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June 2011

A Final Goodbye to Princess Di

 

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This old beauty shop sign must have dated back to before Princess Di died in August 1997.   She could have USED a 'facelife'.   Besides the hair style being dated, the phone number was only 6 digits.   They added a 4 to the front of Boudha phone numbers at least a decade ago.   Alas, one of my favorite beauty shop signs in Boudha is no more.

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They have painted over Lady Di !

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You can see the vague outline of her nose and lips in the new sign.   I have more shots of the old Princess Di signboard on an earlier post along with Queen Latifah as beauty shop royalty.

It is common for Nepali beauty shops or saloons to use figures from entertainment and news for their signboards.  Everyone from Jennifer Aniston to Gwyneth Paltrow to Angelina Jolie to Nicole Kidman (with black hair) have their own places to get their hair done in Kathmandu.   I guess Lady Di was not coming back !

Find a previous post of movie stars' signboards in Nepal here.

This is one example of why some people say that I should be buying up these signboards before they are all destroyed or cannibalized.   I so enjoy walking the streets of Kathmandu and seeing interesting beauty shop signs and want to preserve them in situ.   However, then I see something like this and I wonder if I shouldn't just buy them and take them home where they will be appreciated.    I suppose I should be happy that they recycled the metal.   And it is a testimony to how long a good piece of metal lasts even under the harshest of conditions.

There is also a great butcher shop sign of a goat's head dripping blood that has disappeared this last trip.  

Vintage signboard
If anyone is interested, I do have some vintage signboards available, including this one above.   This black dog charmer has delicate claws on his paws.   The Nepali lettering with its nice drop shadow reads "Be Aware of Dog" and the dog is handsomely set in a green field.   The artist is Shree Laimachhaine of Pokhara, Nepal,

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Danger Dog Wall at Ghetto Gloss Gallery 2009

Of course, I have many Nepal Art Dogs (and Cats) available and will be happy to try to find an existing one that looks like your pet.   Above is an exhibit at Fiora Boes' Ghetto Gloss Gallery in Hollywood.

The Nepal Art Dog project aims to stem the trend in Nepal to replace these hand-painted signboards with plastic pre-printed signage.  

You can help...

 

Nepal Art Dogs are hand-painted enamel portraits of pets on recycled metal, approximately 1 foot square.   Made in Nepal by 58 different artists’ studios.

 

This is a Fair Trade Art project that promotes the endangered signboard artists of Nepal.

 

For pet lovers who collect art and would like to make a difference.

 

Commissions available starting at $250

 

Send your Pet’s photo – get 3 choices from 3 different artists – pick your favorite

 

Karelian Bear Dog Folk Art

Folk art Beware of Karelian Bear Dog hand painted on metal
Karelian Bear Dog by Baba


Karelian Bear Dog by Baba 2008 SOLD

Karelian Bear Dogs are a fascinating breed originally from Finland where they are considered a national treasure.   Black with white markings they are beautiful as well as strong and fierce.   The Karelian Bear Dog in this photo is rare in having some brown markings as well.   Karelian Bear Dogs like to run 10 miles per day.

Folk art Beware of Karelian Bear Dog hand painted on metal
Karelian Bear Dog by Punam

Karelian Bear Dog by Punam 2008 Available

This portrait by Punam from Pokhara features Tibetan lettering above the dog and Nepali script below.   Both say Beware of Dog.

folk art Karelian Bear Dog hand painted on metal in Nepal
Karelian Bear Dog by Amar Shrestha


Karelian Bear Dog by Amar Shrestha 2008  Available

This Danger Dog portrait again features Tibetan script.  All three artists did a good job with her magnificent tail.

These paintings are part of the Nepal Art Dog fair trade art project.   These talented signboard artists are losing work to digital graphic designers and rarely hand-paint signs now.  

These dogs are not suitable for living in apartments or small yards.   They like to run up to 10 miles per day and would not be happy in an enclosed area for long.

Learn more about Karelian Bear Dogs here.

HOW TO ORDER

To order your own pet as a Nepal Art Dog, please send me a photo of your pet.   I will give it to three different artists, giving you a choice of paintings and three people will get work.   Each painting is about one square foot and is on metal with synthetic enamel paint.   These can be hung indoors or out, be framed or unframed.

Satisfaction is guaranteed as I accept no money up front.   If you do not like one of the three, you pay nothing, and the 3 artists are paid in full in any case.   Let me know what you want it to say and that's it!

