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February 2010

Chow-Chow and Peka-Chows!

The dramatic Chow is a classic choice for a traditional Beware of Dog signboard.  

Rico the Chow, as painted by Sabala.

And Rico the Chow, this time by Sagar.

Miles, a prize-winning black Chow, here painted by Megh Raj.   Miles guards his turf in the mountains of Malibu.

This time Miles the Chow as painted by Sabala.

Nara weighs in with his portrait of Miles the Black Chow.

Fannie, a Pekingese and Chow mix (Peka-Chow), is painted by Nabin.   Fannie is a small dog but she has the black tongue and lips of a traditional Chow.


Fannie again, this time by Shree of Pokhara.   

Fig is an Enlightened Chow mix.  He and a cat friend had portraits ordered at the same time, but the cat was a Danger Cat.   When asked about this, Fig's owner explained that since Fig was part Chow, it was better not to scare people away.   And the cat, Jack Henry, was a Danger in any case!

All of these portraits of Chows and Chow mixes are currently available at prices ranging from $140-$200.   

If you'd like to have your own pet immortalized on metal by an endangered Nepali signboard artist, please contact me at  There is no risk to you, as I only accept payment after you choose which of the 3 signboard artists portrait of your pet you would like.    The cost for your choice of 3 Nepali folk art paintings of your pet is $250.    You can buy all 3 for $500.   This is a Fair Trade Art project and the artists get paid regardless of your choice.

Over 1400 pieces have been commissioned to date and it is beginning to make a difference in these artists' lives.   I have worked with 58 artists so far.  

By the way, I love comments and questions, so feel free to ask anything.   Please check out my website at

Also, I have a YouTube Channel.   Please rate these videos and pass them on!

Rottweilers from Nepal Art Dog

Rottweilers make classic beware of dog signs.

Moose is a classic example of a Danger Dog.   This was painted by Nara of Asha Arts.

Again we have Moose the Rottweiler in a different pose by the same artist:   Nara of Kathmandu.

Govinda painted Moose and uses reflective lettering cut from tape.   The eyes in this one are intense and certainly frightening.

Moose, as a puppy.   Moose's owner was lucky enough to be my very first Rottweiler order, and she had a lot of choices.   This one is by Sufraj Khadka of Kathmandu.

Ram Krishna Chaudhury painted this alternate version of young Moose.

Moose the Rottweiler in profile.   With the classic Beware of Dog phrase, this one is by Sufraj Khadka.

All of the above portraits of Rottweilers are available at this time.   These signboards are approximately one square foot, painted using synthetic enamel on recycled metal.   They are great to hang outdoors, and can be framed as well.   The signs I have placed outside my home certainly work to scare off solicitors and assorted miscreants!

The Nepal Art Dog project is Fair Trade and aims to promote Nepali signboard art, which is rapidly being replaced with mass-produced digital art throughout Nepal.   I have commissioned over 1400 pieces to date with 56 artists studios, making a significant difference in their lives.  

You can commission your own pet's portrait on metal with this project and you will get a choice of at least 3 different signboards from 3 different Nepali signboard artists.   Satisfaction is guaranteed as you pay nothing unless you like one of the paintings.   I travel to Nepal twice a year, usually returning in July and December with the finished artwork. 

Please contact me with any questions or comments at or simply go to to see more of what is available.

The Wag Awards benefit Four Legged Friends Foundation!

Last night I attended the 1st Annual Dogswell Wag Awards honoring top dogs who make a difference (therapy dogs, inspirational dogs, talented dogs) at the fabulous Hollywood hot spot Les Deux.  

The Danger Dogs were there to donate a lovely signboard of Hank as painted by Sabala.  100% of the proceeds from the Silent Auction will go to the Four Legged Friends Foundation (Flff) which funds medical care for ailing dogs from low income homes.   Of course, there was a small bidding war, but I think the best man won.  


Sandra Lollino and her Chihuahua Sassy were on the green carpet.   Sandra is the founder of the Flff Organization.   She was able to help 10 low income pet owners last year alone.   Let's hope that this event and the generosity of pet lovers will improve that record in 2010!

Les Deux was decorated lavishly with gift bags, roses, red curtains...

One of my favorite touches was the coral rose petals in the courtyard's fountain.   


Sparky, a Black Labrador/Chow Mix, gets the award for most patient dog of the night.   He wore that sparkly top hat all night long.   He knew his mom wanted him to be dressed in cocktail attire -- now, that's devotion.  
Sparky is a therapy dog.  

Dogswell spared no expense in making things beautiful and fun.

As the honored Dogs started to arrive, they had the option of spending time in the VIP Doggie Lounge.

Chrome Bones, who makes elegant, stylish accessories for your pets, furnished the VIP Doggie Lounge.   They have a store in Beverly Hills.


The affable Debra Skelton of MADtv handed out an award for bravery to Joseph St. Georges of the LAFD for his derring do in the recent helicopter rescue of Spiky the dog from the Los Angeles River.   Spiky the Dog that was saved by Fireman St. Georges also was at the Wag Awards!  



Les Deux is a hidden gem on Las Palmas in Hollywood.   Tucked away in an old bungalow, it has many hidden surprises.   I wandered out into a back patio and found a pair of concrete deer livening up the back walls.  

Hors d'oeurves  included tuna tartare on a deliciously salty potato chip, tiny endive stuffed with dates, walnuts and goat's cheese, macaroni and cheese with crabmeat, miniature burgers -- all served with a smile by beautiful servers in red corsets and fishnet stockings.  

