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October 2011

Live from Kathmandu: Happy Halloween

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Halloween is celebrated in far off Nepal, but not with the usual flamboyance of America.  Here at the Saturday Cafe in Boudha, this cheerful carved pumpkin attracts a large crowd. 

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This acrobatic black Nepali cat rests on the rooftop after frolicking and chasing insects.

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This rather scary taxidermied Bengal tiger at the Kaiser Library in central Kathmandu certainly fits a Halloween theme.

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Baba always dresses in orange.   I worried that he had changed his phone, but it was simply a glitch in the phone system.   I was very happy to see him still in his studio.   He now has a computer in his office.   I guess his plan to get all his money from the Danger Dog project in one big lump sum (to buy a computer) paid off.   Bravo to Baba.  

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Megh Raj Thapa and his son, Anup, are happy to get some new Danger Dog business.

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A wonderful example of a native 'Beware of Dog' sign from Kathmandu.   Though I've seen this before, I couldn't resist showing this again.

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These lovely ladies with magenta head dresses have been seen along the Boudha Stupa for the last few days.   So colorful and appealing, they are not from Kathmandu and look over the goods on offer as much as any tourist would.

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Surounded by a garland of marigolds, this old faded Danger Dog afghan still looks good to me.   This is an early version of a pre-printed Kennel Club sign from the early 1990's.   Later the Club changed to a German Shepherd for their beware of dog signs.

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I also got a chance to see the always wonderful Lotus Gallery smack in the heart of Thamel.   Run jointly by Santosh and his American partner, Jim Aplington, the Lotus is one of the few (if not the only) galleries in town that specialize in contemporary Tibetan Art.

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With a wide selection of Fine Artists from the Mountains of Nepal as well as Tibet, you can find their website at LotusGalleryNepal.com.   It is always one of my favorite places to stop and unwind from the hustle and bustle of the tourist district of Thamel.  Santosh is the perfect host, and there is all that art to enjoy.

More tomorrow from on my Live from Kathmandu blog.

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.

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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 medium to high resolution 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 ampage1@gmail.com or find out more at www.NepalDog.com.

Let's keep these artists painting.

American Dogs = Nepali Jobs.

Hello from Dogmandu!

 


Live from Kathmandu - The festival of Tihar continues

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Tonight is the last night of Tihar.   Also known as the Festival of Lights, Deepawali or Diwali, During the 3 days before and after the new moon (known as the black moon in Nepal) in October, the streets are lit with clay oil lamps and candles, strings of light and the sky is filled with the sight of fireworks across the Kathmandu Valley.  

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Banners and flags are strung above the streets, lending a festive air.

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The dogs are still having their day two days after the Day of the Dog.   This happy dog is named Lucky and he obviously is.   I tried to get a straight on shot, but he has too much energy and wanted to play.   He did not understand the command 'Sit' (bosnus in Nepali language).

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Jackie and Batuli are another lucky pair, as they wait for Anshu to drop some delicious food.   Jackie and Batuli are two fine examples of Nepali Shikari Kukurs.   Shikari means hunter in the Nepali language.  Kukur is dog.

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These dogs are so exhausted they sleep right in the middle of the throngs of people circumnavigating the Stupa at Boudhanath right at rush hour.  

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This guy looks scruffy, but he is a butcher shop dog.   He and his fellow dogs are happily ensconced waiting for a clumsy customer to drop a bone or for the owner to pass him a less-than-prime cut.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The butcher's are busy slaughtering fresh meat for Tihar feasts - right on the street.   Alert!   The following photo is graphic !

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This butcher had the best sense of humor, offering to pose for photos with the freshly slaughtered goat.   The goat is male, by the way.   Goats are displayed with their genitals facing up.   Apparently it is bad luck to eat a Nanny Goat.

If you wonder why I will be happy to see the end of this holiday season...   Last night, all night, I could hear cheerful music with a strong bass back beat.  Traditional Nepali music.   You could hear the clapping and delighted laughs of the young people, interrupted by the occasional firecracker.    The music was also punctuated by barks from the pair of Lhasa Apsos on the rooftop next door.

When I headed to the Dragon Guest House roof to sneak a peek at the revelry, I realized that what sounds like it is just next door is actually coming from two directions  - each blocks away.