Send your photo to ampage1@gmail.com or find out more at www.NepalDog.com.

Let's keep these artists painting.

ORDERS OPEN FOR NEXT TRIP IN OCTOBER, 2011.   I'll be back in early December with your order.

American Dogs = Nepali Jobs.   Micro-finance through art patronage!

 

Goodbye from Dogmandu!

 


Father's Day in Nepal

Many of the Nepal Art Dog project's artists are fathers.

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Shree Laimachhain and his wife, Bimala, in their shop.  

Shree is about to 'go out' to South Korea, a euphemism for leaving the country for an extended period to work to support his family.    It is a 3-year contract -- the first 6 months’ salary will go directly to the Manpower agency that recruited him.   While he was sad to leave his family, he is philosophical about it and hope that it will guarantee better education for his family in the future.

Currently 26% of Nepal's GNP (Gross National Product) is generated by this remittance money coming from countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Malaysia and South Korea.   Often these workers are not given the monies that they are promised when they arrive in their chosen country -- they have their passports confiscated and become basically slave laborers.   I certainly hope that this is not the case for Shree.

Shree has been trying to 'go out' to South Korea for 3 years now and has finally gotten the okay.   He has spent a lot of time and money already for Korean language lessons and travel back and forth from Pokhara to Kathmandu, etc.   He has friends that are already there and this gives me hope that he will be well-treated while in South Korea. 

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Shree's son, Anup, will become the head of the household at age 14, taking care of his mother and sister (holding Shree's portrait of Yuki the Shibu Inu).

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This is Shree on the day that I met him in 2007, on my second Danger Dog trip.  

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Also from 2007, Shree and his family.   Shree's wife Bimala sells vegetables from the studio to supplement the family income.

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Shree Laimachhain - a self portrait.

Shree will not be painting his lovely folk art while there but will be hired as an agricultural worker.  He says that he intends to learn good work habits from the South Koreans.

It makes me sad that Shree can make a better living in the fields of South Korea than he can painting.

I’m going to miss him, but not as much as his family will.

 

Shree is the fourth artist that the Danger Dogs art project has lost to this phenomenon since starting this project in 2007.   You can read more about the effects that 'going out' have on Nepal in a recent article in the Kathmandu Post by Barbara Adams.   The article also details a novel program called "Youth Volunteers Nepal" that aims to halt the exodus of young people - fathers or otherwise - and help the people of Nepal at the same time.  

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Max and Ernie by Shree Laimechhain 2010

The cheerful smiles, the delicate feet, Ernie's white lips, those tails -- this portrait is wonderful.   Shree often puts the dogs in green pastures.   Originally from a village 5 hours north of Lake Begnas, you can see his bucolic roots in this one.

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Molly the Scottie by Shree Laimachhain 2010 

Shree had just moved his studio (the third move since 2007) and had repainted a lot of it with this striped background.   I guess Molly inspired him to do the same.

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Like many of the signboard artists, Shree cleans his brushes on the walls.   Doodling almost.   You can see more walls on an earlier post entitled Artist Walls in Nepal.  You can see where Molly background comes from.

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Kahuna the Zen Pug by Shree Laimachhain  2009

This portrait of a pug is very typical of Shree's color palette.   This one is available at NewStoneAgela.com.   Tell Frannie Michelle sent you!

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Sophie the White Poodle by Shree Laimachhain   2009

Shree has fun with the dogs' jewelry and his Danger Dog subjects seem happy.

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Barred Rock Hen by Shree Laimachhain  2009

Shree's style morphs from year to year.   I can tell which year each portrait was painted just by their varied background.  I could tell Shree was having hard times in 2009, so I left an order for this chicken and told him I would pick up next trip.  He had 5 months to paint this.  There's no way of telling how much time he spent, but I can definitely see some planning went into it. 

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Grace Kelly the Enlightened Buff Orpington by Shree Laimachhain  2009

This seems to be the first portrait where Shree is moving toward his newer style.  Ginger (Grace's nickame) literally glows with a golden halo.  

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Dangers Chihuahua by Shree Laimachhain  2007

This early piece mimicks the paintings that I found on his wall the day I found him.   To this day, Shree has extra art on his walls.   Not born to an artist family as is common in Nepal, he paints because he loves it.

 


Which would you choose?

