feliz and will include live music from the Nashville band 'The Ettes'.

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Jack Nelson by Santosh Shrestha.   A Jack Russell Terrier dressed for the winter.

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Frankie by Santosh Shrestha.

Remember these guys can paint anything.   Please contact me at ampage1@gmail.com with any questions or comments.    

Hope you can make it tonight.   It is not supposed to rain much until tomorrow.   Stay dry.


Saintly Danger Dogs

Some dogs just deserve a halo!

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This Nepalese White Labrador was given a halo by Ram Krishna Chaudhury.   The image is taken from the Everest Kennel Club calendar and Ram Krishna had told me that it was for a foreign client when I first saw it.

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I had come in to check on Ram's progress and found that he had not started on my 7 Danger Dog commissions, but was working on this one - ostensibly for a local foreigner.   I told him it was great that he was getting work, but that he needed to start on mine too!   I don't know what happened with that other buyer, but when Ram Krishna offered to let me buy it, I did not hesitate for a second.   I really like the finished product, and love that halo!      It is available at this time.

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Bella is a black Labrador from the 2nd Danger Dog trip in 2007.   I gave ShaShi from Om Sai Art a black and white photo of Bella, and this was the result.   It turned out that Bella had died and her owner loved the fact that she turned up with a halo.    Needless to say, this one was snapped up by Bella's owner.

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Sabala chose to give MacGuffin the Zen Terrier a turquoise aura!   MacGuffin is currently available.

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Colette the Black Standard Poodle has a fiery glow.   This painting is signed by Birju (who did the letterinng) but painted by Vinosh.    Collette is also sold.

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This little Nepali puppy was celebrating her first Day of the Dog in Pokhara.   ShaShi of Om Sai Art gave her a silver aura and golden banners to boot!    Available.    This one is on extra heavy metal and includes ShaShi's full name:  ShaShi Bhushan Mukhiya.

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Rufus the Labradoodle by Sagar has a purple aura.   He is sold!


The Danger Dog Project is an ongoing effort to promote Nepali signboard art and to keep art as a viable profession in this digital age.

Each of the above signboards are hand painted on metal by signboard artists in Nepal.   The artists use synthetic metal and the signs can be used indoors or out.   I have commissioned 1400 signs to date and will return to Nepal twice in 2010 to order more.   These commissions are making a difference to these artists, giving them interesting and lucrative work at Fair Trade prices.    Each commission generates work for at least 3 artists in Nepal.  

I collect no money up front for the commissions, the client pays only if they like one of the portraits of their pet.   The artists get paid regardless.   The pieces not chosen end up being sold in museum shops, retail stores and exhibitions.   Price for a commission of one pet is $250 for the choice of three paintings.

It is Micro-finance through art patronage.

Please contact me at ampage1@gmail.com with any questions or to order.   You can also go to my website at NepalDog.com to see more about the Danger Dog Fair Trade Art project.


Why I love Nepal - Tukche

Tukche is a village on the Annapurna Circuit.   Once a thriving post on the salt route between Tibet and India, many beautiful old buildings are left to crumble and decay.

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We have been passing through Tukche for years and this is the first time we saw this door open.   Of course, we went in and explored.

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The walls had residual murals, and upstairs - which we would not attempt due to the obvious danger - there were some particularly beautiful paintings.  

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The inner courtyard still had the remnants of a prayer flag.   We were later told by Didi Sherchan who runs the Tukche Distillery that this house had been abandoned after the widow left for Kathmandu.   Her children had moved to the big city many years before and the cost of upkeep of their family house was prohibitive.

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Here I am outside a gate.

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Dan and I traditionally take photos of each other outside this building.  As you can see, the mountains were out in full force that day, even though these photos were taken in the 'off-season' of mid-June.

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The old route through Tukche is by-passed by the new road.   Notice the typical Nepali fluffy curled tail of the dog.

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We stayed in a guest house here in town.   I have never seen a cleaner hotel.   This place was spotless, with delicious food.  I believe this was the Tukche Guest House.

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They also had wonderful apple cider.   Here is our view from one of three windows in our room.   The price was 80 rupees for a double room and there are approximately 75 rupees to the dollar.    Quite a bargain!    Since it was not season, we had the whole hotel to ourselves.   There were 4 different dining rooms both indoor and out.   

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There is a long mani-wall on the outskirts of town in Tukche.

Also in Tukche there is a fabulous restaurant named the High Plains Inn.  Run by a Dutch man and his Nepali wife, this is the place to go for such exotic fare as Nasi Goreng and Dewey Egbert coffee.   Their homemade spinach lasagne with a fresh tomato or pesto sauce is a particular treat.   Homemade brown bread is available.  We always make it a point to stop there for lunch while staying in Marpha, walking 2 hours each way.

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That 2 hour walk is not a hardship when the views are like the one above.   We have found that the road from Marpha to Tukche is best done on the west side of the Kali Gandaki, thus avoiding the dusty road and motor traffic.  

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These two cows outside of Tukche seem to be enjoying a roll in the marijuana that grows wild by the side of the road.

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Papaver somniferun (Opium poppies) growing outside a gompa in Tukche.   These are for decorative use only.

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This Nepali Dog relaxes in the shade.   He is losing his thick winter coat.   Notice how well-swept the streets are throughout this post.   

Please stay tuned for more on trekking in the Himalayas.

More tomorrow.