Every Danger Dog has a Story: This is the story of the making of one Nepal Art Dog:
Sanjib Rana is the only one of my artists that works with acrylic paint.
There is a lot of texture to this painting. The brush strokes are evident, strongly showing Sanjib's thought processes as he worked through many, many layers. The blue band behind Charley's face is Sanjib's interpretation of my Great Dane Series by Hari Prasad (see photo below). Blue is repeated in Charley's fur around his neck and the blue/green head of Charley's friend Spicy at the bottom left corner.
Though fluent in English, Sanjib does not letter his art. I subcontract that out to Birju, who certainly got exuberant with his 'Zen Dog' lettering. For the lettering to be in red was Birju's choice. Sanjib and Birju have never met. I consider Birju to be my best and most interesting calligrapher and I give him free rein. It is often said that Birju has never lettered a sign the same way twice.
I took this photo, and this is what Sanjib had to work with. As you can see, Charley is not the featured dog in this photo, and Sanjib had a 4"x6" photo to work with. Sanjib tells me that he likes to paint after midnight, for relaxation. Since he works 3 days a week for the hotelier, and takes his mother to dialysis 3 times per week, evenings and Sundays are his only time to paint his Danger Dogs.
I should point out that Kathmandu has scheduled electrical outages (known in the local patois as 'Loadshedding'), of up to 16 hours per day in the winter, so candlelight is Sanjib's lightsource.
I introduced Sanjib to his current employer - owner of the largest hotel group in all of Nepal. Sanjib has since painted over 300 works to fill the hotel room walls. And Sanjib works in very pleasant surroundings adjoining the Carter Center in Kathmandu.
There has been some controversy over whether I should show photos of Nepali artists squatting on the ground while painting. I'm not quite sure why, since most of the Nepal artists that I know do indeed paint while low to the ground. This project aims to document the Nepal Art scene as well as to promote the fair trade Danger Dog Art Project. So I photograph what is there.
The birds that Sanjib Rana paints for the hotel rooms are from plates in a book of native birds of Nepal. Those plates are of birds with white backgrounds, and Sanjib chooses his own backgrounds for the birds. Nepal is home to over 900 species of birds and birdwatching is a huge tourism draw for some areas.
Sanjib is the father of a 15-year old daughter. His mother undergoes dialysis 3 times per week at the local hospital. I've read in the paper that the cost for this is 4,000 Nepali Rupees per month. ($50 USD - in a country where the average annual income is less than $500.) So, it is good he is working. Last trip, the hotel magnate had bought 50 canvases and a book of 'World Famous Paintings', so I fully expect Sanjib to have expanded his style.
Charley is a female Elkhound. A lovely dog, with a compact but powerful physique, Charley recently ran into actual Elkhounds on a trip to Northern California.
If you are lucky enough to be in Los Angeles before the end of December, you can see 60 Nepal Art Dogs at The Loft at Liz's Gallery at 435 S. La Brea LA 90036. Part of an exhibit titled "Fair Trade", a total of 28 artists are represented in the exhibit so you can get an idea of their varying styles.
Your pet can be immortalized on metal by struggling Nepali signboard artists whose hand-painted work is being replaced by digital graphics. Find out how below.
Please check out the Nepal Dog YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/NepalDog
You will be happy you did!
Now is the time to order: Be ahead of the Pack! Orders now being accepted for October/November 2011 trip. All signs will be ready with plenty of time to mail for the holidays.
HOW TO ORDER
1. Please send me a photo of your pet. I will give it to three different artists, giving you a choice of 3 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.
2. Let me know what you would like it to say.
That's it !
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or find out more at www.NepalDog.com.
Let's keep these artists painting.
American Dogs = Nepali Jobs.
Hello from Dogmandu!