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Joie the Black Lab by Indra Lama, Megh Raj Thapa and Sagar (clockwise from top left).   I'm not sure what it is about Joie that inspired that lady on Joie's right in Sagar's painting.

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Tony the Ginger Cat with his final three portraits by Sagar, Megh Raj and Baba (clockwise from top left).   They could not be more different.   The overcast day seems to have given Baba's portrait a bit of a sheen, but I will be photographing all artworks separately once I return to California.

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Zach the Collie with his final 3 portraits by Megh Raj, Baba and Sanjib Rana (clockwise from top left).  

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Holy dogs!   I came across these sleepers down in the old central area of Kathmandu near Indra Chowk.  

Alas, you will have to wait until next trip to order your very own Danger Dog portrait.   I leave again for Nepal in mid-October 2011 and will be back in plenty of time for holiday gifts.

HOW TO ORDER

To order, please send me a photo of your pet.   I will give it to three different artists, giving you a choice of paintings and three people will get work.   Each painting is about one square foot and is on metal with synthetic enamel paint.   These can be hung indoors or out, be framed or unframed.

Satisfaction is guaranteed as I accept no money up front.   If you do not like one of the three, you pay nothing, and the 3 artists are paid in full in any case.   Let me know what you want it to say and that's it!

Send your photo to ampage1@gmail.com or find out more at www.NepalDog.com.

Let's keep these artists painting.

ORDERS CLOSED FOR THIS TRIP ON JUNE 3, 2011.

American Dogs = Nepali Jobs.   Micro-finance through art patronage!

 

Goodbye from Dogmandu!

 

 

 


Sagar's Studio and Final Danger Dogs

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You can see that the finals of the Black Cat Pachiko are going to be a hard choice.   The yellow background portrait is by Megh Raj Thapa, the cat at the seashore is by Sagar, and the kitty on the sidewalk is by Sufraj Khadka.   All very different, but the best test is which looks the most like Pachiko.   That is usually the final arbiter in these things!

By the way, I like the final Beaware of Dog spelling by Megh Raj.   Megh Raj and his son Anup use a dictionary to translate the English to Nepali, but not the other way around!

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George the handsome Briard is represented here by Megh Raj Thapa, Indra Lama and Baba (clockwise from top left).   One of the best things about the Danger Dog Art Project is that rarely does one see how different artists portray the same photo.  Styles from art brut to amazingly detailed portraits are all represented with this Fair Trade art project. I'd have a hard time choosing with George the Briard, too!

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Abbey the Graceful Newfoundland  by Baba, Sagar and Megh Raj.   Who could choose?   By the way, this portrait was won in a silent auction benefiting a new opera company in Los Angeles: Crescent City.   I wrote about it earlier here:   Industry LA   You can also go to www.theindustryla.org.   The Danger Dogs believe in giving back.

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Imagine my surprise when I came to visit Sagar's studio and found these portraits of Joie the Black Lab and Pachiko the Black Cat.   Sagar has a mischievous streak and it certainly came out in Joie's portrait!   Pachiko has found her spot by the sea.  By the way, that dog photo peeking out from behind Joie is of Flick, a Danger Dog ordered by the same person who ordered Pachiko.   Apparently Sagar likes Flick enough to put him on his bulletin board.  

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Sagar teaches art for his main bread and butter income.   Here he is working on a traditional style portrait of a Newari couple. 

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And one not so traditional.   He is also working on this photographic portrait of an obviously romantic young Nepali couple.  

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Sagar's studio is filled with the sounds of a bleating goat and those ducks and chickens next door.

Alas, you will have to wait until next trip to order your very own Danger Dog portrait.   I leave in mid-October 2011 and will be back in plenty of time for holiday gifts.

HOW TO ORDER

To order, please send me a photo of your pet.   I will give it to three different artists, giving you a choice of paintings and three people will get work.   Each painting is about one square foot and is on metal with synthetic enamel paint.   These can be hung indoors or out, be framed or unframed.

Satisfaction is guaranteed as I accept no money up front.   If you do not like one of the three, you pay nothing, and the 3 artists are paid in full in any case.   Let me know what you want it to say and that's it!

Send your photo to ampage1@gmail.com or find out more at www.NepalDog.com.

Let's keep these artists painting.

ORDERS CLOSED FOR THIS TRIP ON JUNE 3, 2011.

American Dogs = Nepali Jobs.   Micro-finance through art patronage!

 

Goodbye from Dogmandu!