As the night progresses, the music turns to romantic ballads with a beat.   Perfect for slow-dancing.   The applause and catcalls take on a softer but no less enthusiastic tone.   Soon Justin Beiber's 'Oh Baby Oh' gets some airplay - over and over again.   Every third song.  And this at 3am.  

Soon dog barks duel with the Emcee and each other.   All over Boudha dogs chime in with their 2 rupees worth.   At 78.7 rupees to the dollar, that's about right (.025 cents).   The dogs sound like they are enjoying the conversation.

Music from Korea is sweeping Nepal and all of South and Southeast Asia and I can hear that, too.

The fireworks ebb and flow along with the dogs, and fervent claps, yells and whistles.

It was still going at 4:30 am !!!!

Still it is a wonderful holiday and today is Bhai Puja.   The final day of Tihar.

 

More tomorrow.   Please stay tuned for more Live from Kathmandu.

 

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!   I am now in Kathmandu.   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 ampage1@gmail.com or find out more at www.NepalDog.com.

Let's keep these artists painting.

American Dogs = Nepali Jobs.

Hello from Dogmandu!


Live from Kathmandu: Tihar and the Festival of Lights

 

IIt is an exciting time to be in Kathmandu.   Last night was the 3rd day of the Tihar festival.   This day was dedicated to Laxmi, the Goddess of Wealth.   Every Hindu home and business was lit with candles, clay oil pots or strings of lights leading Laxmi to their homes.

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The streets were festooned with strings of lights and crowded with revellers, intent on leading luck and good fortune their way.

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I caught this pretty lady decorating the entrance to her family business - asking Laxmi to bestow wealth.  Dressed in her red curta with a trim of flowers, carrying a tray of marigolds, she was happy to pose for a photo.

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Garlands of marigolds hang from every doorway.

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These young girls were giggling and laughing as they closed the metal doors of their shop.   I couldn't resist a photo of them dressed in their Tihar best.

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Jackie and Batuli, my Nepali Shikuri Kukur friends, hate the fireworks.   Fireworks have been banned this year and there were a lot less than usual, however.

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Meanwhile, this morning around the Boudha Stupa gate, these young artists are making a lovely mandala, right in the road!

More tomorrow.   Please stay tuned for more Live from Kathmandu.

 

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!   I am now in Kathmandu.   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 ampage1@gmail.com or find out more at www.NepalDog.com.

Let's keep these artists painting.

American Dogs = Nepali Jobs.

Hello from Dogmandu!

 


Live from Kathmandu - Nepal's Day of the Dog 2011

Today is Nepal's Day of the Dog, my favorite festival.   Dog's are feted and given treats and sometimes decked out in amazing colors.

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It's hard to say who's cuter in this photo.   I am especially impressed with the gold eyeliner around this dog's right eye.   Looks like someone had fun with the finger paints.

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Part of the festival of Tihar, the Day of the Dog was even celebrated by this Buddhist lady with her excited Lhasa Apso this morning on the famous Boudha Stupa.

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This lovely red-headed Nepali pup seems to be enjoying her day.

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Meanwhile, downtown near Durbar Square, a Hindu area, this handsome dog has received many blessings.

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This dog is happy in his nest of marigolds.

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They look like they have enjoyed a long morning of treats.   They are too tired to even bark at the strange lady in the cowboy hat.

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This dog is master of all he surveys from his perch high above the streets of Kathmandu.

More later.   I am recovering from a 30 hour plane trip, and while I don't have jet lag, something has to give.   I jumped out of bed this morning to find many charming dogs to photograph, went to a friend's for lunch and am about to head out for the last night of Kathmandu's celebrated Jazzmandu - more on that tomorrow.

Kathmandu is a 12 hour and 15 minute time change from California, but I am not one to miss a party.

 


Charley the Elkhound by Sanjib Rana

Every Danger Dog has a Story:   This is the story of the making of one Nepal Art Dog:

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Charley the Elkhound by Sanjib Rana, 15"x12" Acrylic on metal   2011 Available

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.  

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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. 

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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.

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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.  

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Charley by Megh Raj Thapa, Dilip Niroj and Baba (clockwise from top left)  2011 Available

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 ampage1@gmail.com or find out more at www.NepalDog.com.

Let's keep these artists painting.

American Dogs = Nepali Jobs.

Hello from Dogmandu!