DJ Chris Carter   played beautiful music that made me want to dance.  

To hear more about Dogswell and the Wag Awards, click here.   To help Sandra and her Four Legged Friends Foundation, go to her site.   You can find out more about Les Deux and Chromebones here.

All in all the Danger Dogs made some new friends and was able to help the non-profit Flff get needed funds.   It was a fun evening for me.   I got to dress up in a 60's dinner suit and a silly hat.   Can't argue with that.

If you'd like to hear more about my Fair Trade Art project that helps endangered Nepali signboard artists continue to hand paint art in a digital world, please contact me at   Browse through some old post on this blog, and go to the Nepal Dog Youtube channel to see what's currently available.

Which would you choose?

The Nepal Art Dog project always give each commission a choice of three works.   That way, 3 artists get work, the person doing the commission gets 3 choices of art, and museum shops get folk art.

 NtArt puppyon lap
This sweet little puppy, Gigi, by NK Arts in the town of Beni, Nepal, exudes the nice youthful side of this dog.  Graphic, concise and beautiful, this portrait of Gigi is still available.   NK gave Gigi a doe-like quality.

Here is a portrait of Gigi, from the same photo, by Sagar, where the pup has a decidedly more sinister gleam in her eye.   Sagar sometimes gives what I call a 'thuggish' look to his portraits.   And that could be just what you want in a 'Beware of Dog' sign!   This painting of Gigi's darker side is also still available.

I find it interesting that Amar Shrestha decided to paint Gigi (an obviously energetic pup being restrained between the knees of a comely long-haired lass) in a similar manner as Sagar but without the cynicism of Sagar.   

These are completely different versions from this same photo.   I find that my customers more often than not choose on which portrait most looks like their dog.   Can't blame them, but for me the most fascinating part of this project is seeing just this sort of artistic license. 

The proof is in the pudding.   I try to not give any indication as to what the client wants.   I tell my artists:   "You are the artist.   You decide."  

It works for me.

Which would you have chosen?

If you would like to see what 3 artists would do with your pet, please send me a photo.   I will give it to at least 3 endangered Nepali signboard artists.   There is no risk to you, as I do not accept money up front, only after you have decided which of the 3 portraits most captures your pet.   If you don't like any of them, you do not pay.   The artists are paid in any case, and you will have helped to support a dying art in Nepal.   The price for a choice of 3 is $250.  You can buy 1, 2 or 3 of the paintings.  

Each painting is on recycled metal, about one square foot, and is painted with synthetic enamel.   It can be hung indoors or out.

My next trip to Nepal is tentatively scheduled for June/July 2010, returning early August.

For more information, please contact me at   I also recommend checking out the Nepal Art Dog website at, or looking at what's currently available at the Nepal Dog Channel on YouTube.   The YouTube channel also gives a glimpse of my inspiration for this project and a chance to hear some first class Nepali folk music.

New Folk Art Obamas at the Santa Monica Museum of Art

The Santa Monica Museum of Art has a new stock of Folk Art Obamas from Nepal.

Above is Barack Obama as painted by Sagar of Kathmandu.  These are part of a limited edition that I commissioned in Nepal in November 2008, just after the historic election.  Sagar signs his pieces with a Japanese script meaning Ocean - the translation of the name Sagar in the Nepalese language.

What I began to notice is that each artist painted Obama in his own likeness.   Here is Sagar with his portrait of Obama.   Notice the similarity?    Sagar's Obama is older and darker.

 Obama by Sufraj 3
Obama the Green President by Sufraj.     Alternatively, as in the case of the Folk Art Obama above, the artist may paint Obama in an idealized way.   I had to keep telling Sufraj to make Obama darker.   When I photograph Sufraj for this project, I always show him the photo for his approval.   Often he shakes his head upon seeing his image and says "So dark".   

 Obama by Sufraj 2
Here we have a Folk Art Obama by Sufraj with a silver aura around our Enlightened President.  

When asked what he thought about painting Obama,  Sufraj Khajka said that it was' ekdam mito', meaning that it was a very pleasing experience. He claims that he has never made such a 'personal' painting before. He also stated that he has never done a painting of such a powerful person as Obama.

Here Sufraj poses with a photo of his 3 Folk Art Obamas in the Santa Monica Museum of Art shop.   He is very proud of his involvement with this project.    Sufraj chose to become a signboard painter.   It is more normal for the profession to be passed down as a family business.   I believe that he is my finest calligrapher at present.

Here is an example of his fine calligraphy.   Siggy the boxer by Sufraj.  

Sufraj also uses a lot of detail in his borders, where the red fades to pink at the top of the frame, and he likes to use a drop shadow for his lettering.  

The Folk Art Obamas are available exclusively at the Santa Monica Museum of Art for $300.   Each is approximately one foot square, painted with synthetic enamel on metal.   Click here for more information about the Santa Monica Museum of Art.

The Folk Art Obamas show the depth of the artists' talent.   They can and will paint any commission.   The only limitation is your imagination.   I have commissioned portraits of humans, houses, cars and pets -- even a movie poster on canvas for the re-released classic 'An American Hippie in Israel'.

This Fair Trade Art project is meant to help the endangered Nepali signboard artists to continue their profession in this digital age.  

For more information, please contact me at or to see more of the Nepal Art Dog project, go to